Lev 14:10 “And on the eighth day he will take two male perfect lambs, and one perfect ewe lamb a year old, and a tribute offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, and one log of oil.
Lev 14:11 And the priest who cleanses him will set the man who is to be cleansed and these things in Yahveh’s sight, at the entrance of the conference tent.
Lev 14:12 And the priest will take one of the male lambs and offer it for a reparation offering, along with the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering in Yahveh’s sight.
Lev 14:13 And he will kill the lamb in the place where they kill the mistake offering and the ascending offering in the place of the sanctuary. For the reparation offering, like the mistake offering, belongs to the priest; it is most holy.
Lev 14:14 The priest will take some of the blood of the reparation offering, and the priest will put it on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.
Lev 14:15 Then the priest will take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand
Lev 14:16 and dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and spritz some oil with his finger seven times in Yahveh’s sight.
Lev 14:17 And some of the oil that remains in his hand the priest will put on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the reparation offering.
Lev 14:18 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he will put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. Then the priest will provide reconciliation for him in Yahveh’s sight.
Lev 14:19 The priest will offer the mistake offering, to provide reconciliation for him who is to be cleansed from his contamination. And afterward he will kill the ascending offering.
Lev 14:20 And the priest will offer the ascending offering and the tribute offering on the altar. Thus the priest will provide reconciliation for him, and he will be clean.
the rest of the healing
Let’s think this one through. The victim of leprosy has just been found to be healed. His healing has been declared via the sacrifice prescribed, and he has shaved himself, so that all those around him now know that he has been set free from the bondage and shame of the disease. But, now, he must go through a second set of rituals, involving other sacrifices, and a ceremony where the priest anoints him with oil to “provide reconciliation for him in Yahveh’s sight”? This brings up many questions: Why the second set of rituals, if the victim is already free. In fact, why should a victim of a disease have to offer a mistake offering at all, since the disease is not a sin? Why does he need a reparation offering if the damage is already repaired?
Two realities help me to sort this all out. First, all of the sacrifices point to Christ, speaking of what he did for us on the cross. While it is true that the individual worshipper did not catch leprosy intentionally, so there is no culpable sin, it is also true that leprosy and all other diseases and problems are covered by the cross. The leprosy restoration rituals speak to the fact that all sin and shame will be eliminated by virtue of the cross. One day all sin and shame and sickness and sorrow will be eliminated, not because of humanity’s progress, but because of God’s love manifested on the cross, and the power of the resurrected and returning Christ.
The second reality has to do with the former leper. He has been healed, yes. But now he has to return to a society that has shunned him, isolated him because of a disease so repugnant it represented sin itself. The rest of his healing must now take place. He has to be restored to the status of full participant in the covenant community, and this elaborate ritual is designed to help him do that.
Both of these realities are rooted in divine love.
LORD, thank you for loving us so much that you will not only heal us, but you will show us complete and ultimate restoration.