Do You Have Leprosy?
Do you have leprosy? I am sure your first response to this is “NO!” But we want to take a closer look at this subject because there is a spiritual leprosy that many people do not know about. But first we want to look closer at leprosy itself.
Leprosy was an infectious skin condition. A person would go to the priest and he would examine the person and diagnose his condition. If he was infected with leprosy he would declare him a metzora (leper). The person was then pronounced as unclean (tamei). The priest’s examination of the leper is a picture of the final judgment when God will examine every person after the books are opened to determine if they are clean or unclean. The laws of clean and unclean were very important because of several reasons: 1. The temple was a holy place; and 2. The priests who served in the temple had to remain in a state of holiness.
1 Peter 1:16 tells us, “You must be holy because I am holy.” We are God’s royal priesthood and we stand before God’s altar today bringing the sacrifice of praise. We see in the New Jerusalem that nothing unclean will enter it, Revelation 21:27.
First of all, this is not unusual, for many religions had their purity laws.
Things like childbirth and even being under the same roof as a dead person made you unclean. Anyone who had contact with an unclean person also became unclean. A sin offering had to be presented in these cases to make one clean again. We see that with the birth of Yeshua, Mary, when she came into the temple, offered a sin offering. Luke 2:22 tells us, “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took Yeshua to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons.’”
So why are leprosy, childbirth, and death associated with uncleanness? And how does a sacrifice make you clean? And where was the sin in Mary having a baby? And just how does being under the roof of a dead person make you unclean?
To answer your question, there is no sin. But if there is no sin, then what is it all about? The afterbirth of a child would make you unclean, and the death of a person was considered mortality and decay, both unclean. The Bible describes Biblical leprosy as decomposition and decay, in other words, corruption of the flesh. The laws of the sacrifices teach that God’s sanctuary must be free from decay. All sacrificial offerings had to be burnt and consumed within two days. All sacrifices had to be unleavened because leaven represented corruption because it ferments the dough, and so leaven represents sin. God’s sanctuary represents immortality and incorruptibility.
In God’s presence there is no death, no decay, no decomposition. 1 Corinthians 15:54 tells us, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” Leprosy symbolizes the sinful nature of man. Man’s human condition leads us to death and decay. But our spiritual nature can also lead us to this end. An unclean person with leprosy would cry, “Unclean, unclean!” so that no one would draw near him, resulting in him being separated from the rest of the community. We see this with Miriam, Moses’s sister in Numbers 12: “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife. They also grumbled by saying, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ The Lord heard this. At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.’ The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow.”
Spiritual leprosy is the sin of gossip, lies that ruin people’s reputations, or being a false witness. It brings about corruption and death, and it not only separates us from God, but it also separates us from the body of Yeshua. Matthew 18:15-17 tells us, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If, however, he ignores them, tell it to the congregation. If he also ignores the congregation, regard him as an unbeliever and a tax collector.”
We have an obligation to keep God’s sanctuary clean and holy, or else it will become corrupt and death will overtake it. Today, so many churches are dying for just this reason, because spiritual leprosy has contaminated it. Today, there are people who sit in the sanctuary that have unrepented sin. We must remember that God is holy and we are to be holy—pure and holy. Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Yeshua the Messiah our Master.” Only Yeshua can cleanse our souls. Only He can take away the stain of sin because He took our sin upon Himself, and by His shed blood we are now made clean (tahor). He is our sacrifice that cleanses us and makes us clean so that we can once again come into God’s presence. God’s laws are not obsolete just because we say they are. God has not changed. Sin is still sin and unclean is still unclean. Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Do you suffer from leprosy? Maybe your words or thoughts or actions have made you unclean. Are you washed in the blood of Messiah, or are you still unclean because you think you do not need to repent? Sin begets sin. It is like leaven, your sins will increase and multiply and grow. Come make yourself clean. As 1 John 3:3 tells us, “ All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as He is pure.”