devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2322
Num 19:1 Then Yahveh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and this is what he said,
Num 19:2 “This is the prescription of the law that Yahveh has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a perfect red heifer, in which there is no flaw, and on which a yoke has never been placed.
Num 19:3 And you will give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in the sight of him.
Num 19:4 And Eleazar the priest will take some of its blood with his finger, and spritz some of its blood toward the front of the conference tent seven times.
Num 19:5 And the heifer will be burned in his sight. Its skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, will be burned.
Num 19:6 And the priest will take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and toss them into the fire burning the heifer.
Num 19:7 Then the priest will wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest will be contaminated until evening.
Num 19:8 The one who burns the heifer will wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water and will be contaminated until evening.
Num 19:9 And a man who is pure will gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a pure place. And they will be kept for the water for impurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a mistake offering.
Num 19:10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer will wash his clothes and be contaminated until evening. And this will be a permanent prescription for the people of Israel, and for the foreign guest who sojourns among them.
Num 19:11 “Whoever touches the dead soul of any human will be contaminated seven days.
Num 19:12 He will purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be pure. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become pure.
Num 19:13 Whoever touches a dead soul of any human who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahveh, and that soul will be eliminated from Israel; because the water for impurity was not tossed on him, he will be contaminated. His contamination is still on him.
contaminated by death
What was so wrong about accidentally or inadvertently touching a human corpse? A corpse is a soul (that is the Hebrew word here) which has died. Death is the aberration of the created order. It should not be. The LORD is making a statement about how wrong death is. But he is also saying something else. He intends to eradicate death from his universe. But that miracle will require a death. The perfect red cow is another symbol of the coming Savior. We still live among the dead and are contaminated with the same ancestral sin that brought death to us. But God has a solution.
LORD, thank you for the hope of eternal life through Jesus.