Parashat Tazria

Parashat Tazria Leviticus 12:1-13:59; 2 kings 4:42-5:19; Matthew 8:1-4 In this world the priest examines for leprosy [skin afflictions]; but in the World to Come—says the Holy One, blessed be He, “I will render you clean.” Thus it is written, “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean.” (Leviticus Rabbah 15:9) This week’s chapters from Leviticus are concerned with matters of ritual purity, i.e. the laws of clean (tahor) and unclean (tamei). At first blush, these Temple purity laws seem to have little to do with believers, but actually they teach us about the World to Come and the resurrection from the dead. As the rabbinic interpretation cited above says, “In the World to Come--says the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘I will render you clean.’” In the time of the Messiah, for those who have been resurrected, there will be no declaration of ‘unclean’, only ‘clean’. Why? Rabbi Sha’ul explains in I Corinthians chapter 15. In concluding his defense of the resurrection of Yeshua and our resurrection with Him by faith in Him, Sha’ul states, “I declare to you brothers that flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (I Corinthians 15:50) Sha’ul argues that the reason for the resurrection where the believer receives a new kind of body is that we might live in God’s kingdom. But to do so we need the right kind of outfit for it. Just like a moon-walker needs a moon suit, an earth walker needs an earth-suit (our present bodies). So also, will a kingdom of God walker need a kingdom-of-God-suit! God will provide one for us in the resurrection. We see that after He rose from the dead, Messiah was clothed in a Kingdom-of-G-d suit. After Yeshua was buried, the Apostles gathered together: Luke 24:34-39 34 The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. 36 Now as they said these things, Yeshua Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you." 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

They were terrified because Messiah didn’t knock on the door and wait for someone to open. The text simply states that suddenly, he appeared in their midst. In His glorified body, a wall or closed door was not a barrier to the Lord!

The reason that life in His kingdom will require a different outfit is that His kingdom lacks two earthly items: sin and death. Thus, Sha’ul says, “Death has been swallowed in victory…The sting of death is sin…But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Messiah Yeshua!” (I Corinthians 15:54–57) In other words, it is through the complete and final atonement for sin accomplished by Messiah Yeshua, accompanied with His powerful resurrection, that a person can be declared truly “clean” for eternity. For, in Yeshua, the elements which render a person ritually unclean, human mortality, death and sin, are removed and done away with!

Thus, when our earth-suits are exchanged for kingdom-suits there will be no more declaration “unclean,” because we will no longer come in contact with, or walk within, the confines of sin and death.

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