The book of Leviticus is basically a list of laws and legal provisions cover nearly all of life -- love, livestock, and…leprosy. There are multiple (long) chapters that address leprosy, leprous people, contaminated things, and infected properties.
For the time period this was highly applicable. Leprosy was one of the most devastating and mysterious diseases around. It was no respecter of persons. Everyone knew it took your life even while you were still living, slowly eroding your dexterity, disfiguring your face, and then, eventually, it killed you. Leprosy was a dreaded disease.
If all of Scripture is written for our learning (and it is, Romans 15:4), what are we supposed to glean from these reams of Levitical commands? We don’t have leprosy anymore… Do we?
They were vigilant in their surveillance for leprosy, what are we supposed to be vigilant against (1 Peter 5:8)? They cut out portions of clothing and tore their houses apart to eradicate this disease, they were ruthless. What are we supposed to be ruthless against (Matthew 5:29)? They were careful to separate themselves from those who were actively ill. What are we supposed to separate ourselves from (Leviticus 20:26)?
Like leprosy, sin is a devastating condition, often mysteriously invisible. It affects the rich and the poor the same. It insatiably consumes your motivation, time, and love -- until it takes your life, even while you are still alive. Leprosy may have been eradicated – sin hasn’t. Sin is the dreaded disease.
This phrase appears in God’s conversation with Cain, the Law of Moses, Christ’s teaching to His closest disciples, in the Sermon on the Mount, and in Paul’s letters. “But you” is a recurrent theme in both testaments. You will be tempted but you need to resist. Your neighbors will be worshipping “A” but you need to worship God. Everyone else will be chasing “X” but you need to be pursuing “Y”.
In almost every decision in life “but you” applies. Those who follow Jesus work differently. They play differently. They study, enjoy, and create differently. They live differently. The Bible is clear about this from cover to cover but it is also honest.
You will be an anomaly. Most people are content to just do what everyone else does, think what everyone else thinks, and go where everyone else goes. But not you – you will do what Jesus did, think God’s thoughts, and follow His instructions.
You will be alone. Many people will cave to the pressure of the whims of the culture. But not you – you will stand as a workman who does not need to be ashamed.
You will be antagonized. Some people will hate you for your differences and find their purpose is defeating, deriding, and despising you. But you have turned your back on the world and will live for God’s approval.
Focus on the Most Important.
Resist the Devil.
On our knees we fight! On our knees we win!
This is not just a pandemic. It’s not just a culture war. This is spiritual warfare. We who love Jesus are embroiled in a spiritual battle. It’s raging and Satan is following his playbook to the “T”.
And he will flee from you.
~ James 4:7
In the gloom of Friday, He Who is blessed forever – was raised in scorn. But in the bloom of Sunday, He Who is Worthy – was raised in triumph!
He Is Alive!
To the human eye Good Friday was final: God died.
There was no purpose, no plan, and no hope. Jesus’ death was the end. Friday was pointless.
But without Friday, Sunday never comes.
And on Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead and reclaimed His immortality. Omnificent God.
He refused death’s hold. Omnipotent God.
Jesus broke sin’s curse. Omniscient God.
Sunday changes everything for all who trust in Jesus, Creator, Sustainer, God Only Wise.
All sinners are separated from God and doomed to die forever – and all are sinners. But everyone who accepts Jesus’ death and resurrection as full payment for their sins will be forgiven in this life and welcomed to eternal life.
Jesus’ resurrection is absolute assurance of God and His character. Easter is the proof of His promises, and His promises are freedom from sin, friendship with God, and life abundant now and forever.
Those are the promises of Easter.
People can be momentarily shocked by the brutality of the cross – shaken by its horror. But then they walk on. On this day: We don’t walk on.
Today is the day we glimpse the face of the crucified Christ and allow ourselves to be wholly undone by sorrow and weighed down in the grief. Was there ever such love as this?
That Friday the heart of the Father rent and the body of the Son broke. The Father turned away and Son drank His wrath for the whole world. Abandoned as a sinner, the Holy One struggled for breath alone. In perfect humility, the Creator submitted to the cruelty of the created. The Commander of Heaven refused rescue as His angelic hosts watched Him die.
Today we remember the sorrow and bask in the answer to the question:
No, there was never such love as this.
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.