Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (1 Peter 1:1-2)
As our Pastor Randall Easter took us from 1 Peter 1:2 back to Leviticus 14 and talked about the process of cleansing those Israelites with leprosy had to go through compared to what we experience in Christ, there were several things that struck me. I have often heard that the Old Testament is full of “types and shadows” of what would be more clearly revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, and I think I had some illumination by the word you preached this morning.
The first thing that occurred to me as we went through Leviticus 14 is that “leprosy” is basically a disease that is manifest in the flesh. It is literally a sickness of the flesh. Wow. What more needs to be said? For this seems to be such a perfect picture of the sinful nature we are all confronted with. Romans 6 springs immediately to mind.
The second thing that got my attention was the application–or the sprinkling–of the blood to the person who has this sickness of the flesh, and its necessity for cleansing. And as Peter points out in his first epistle (and elsewhere in the New Testament), it is the blood of our Savior that washes us clean. Before we have any hope at all, our sins must be covered with the blood of His perfect sacrifice.
And then the third thing that struck me was the application of the oil applied to the blood. As I understand it, just as the passover, Abraham’s offering of Isaac, and the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament all pointed to what was to come when Jesus Christ came to lay His life down as our perfect sacrifice for sin, the “anointing with oil” in the Old Testament also pointed to the time that would come when we would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. That the oil (realized in the person of the Holy Spirit) was applied to the blood (realized in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) for the cleansing and sanctification of the one who had the sickness in his flesh (realized in the person of the sinner; or to be more personal, realized in ME)… what a picture of grace! I am ever astounded by the profundity of His word, and by what He revealed and foretold even when the people He chose for the purpose of His glory had no clue as to His reasons or His plan. I am equally amazed when Christians today think the Old Testament is irrelevant and choose to ignore it because we now live under the “New Covenant”. How could we possibly understand the riches of Christ without understanding the purpose of the Father who sent Him, which seems to me (the more I read and study) to be so mysteriously and simultaneously hidden and revealed in the books of the Old Testament?
Peace & Blessings,