The Torah tells us about a very interesting ceremony that includes dipping a bird that is alive in the blood of another bird with an amazing meaning.
“… ‘This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest.
And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field.’” Leviticus 14:1-7
Although this law points out physical illness it can teach us how God cleanses spiritual illness as well because sin is a sickness. “O sinful nation, people weighed down with sin, children of those who do wrong, sons who act in a sinful way! …Your whole head is sick, and your whole heart is weak. From the bottom of the foot even to the head, there is no good part. There are only sores from beatings and open sores. They are not taken care of or covered or made soft with oil.” Isaiah 1:4-6. But we also have a priest who is willing can cleanse us with the shedding of blood so we can be healed like the leaper and free to live a new life like the bird.
“…he [Yeshua] entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:12-14. Yeshua our High Priest saw our need and went outside the camp of Heaven to be with us on earth to examine us and teach us how to live a healthy sin free life because of the blood he shed in our place.
The bird that died was killed over running water. This is significant, “The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been put on a stake beside Yeshua… they didn’t break his legs. However, one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out. The man who saw it has testified about it, and his testimony is true. And he knows that he tells the truth, so you too can trust.” John 19:32-35. Water and blood is meaningful because blood covers and water cleanses and you cannot get clean by sitting in a pool that doesn’t move. We wash our hands with running water because that takes the dirt away.
Those who profess to follow Yeshua should understand that the blood of Yeshua covers our past sins but the plan of redemption doesn’t end there. God cleanses us our lives from sin as well “Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God? He is the one who came by means of water and blood, Yeshua the Messiah — not with water only, but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.” 1 John 5:5-6. Our relationship with God should be active and change like a running steam of water, a pool that stands still so fills with impurities, and we need to get the impurities out of our lives.
Even if we understand that we must give up our past sins we need to know we cannot get impurities out of our lives without the blood of Yeshua. David said “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7. Hyssop was what was used to protect the firstborn from the plague of death in Egypt with the blood of the lamb that had to die. The Torah said “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” Exodus 12:22.The sacrifice of the lamb alone would not have saved the family if they didn’t obey by submitting to God’s instructions and placing the blood upon their homes. Likewise, although Yeshua died for us, without obedience to God we will not have eternal life and his death for us would be in vain.
But like the hyssop dipped in blood it is Yeshua’s blood that gives us the power to obey. It is vital to remember that not only was the living bird covered in blood, but the cedar wood, scarlet cord, and hyssop were too. We cannot obey God with our own efforts. The cord of faith by which we hold onto God, and the fortitude we need to stand against temptation, and stay faithful to God are all gifts that come from God through the blood of Yeshua that we must accept by faith. Being good is not something we can accomplish on our own. It is all faith, we cannot be cleansed by our own efforts we must allow God to do it for us and submit our lives to Him.
Picture originally found here