Free files for my fellow youth pastor friends…
Could you imagine living in this country at a time when a rampant disease killed at least one-third of our population? This didn’t just happen to a country but an entire continent! In the 14th century, the Black (Bubonic) Plague swept through Europe killing an estimated 75 million people over 300 years. Historians disagree whether the disease took the lives of 1/3 or up to 2/3’s of the population. Apparently, this disease was carried by fleas and rats. It is said that sailing ships would run aground with all of the crew dead.
When we read Leviticus 11-15, we come to the laws of the clean and unclean. Read 11:1-8. Isn’t that exciting, interesting,…boring? Actually, the way in which you view this text may just reveal how you feel in general about church, God, Jesus, etc. Do you read this and just think of some boring old book that has nothing to do with you? Do you read this and just think of a list of do’s and don’ts rules for your life? Or do you read this and think to yourself, “I wonder what God intends for me to learn more about my life in Jesus Christ?”
When we read passages like this, which seem so foreign to us, we must understand what is going on. God has called this tiny, unsuspecting nation of Israel to be His own people through which He will bring about His Son. Not only does God call them, but He frees them from slavery, rescues them from death, and leads them to a land He has promised them. These people are starving and thirsting as they travel through the desert…so they’ll eat or drink whatever they can get their hands on! It’s a lot like the little girl I once saw standing in line for the cashier at a store who went behind the cashier’s counter (out of sight of her mother) and came back around with a huge drinking cup out of no where…drinking from the straw. Of course the mom goes crazy, the cashier feels weird from the scene, and I’m just dying laughing. My dad loves to tell the story about watching a little boy walking around a baseball park with his pacifier. When a dog walks by, the little boy takes out his pacifier, let’s the dog lick it a few times, then the little boy puts it back in his mouth. These little tykes don’t know any better! Well, Israel may not have known any better either. These laws are protecting them from diseases that can come from unclean foods, childbirths, skin diseases, mildew, fungus, and bodily emissions. Yet there is more going on than God merely protecting them from disease. Through these laws, God is teaching them and us how to be holy (11:44-47). And the way to be holy is to obey Him! The disease of sin will bring along a much worse death than a disease from mildew, fungus, etc.
In the year 1666, the Great Fire of London spread and wiped out the homes of 70,000 (out of 80,000) of the city’s citizens. It is said that the fire’s blaze was so hot that it incinerated everything even on its outskirts. Nothing was recognizable. This fire is what is believed to have stopped the Black Plague which lasted for around 300 years. The London Fire is believed to have killed the diseased fleas, rats, and people. It took a greater death of fire to stop the death of disease. In the life of humanity, it has taken the greater death of Jesus Christ to overcome the death of sin. Jesus’ death on the cross is the death able to kill all other spiritual deaths of sin. Our filthy sin was laid on Jesus’ holy body, and He went through death (separation from the Father) on our behalf so that, through our faith in Him, we would not have to.
After listing many awesome promises of God found in Leviticus, Paul says that we must “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and bring holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor 6:16 – 7:1). In other words, we need to take a step back and evaluate our lives, our actions, our words, and our thoughts based on the holiness of God. What in your life needs to be purified by Christ through confession because you have allowed it to defile your body spiritually? How about your spirit? Is it defiled? Have you truly come to Christ as the only source of cleanliness to be forgiven? Watch the video that is posted above, consider the lives of others that have been changed through Christ, and allow Him to clean you today!