- Giving birth, certain animals, leprous diseases and decay as well as death and bodily discharges all possess the physical pollution of sin that continues to “defile” both body and spirit (i.e. they make us “unclean”, 11:44) and therefore must also be atoned for (5:6, 10, 13 w/11:1-47; 12:1-7 w/8; 13:1-14:32 w/14:18-19; 14:33-57 w/14:53; 15:1-33 w/15:15, 30) IF: 1) we are to approach God and not die (15:31), 2) we want to remain in covenant w/God (IOW: being unclean and out of covenant are NOT THE SAME THING).
“The unclean are those who in some way have the aura of death about them in that they manifest less than physical wholeness” – G.J. Wenham
“Many of the discharges of bodily fluids (such as blood or semen), along with the womb shortly after childbirth, may be correlated with the loss of life…Uncleanness is not flatly or immediately equated with particular sinful acts, it is nevertheless treated as being generally or ultimately the result of sin: uncleanness represents the pollution of sin…Pollution if not expiated and cleansed, would eventually lead to…permanent exile away from [God’s] presence.” – J.M. Morales
- The inclusion of the guilt offering along w/the anointing of the right ear, right thumb and right big toe in the cleansing of a person healed of their leprous disease ml infers this particular form of uncleanness to be direct punishment for former acts of sin (14:12 w/Lev 5:18 and 6:6; 14:14-17 w/Exo 29:19-20 and Lev 8:22-24 = promise to never hear, do or run in the direction of evil; e.g. Miriam – Num 12:1-16).
- B/C of Christ’s ministry and our baptismal faith and regeneration (i.e. being made a new creation spiritually): 1) we are to view no one or nothing as unclean (in and of themselves) (e.g. 13:1-3 w/Luk 5:12-13 w/Joh 13:10, 15:3 w/1Ti 4:4-5; Mat 8:17 w/Isa 53:4; Rom 14:14; Act 10:1-48; Mar 7:19; 1Co 11:1-12, 10:23, 2Co 5:16-17; Tit 3:5), 2) we are freed from the Levitical works of the law prescribed for cleansing (Act 13:38-39, 15:7-11 w/10:28, 47-11:18; Gal 2:15-16), 3) the physical pollution associated w/sin no longer (directly) affects our souls (only our bodies) (1Co 6:11; 1Pe 3:21; Jud 23), 4) the only things defiling both body and soul are those things involved in/associated w/sinful activity (1Co 6:12-20, 10:14-33; 2Co 6:14-7:1).
- Maintaining our saving relationship w/Christ therefore requires not only turning from sin but also those things/people associated w/sin that defile us (i.e. those defilements which can be avoided – OC: 11:1-47, 14:33-57; Isa 1:16; NC: 2Co 6:14-7:1; 2Jo 1:9-11).
- God’s ministers are required to be diligent in their investigation and precise in their examination before determining a person’s spiritual state or the state of their home (13:1-59, 14:33-57).
- Since God’s prescription for dealing different sins or uncleanness is oftentimes different, it wb foolish to think we could adopt a “one size fits all” approach to dealing w/various sins or problems that exist in our lives or those under our oversight (e.g. 14:1-32 vs 15:1-33; Tit 1:10-14, 3:9-11 vs 2Th 3:10-15).
- The high priest going into the Holy Place (Holy of Holies, Most Holy Place) on the Day of Atonement (16:1-2 w/12-13) represents: 1) Adam’s ministry on the mountain of God (i.e. Garden of Eden; Eze 28:12-16), 2) Moses’ ascension into the cloud-covered holy place of God’s presence on Mount Sinai (Exo 19:19-20, 24:15-18), 3) Adam’s re-entry into the garden of Eden (16:2 – “inside the veil, before the mercy seat” = The veil was stitched w/the picture of cherubim, the mercy seat contained two cherubim facing each other. Both are reminiscent of those cherubim who guarded gate to Eden – Exo 26:31 w/Gen 3:24), 4) what Jesus did thru His atoning ministry (Heb 2:17, 4:14, 9:24-26).
- The house of God is also the way to God for forgiveness (16:1-34). Hence the reason Christ (the way to God – Joh 14:6) identified the church (or NC house of God – 1Ti 3:15) as “His body” and the “fullness of Him” on earth (Eph 1:22-23).
- All prior instruction and preparation (commitment to the [Law], construction of the tabernacle [God’s house], ordination of the priests [ordained ministers], instruction on sacrifices and cleansings [separation unto holiness], the necessity of [confession]) has been for the purpose of preparing God’s people to receive the most important salvific element in regard to maintaining their covenant relationship w/God: the Day of Atonement (16:1-34; 16:30-31, 34, 23:32; “sabbath of solemn rest” = sabbath of sabbath).
“Without question the Day of Atonement was at the heart of Israel’s calendar and life. It is also the structural and thematic center of the Pentateuch. As such the Day of Atonement is dubbed ‘the Sabbath of Sabbaths’” J.M. Morales
- Jesus became our Day of Atonement sacrifice and scapegoat which we must continue to make ourselves eligible to receive if we are to maintain our covenant relationship w/God today (16:7-22 w/Mat 3:13-4:1; Heb 10:1-30, 31-39).
- Excommunication and Apostasy are acts by which the church places a person’s sins back on them (temporarily and permanently) and sends them “into the wilderness to Azazel” (16:10 w/21-22 w/1Ti 1:20 and 1Co 5:5).