Leviticus 14-15, Psalm 34
Jon Courson in his application commentary of the Old Testament does a wonderful job showing how leprosy is the picture of sin. Like sin, leprosy begins underneath the surface of the skin, out of sight initially, no big deal seemingly. But then it moves insidiously as it moved throughout the body bringing decay and destruction to structures below the surface. Secondly, leprosy destroyed sensitivity. Often a person with leprosy would not even notice he had the disease until he spilled something hot or dropped something heavy on himself and didn’t feel it. Likewise, sin destroys sensitivity to the point that we are no longer bothered by that at which at one time made us recoil. Thirdly, like sin, leprosy was incurable. With the exception of Naaman being miraculously cured following the instructions of Elisha in 2 Kings 5, no one prior to those healed by Jesus were healed. Lastly, like sin, leprosy caused separation between people and their loved ones. Those infected would be sent away from the community and if coming near anyone would be required to yell, “unclean” as a warning. That’s what sin does, it destroys relationships, splits families, breaks hearts.
It wasn’t until the 1940’s that an effective treatment existed for leprosy. Certain skin diseases could mimic the early stages of leprosy, but not the later stages. Though the rituals for cleansing healed lepers is given here in Leviticus 13-14, it was likely never used until the time of Jesus when He miraculously healed certain lepers ( Matthew 8:2-4, Luke 17:11-19). . This could not have gone unnoticed by those in positions of authority amongst the Jewish people. We read in John 12:42-43 “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”. Jesus had the power to cure leprosy. Jesus is also the only One has the power to conquer sin.
Paul described the condition of sin well in Ephesians 4:17-19, “…you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” One thing we all have in common, is that we are all sinners. Those who think they are above others, and not do bad, need only read Hebrews 4:12-13 and realize that God also sees our thoughts and motives. The beautiful cure rests in the fullness of Jesus Christ as we read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In those days leprosy was feared. We need not fear sin, since we have full access to the remedy.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: