Why does God’s Word contain laws concerning leprosy?
The laws in Leviticus are in three categories: 1) Moral, 2) Ceremonial and 3) Civil. Moral laws are perpetual, revealing the character of God and showing us how to treat both God and man. Ceremonial laws have to do with temple worship, holy days, and the sacrificial system. Civil laws have the effect of setting the Jews apart as God’s peculiar people. The leprosy laws fall into the last two categories, they both preserve the holiness of corporate worship and protect the civil community from communicable disease.
Yet, within these laws there are spiritual signs that point to Christ. Consider the elements of the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: two birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop.
– The two birds: This points to the union of the two natures in Christ, both human and divine. The one sacrificed and its blood shed points to His crucifixion and death. The one let loose points to His resurrection and ascension.
– The cedar wood: This points to the cross itself.
– The scarlet: The color of the robe the Roman soldiers put on Christ and mocked Him (Matt. 27:28).
– The hyssop: The Roman soldiers lifted a sponge filled with sour wine with a hyssop branch to Christ on the cross (John 19:28-30).
Leviticus is rich with spiritual meaning and metaphor when we read it through the lens of the New Testament.