Torah Portion: Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33
HafTorah: II Kings 7:3-20
First let’s finish up last week. We were going to cover those things that Yeshua and His family did which would be examples of Torah. So let us take a look at what you have found. First, He was circumcised on the 8th day. (Luke 2:21) At 13 He appeared in Jerusalem at the time of his coming of age. He kept the Passover and Sabbath. (Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, Matt. 5:18)
How do we define sin from a biblical viewpoint? Any breaking of a commandment was seen as a sin. How would this have impacted Yeshua’s life? He lived a sinless life since sin equals breaking of a commandment. Messiah had to be sinless. So we can conclude Yeshua kept all the commandments of the Torah.
Now how is sin interpreted today? Today sin would be anything committed against the rules or laws of the lands. Some would say, “If it isn’t against the law it is ok.” Is cheating on your income taxes a sin today? Is gossiping a sin? Is lying a sin? Why? As a culture and even as believers our definition has changed. What the commandments say is only incidental to our understanding of sin sometimes.
Now to the Torah section of Metzora. This section in Leviticus 14 is a continuation of the subject of leprosy and how a person was to go through the process of reentering the assembly of G-d once he/she was declared clean by the priest. This process did not heal the person but validated his healing. Even Yeshua healed lepers. In Mark 1:41-44 we read of a case after Yeshua heals the man. He tells him to go and present himself to the priest and follow the steps set out in the Torah.
The initial purification process used 5 items, 2 live clean birds (doves), cedar wood, scarlet yarn, hyssop and earthenware bowl filled with living water. One of the birds was killed over the earthen pot with the water. The blood and water were sprinkled on the leper seven times. The remaining live bird was bound to the cedar plank with the scarlet thread and hyssop, dipped in the blood and water mixture and used to sprinkle the leper seven times. Then the live bird was released to fly away. These articles do show up in other places as well, such as in Numbers 19:6 where they are used to prepare the ashes of the red heifer. We can also see these mentioned in Hebrews 9:19-23.
What was it about these items that made them so important? Let’s look.
$11. Cedar wood, it was red in color like blood. It is a preservative, which makes it a symbol of immortality. King Solomon used it to line the first Temple. Its resin smells like incense.
$12. Scarlet wood also symbolizes blood. (Isaiah 1:18)
$13. Hyssop was used during Pesach to put the blood on the doorway of the Hebrews. It is a symbol of purification. (Psalms 51:7)
$14. Living water – mayim haim in Hebrew, has to come from a river, stream, lake or even rain. It could not come from a stagnant puddle but had to be moving. It carried away the uncleanness. Mikvahs or ritual baths, are only to be filled with living waters. It is found in the New Testament in John 7:38, John 19:29.
All of these items have Messianic overtones as well. Leprosy is a picture of sin in our lives and so each of these items should remind us of what Messiah has done for us.
In the concluding ceremony for the cleansing of the leper, on the eighth day he was to bring another offering. He was to bring 2 male lambs, a yearling ewe lamb, 3/10 of an ephah of flour mixed with oil for a grain offering and a jar of oil. If the person was poor (Lev. 14:21-22) he brought one male lamb, 2 birds, 1/10 of an ephah of flour and a jar of oil. So rich or poor you had to bring a male lamb. What can we learn from this? A lamb was required to be clean no matter if you were poor or rich. The sacrifice of a lamb was common to both. This should speak to us of the Messiah. No matter our state in life, rich or poor, famous or not, we all require the blood of a lamb to be made clean. Yeshua is that lamb so said John in the gospel of John 1:29. “Behold the Lamb o G-d.”
The portion goes on to talk of other things that might be infected with leprosy such as a house. Point being that this disease, like sin, can affect every area of our life and the sacrifice of blood is required to be clean of it. Our lives have to have this cleansing to be made clean. In Lev. 14:28-29 we read where the priest puts the blood of the lamb on the right ear, right thumb, and right big toe of the person being cleaned. Why did he do this? What could be the possible meaning? It showed that the man was completely clean as are we. Amen!