Today the Lord gives Moses and Aaron instructions for the future regarding leprosy – “When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession… the priest shall go in to examine the house.” So we see that the Lord is sovereign over all things, including leprosy. We also see that God gives instructions to be applied in the present and distant future since the Israelites don’t currently own any homes in Canaan. So the priests will have another job once settled in the promised land, the job of inspecting leprous homes.
Then the Lord gives specific instructions regarding bodily discharge, emission of semen, women’s customary discharge of blood, and discharge of blood that isn’t customary. Did you notice how God gives women a period of rest again before they are to re-engage? Yesterday He told the women to rest after childbirth, and today the rest is due to her period of customary discharge of blood. “And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean… But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.”
Lastly, we read about the Day of Atonement. This is a very important day that occurs once a year when the high priest atones for the sins of the people in order for them to be in relationship with the Lord. It is the only day the priest can enter the Most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat are. On this day, after Aaron sacrifices a bull for himself, he is to take two goats for the sins of the people. One is to be sacrificed and the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, and the other is to be released into the wilderness – “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.” The goat released into the wilderness is the scapegoat, which is another foreshadowing of Christ, the once-and-for-all Scapegoat who is coming to bear our sins – “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
After Jesus’ crucifixion there will no longer be a need for animal sacrifices or for the annual scapegoat. Jesus will say, right before He dies while He is hanging on the cross – “It is finished” (John 19:30), meaning that the total fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation has been and is being completed through His Son Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow we learn whose nakedness we can’t uncover among other things, so keep reading. (Leviticus 14:33-16:34)