“And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying . . . ‘let them take to you a red heifer without a physical defect . . . And you will give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will . . . be slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest will take some of its blood on his finger and spatter it toward the mouth of the tent of assembly seven times. The heifer will be burned in his sight; its skin, its meat, and its blood, in addition to its offal, will burn’ ” (Numbers 19:1–4).
This passage is so strange and gruesome, it is clearly symbolic. The heifer represents the perfect, unblemished sacrifice—which takes care of some (not all) of the purification associated with things Yahweh deemed unclean for the purpose of teaching His people obedience, and some of the results of sin (Numbers 19:9).
Also, the heifer is burned because it has to be made into ashes. This beautiful creature becomes ashes. That’s the cost of an impure life: good has to become worthless. The only way to purge impurities is to burn them away. Then what has been purified through fire (and then water) can be used (Numbers 19:9–10). The passage goes on to describe several uses associated with this practice (see also Numbers 19:11–13).
All of our lives include things that go against God’s will, and these things must burn. We must let the Spirit work in us to empower us to remove them. And there’s good news for this: Jesus has already done the great work of conquering sin in the world. There is no more need for the red heifer because Jesus’ sacrifice (His death) paid for our problems. He wasn’t the symbol of the sacrifice, like the heifer; He was the sacrifice itself.
God calls us to the great race of running toward Him—for Him—in honor of what Christ has done among us. So let’s let the evil burn.
You must be logged in to post a comment.