On Leprosy, Sin, and Being Pronounced Clean

Then the priest shall look, and if the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease; it has all turned white, and he is clean. Lev 13:13

This verse may seem strange to many of today’s readers, but if leprosy had only covered part of the body and not all of the flesh was white that man would be pronounced unclean. On the other hand if the disease covered his entire body the man would be pronounced clean. This is because the flesh that was not yet white was still contagious, but if his flesh was completely white, the disease was no longer transmittable.

As interesting as this is, this text teaches us something much deeper for leprosy in scripture is often a representation of sin. We are the lepers. We are diseased with sin and completely full of guilt, but in our natural state how we strive to deny that truth. We go to great lengths to deny our unworthiness before God, thinking that we can somehow justify ourselves. Even if we admit that we are partially sinful, how often we still think that God owes us something. But in that condition as we stand before the true high priest Jesus Christ, we are pronounced unclean. It is not until we stand before him in complete poverty of spirit, knowing we have nothing to offer Him, and that we are completely sinful saying, “you have every right to pour your wrath upon me, but I plead the merits of your sacrifice,” does Christ say to us, you are clean.

Though we have nothing to offer
We must go to the High Priest
To present our empty coffer
With self-righteousness deceased

With hearts as black as dross
Filled with the obscene
All paid for on the cross
He’ll there pronounce us clean

Doug Eaton

One thought on “On Leprosy, Sin, and Being Pronounced Clean

  1. Thank you for this hope- It is dark and the only hope is that Jesus would save me. I know this and pray and hope that the fear and blasphemy in my mind are His way of emptying me. It’s tough; what is humility? Thought I knew; pray I’m learning; know I’m not.

    Like

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