I am the Lord who sanctifies
Leviticus 21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Regulations concerning Priests
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:
‘No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, 2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother and his father and his son and his daughter and his brother, 3 also for his virgin sister, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may defile himself. 4 He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself. 5 They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they present the offerings by fire to the Lord, the food of their God; so they shall be holy. 7 They shall not take a woman who is profaned by harlotry, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. 8 You shall consecrate him, therefore, for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I the Lord, who sanctifies you, am holy. 9 Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
10 ‘The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord. 13 He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by harlotry, these he may not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people, 15 so that he will not profane his offspring among his people; for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’”
16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. 18 For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, 19 or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. 21 No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, 23 only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’” 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel.
In Exodus 26:31-33 it says: You shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, their hooks also being of gold, on four sockets of silver. You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies. The holy place in the tabernacle was where the priests would go in to present worship and offerings before the Lord. The holy of holies is where the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat were. It was where the presence of God Himself was. The veil seperated sinful man from the presence of God. In Matthew 27:45-51 it says: Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. John 19:30 tells us that when Jesus cried out this last time, He said: “It is finished!” The veil was torn from top to bottom because through the finished work of the cross, there was and is no longer a need for people to be seperated from God. Through the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins and we were reconciled to God. God no longer sees those who believe as sinful, but rather as redeemed through Christ.
Look now at what it says in today’s text: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’” So we see that it was not only sin which could not be in the presence of God, neither could sickness, disease or deformity. Isaiah 53:5, speaking prophetically of the finished work of the cross says: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. The veil of the temple was torn in two. In the same way that because of the finished work of the cross, God no longer sees us as sinful, He also no longer sees us as sick, diseased or deformed. Surely we believe that in heaven there will be no sickness, disease or deformity. Isaiah says by His stripes we are healed. That is present tense, not future in heaven. God is eternal; not limited to or constrained by our finite time. Because of the finished work of the cross, we are healed. Jesus taught us to pray saying: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We, in our physical bodies, live in this fallen world, but our minds and our spirits reside in the heavenly realm. In the presence of God we are healed. What we need is for the circumstances of earth, in this time, to align with the reality of heaven and eternity. That is what a healing miracle is.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit Thank You that because of the finished work of the cross, there is nothing that needs to separate me from Your presence. I am redeemed regarding sin. I am reconciled regarding my relationship with You and I am restored to Your image and likeness, just as You intended from the beginning. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.