Complete Cleansing: Leviticus 14:6-8

Leviticus 14:6‑8  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
We were noticing before how that which typified man’s greatness, as well as his nothingness, were all dipped in the blood of the slain bird. Some might think themselves too great to come down, and others are so occupied with their lack of education and other things, and perhaps even their sins, that they think they must improve before they can come. Still others want something spectacular. They want some big experience, but all these things — man in his greatness, in his nothingness, good self (so called) and bad self, along with anything at all in which we could glory — must come to an end in the death of Christ. “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)), means all that I am as a natural man — all must be dipped in the blood — all must come under the sentence of death, finally and completely.
As we have already noticed, the man who was to be cleansed was sprinkled with the blood of the slain bird seven times, and then pronounced clean. Seven is the perfect number, and so the work of Christ has cleansed us perfectly in the eyes of God, and He can pronounce us “Clean every whit” (John 13:1010Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (John 13:10)). What a beautiful type this is, and how God would have us rejoicing in accomplished redemption.
Christ Risen
After this the living bird was taken, with the blood of the dead bird upon it, and it was let loose in the open field. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus now risen from the dead. Just as the living bird carried the blood of the dead bird into the sky, so He has gone back to heaven as the One who has completed the work of redemption for us. He is now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high, and His being there is the proof that God has accepted His work.
His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne:
And His own wounds in heaven declare
The atoning work is done.
How is it with you? Have you taken your true place before God as a sinner and been cleansed in the precious blood of Christ? If you have, you are now, “Clean every whit,” and you can look up by faith and see the Lord Jesus seated at God’s right hand and know you are “accepted” in Him (Ephesians 1:66To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)).
The Clean Man Washes
Up to this point the leper had not done anything for himself — all had been done for him by the priest — but as soon as he had been pronounced clean, then he could do something for himself. He must first wash his clothes, and this would tell us of the application to the Word of God to all his habits and associations of life. As soon as one is really saved, there is immediate exercise as to what he is doing. There is a desire to please the Lord which is soon manifested, and the newborn soul in the joy of first-love is willing to give up anything which the Word of God condemns. How we long to see more of this in our days when there is so much profession and so little reality! It is so sad to find those who have confessed Christ going on with the same old habits and associations, and seemingly unwilling to “wash their clothes.” “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Psalm 119:99BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)).
For Further Meditation
1. What did the living bird represent?
2. It’s fascinating to see when the cleansed man actually begins to do any work. How does Scripture clearly show us that God has no use for a sinner’s works but delights to see a believer begin to produce work that pleases God?
3. An excellent, short and readable brochure on the living bird can be found in The Leper and the Live Bird by C. H. Mackintosh.