If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
There are 66 books that make up the Bible, but when it comes to devotional reading, the book that most people are probably least likely to select, might be the Old Testament book of Leviticus. The word Leviticus came from the tribe of Levi, who were the priests and worship leaders of the Jewish people. Leviticus was written as an instruction book for the new nation of Israel. Leviticus instructs in right living a people who were following a divine King—God, rather than a human king.
“The book of Leviticus was the first book studied by a Jewish child; yet is often among the last books of the Bible to be studied by a Christian.” It may seem strange to today’s reader, with its detailed regulations on diet, sacrifices and behaviors between individuals and society. “But within these highly detailed directives,” said Chuck Swindoll, “we discover the holiness—the separateness, distinction, and utter “otherness”—of God. And we learn how sin devastates humanity’s relationship with their Creator.
Avoiding and treating disease features prominently in Leviticus, in gory detail. In fact, the disease of leprosy is the subject of Leviticus chapter 13. Leprosy was seen as a “living death” because it would eat away at a person’s body, causing severe disfigurement and disability. Thankfully, today we have a cure for leprosy.
But all of the Bible, even the book of Leviticus, is meant for us today. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, and “is useful,” the verse continues, “to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT) Sin, or falling short of God’s standard, is what is always a struggle in our lives and taking a look at the analogy of leprosy in Leviticus 13 can be very helpful in realizing the lethal impact of sin on our lives. “Leprosy is like sin in many ways.” says Bible commentator David Guzik. “There are some good reasons why many ancient rabbis considered a leper as someone already dead. Leprosy is like sin, in that: It begins as nothing. It is painless in its first stages. It grows slowly. “Just this once won’t hurt,” or “What she doesn’t know about, won’t hurt her,” we think. But then, it numbs the senses – one cannot feel in the afflicted area, just as our consciences stop bothering us about something when we have made it a regular habit. Then, it causes decay and deformity and eventually gives a person a repulsive appearance.
Sometimes we can see the physical results of a life of sin on the hardened face of a criminal or in the pocked, hollow face of a drug abuser. But our own lives can be decayed and deformed on the inside, from years and years of saying no to God, of living like He doesn’t exist and of putting ourselves before anyone else.
The good news is that the God of the Bible doesn’t just make sure we know how bad, how destructive our sin is to ourselves. He doesn’t recoil from our spiritual leprosy. He gets right down and touches us through the suffering of His own Son, and heals us, not just for this life, for but all eternity. There was cleansing of the unclean by the priests of the Old Testament, but for us, people of the New Testament and of a new promise, there is new life all together. There is healing, once and for all.
If you’re in need of this sin healing today, it is yours free of charge, by simply asking for that forgiveness, by repenting. Repenting is an old-fashioned word which means to surrender to God and walk toward, instead of away from him. Which direction are you walking in today?
Resource Reading: Leviticus 13:1-17
Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman, III, An Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 73.
Swindoll, Chuck. “Leviticus.” Book of Leviticus Overview - Insight for Living Ministries. Accessed May 19, 2020. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pentateuch/leviticus.
 Guzik, David. “Leviticus Chapter 13.” Enduring Word, February 21, 2020. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/leviticus-13/.