We should understand why these things are here but we don’t have to obey them. Within minutes of being rescued, the people turn against God. We live in a world that’s unclean. The people are told to make sacrifices but even then they disobeyed. God is clear that just by living in a world that’s broken you’re going to become further away from him. God is always calling people into a relationship with him.
What makes people unclean?
After birth: “clean from the flow of her blood” The pouring out of blood represents the loss of life. They can’t approach God.
Skin diseases: “anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out ‘unclean!'” They’re marked by death.
“Emissions:” A marker that we’re mortal and will one day die. You can’t approach God while demonstrating you belong to death.
People are “marked” by death
Why do people behave in an unclean way? We’re selfish and have one life. All of us live in a way marked by death. Most people have no hope apart from this one life so live for themselves. Death controls us so evil comes out of our hearts. If you belong to death, you can’t come near God who is the fountain of life.
Death can be fixed
The priest goes into the realm of death and the unclean person is pronounced clean. Every part of them that belonged to their dead life has to go. “Be clean.” The people near him got clean. He stepped out of the perfect place into this world of death. He entered never marked by death yet chose to take the uncleanliness of death on himself. Death is real. It’s an eternal wilderness separated from God. You don’t become clean by copying the priest. Jesus didn’t step into the world for us to copy him.
The person pronounced clean shaves off every part of their old life. Once you’re made clean you’re safe. Jesus’ victory over death is certain. Given that death is swallowed up in victory, don’t live now as though you only have one life. Death has not won. Living the Christian life is saying to death ‘you will not rule me.’