Thursday, 15 July 2021
The Red Heifer and the Holy Spirit
Today, we discuss the last question in the series on the Red Heifer. The question is based on the last instruction. Numbers 19:9-10 "A clean man is to gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin. The one who gathers the heifer's ashes is also to wash his clothes as well as be unclean until evening. It will be a permanent statute for Bnei-Yisrael and for the outsider living among them."
Why are the ashes of the Red Heifer to be used as water of purification from sin? God loves a good bar-b-que. These offerings were done because they smell good. God can smell things that we can't smell. For instance, God can smell a willing heart. Ephesians 5:2 "and walk in love, just as Messiah also loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma."
Many offerings were to be eaten, but not so with the Red Heifer. As we have seen, the Red Heifer represents the Bride of Messiah. She is sacrificed for/to Him and then all of her is burned up into ashes. We die to self, so we can live for/in Him. Galatians 2:20 "and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim - who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
What happens next is amazing. Water represents the Holy Spirit. When we have joined with Yeshua in His death, we are ashes. Then the Holy Spirit (water) comes upon us and we become the "stuff" (a paste is made from mixing ashes and water) that is used to purify the entire community from sin. Revelation 22:2b "and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." This is another metaphor for the paste. The burnt offering of our flesh is mixed with the water of the Holy Spirit to bring life from the dead to the world. We become the leaves of the tree of life. And this is coupled with Isaiah 55:12 "Yes, you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth before you singing, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!"
The next verse of Isaiah 55 speaks of a cyprus tree and a myrtle tree (Myrtle in Hebrew is "Hadas" which is Esther's Hebrew name. The leaves of the myrtle are shaped like lips. Hadas, therefore; represents kisses and love.) As we discussed earlier, the cyprus tree signifies everlasting strength (that will not rot) and myrtle represents love. Together they signify love that endures. Isaiah 55:13 "Instead of the thorn bush, a cypress will come up, and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to Adonai, as an everlasting sign that will never be cut off."
The Red Heifer is referred to by theologians as "the mysterious offering." It is, but since we took the time to examine the parts in detail, don't you find it is less mysterious? Yeshua said it this way ... Matthew 13:11 "And He replied to them, 'To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.'" I enjoyed writing it, I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,