Wednesday, 28 March 2018

I am Renewed. 2 Corinthians 4:16

  "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." NKJV
  "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day." JCB

  So I know it's late but I'll not be blogging for a couple (?) days due to some morning obligations. So, it's after home church where we discussed Sunday's teaching about how Jesus came to shut down religion. In that I mean the works that are taught as being able to earn us/are necessary for our salvation. I wanted to explore a rabbit trail I ended up following about the early practices for the cleansing of sin.
  It took me to the book of Leviticus where very specific instructions were laid down for the Jewish people regarding animal sacrifices, the role of the priests, and a lot I didn't have time to get into to. Did you know there were animal sacrifices for guilt, atonement and peace, too?
  While glancing through, I discovered that part of the Priest's role was to examine people with any sort of skin condition. The parameters were very clear about when different conditions of a skin ailment meant the person was unclean. The Priest's judgement was final. There's more about that in Chapter 13 if you are interested. It is a bit gruesome but I guess leprosy is. There was the undercurrent that leprosy was considered an affliction because of sinning.
  So, many years later, a group of sinners and tax collectors sat with Jesus and His disciples. The Pharisees questioned Jesus' choice of company. His response was, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Mat 9:10-12
  As I read Leviticus, that thought had gone through my mind. These ailing people didn't need a priest as judge and jury, they needed a doctor!
  It was a long time before a cure for that terribly contagious disease was found. Knowing the stages, knowing when leprosy was most contagious and knowing when to place someone in isolation was probably prudent given the sanitation in those days. It's just seems such a terribly cruel way, to shut someone off of community or being able to partake in the religious practices central to Jewish life.
  I have to imagine the miracle when Jesus healed someone with leprosy. Can you imagine what it must have been like for them? To feel another human touch after however long they had been "unclean" and shunned? And a Rabbi to boot! Who went against every single law that was written in order to heal a hurting human being.
  One act. One moment. The heart of God is revealed just a little bit more. AMEN!

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