sermonette: Spiritual Leprosy in the End-Time Church
Purification of a Leper
Given 08-Feb-14; Sermon #1197s; 18 minutes
What would it be like to be an olive grower in biblical times who contracts the horrible, wasting disease of leprosy? After confirmation of the symptoms from the high priest, we become isolated from our family and the community. We despair of every feeling the touch of another human being. As a rotting putrefying hulk, we receive new hope as we learn of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. As we prostrate ourselves, imploring Christ to take away the disease, we receive the joy of instantaneous healing and the wonderful feeling of being able to experience the touch of another human being again. In the accounts in Luke and Mark describing perhaps the first healing of leprosy in Israel since Naaman, Christ cautions the cleansed leper not to broadcast the account of his healing publicly, but instead go through the purification ritual outlined in Leviticus. By violating this request, the cleansed leper increased his public mobility but in effect ostracized Jesus Christ, limiting his mobility. There are multiple parallels in the purification ritual in Leviticus and our cleansing from sin, which we could compare to spiritual leprosy. Like leprosy, because sin renders our conscience dead and insensitive, we are not aware of its onset until it is literally wasting us, bringing about dismemberment, isolation and death. Christ took on all of our horrible infirmities, trading His place with us. As spiritual lepers, we can confidently reach out to Christ, and he will cleanse us.