-The ordinance for the sacrificial killing of the red heifer for the purification of sin is detailed in this chapter with reference, types, and foreshadowing to the Righteous Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and His atonement. This statute was given by God to Moses and Aaron for the sons of Israel and the alien who sojourned with them. An unblemished red heifer with no defects on which no yoke had ever been placed was the chosen instrument for this command. The priest would bring the bovine outside the camp (this is just the same prophecy for the Messiah and His sacrifice, Hebrews 13:11-13), and there be slaughtered on behalf of the people in the presence of the priest. The priest was then instructed to take some of the blood with his finger and sprinkle it toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times (the number of completion, Ephesians 2:13, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 2:2, Revelation 1:5). Then the heifer was to be burned in the priest’s sight completely. The priest was commanded to cast cedar wood (symbol of strength), hyssop (cleansing), and scarlet material (royalty) into the midst of the burning heifer. Afterwards the priest was instructed to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, then come back into the camp as an unclean person until evening (sundown). “Now a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place, and the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep it as water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin (Numbers 19:1-9).” This is a picture of those who receive by faith the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. He removes all impurity and justifies us in the sight of God from all sin when we trust in His atonement. Now the one who gathered the ashes also would need to become ceremonial clean again. He performed the same rituals essentially as the priest for purification and cleanness (Numbers 19:10).
-Next, sundry rules for dealing with corpses are dealt with for the cleaning up process in the camp of Israel (Numbers 19:11-22). Seven days is the period to restore cleanness after touching a dead person. This could be in their tent or out in the open field, natural or unnatural causes of death. The extension of defilement to open containers in the home of a deceased person is interesting (Numbers 19:15). This is good sanitary precaution as a rule by the LORD. The ashes from the burnt purification listed earlier in the chapter could be applied for cleansing with flowing water combining in a vessel. A person who was clean could apply the mixture with hyssop sprinkling it on the tent, the furnishings, and on the persons who were there. The third day and seventh day were the days required to accomplish this ritualistic process, which is conducive to our Lord’s resurrection (Luke 24:46, 1 Corinthians 15:4). “But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean (Numbers 19:13, 20).”
-*Application* Again in this Old Testament passage, we see the pointing towards the work of Jesus on the cross to cleanse the entire believing world from their sin. The important point for us to consider here is that there are those who reject the offering for God’s grace, mercy, and complete forgiveness. This biblical truth flies in the face of those known as “universalists,” who claim there is no separation from Christ for anybody regardless of faith and practice. There is a sweeping movement to eradicate the thought of hell and eternal punishment even in once orthodox Christian circles. This is complete heresy and a lie from the devil himself. If a person does not receive the gift of God through faith in His Son, that person will be left outside the camp, or Kingdom, of God. Make no mistake about it. You must come to Christ Jesus on His terms to receive His salvation (John 14:6).
Verses to Memorize: Numbers 19:9, 20