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Chinese4/17/2005English
經文:利未記十四章
鑰節:「祭司要……為他贖罪,他就潔淨了。」(14:19~20)
提要

        在十四章我們看到,痲瘋病人是有可能恢復健康、潔淨、和正常生活的,因為上帝為他預備了得潔淨的機會。這麼可怕的疾病得醫治都歸因於上帝的恩典和憐憫。痲瘋病人潔淨之禮很繁複且具有屬靈的重要意義:每一個過程都是要使從前的病人如今能回到群體生活以及能與上帝相交。耶穌在潔淨了長大痲瘋的病人後指示他去給祭司查看,「獻上摩西所吩咐的禮物,對眾人作證據」(太8:4)。耶穌告訴我們行潔淨之儀的另一個理由,就是作為公開的見證,使上帝得榮耀。

        痲瘋病人被祭司確認潔淨後,就要帶兩隻鳥來給祭司;一隻要殺死,可能是象徵痲瘋病已除去;另一隻要放生,象徵那人重新得的自由。他現在可以回到百姓中間,也可以參與會幕的敬拜。彈血和水七次代表完全的潔淨。在人和房屋(若房屋因長霉腐爛)的潔淨儀式中都要用到香柏木、朱紅色線、和牛膝草。詩人大衛作以下的禱告時,大概就是想起這幅潔淨儀式的畫面:「求您用牛膝草潔淨我,我就乾淨」(詩51:7),表達出他對罪得潔淨的渴望。

        痲瘋病人在祭司宣佈得潔淨的第八天,要獻三隻羊羔作為贖愆祭、贖罪祭、和燔祭,在獻以上三種祭時,同時要獻素祭(14:10),作為對上帝的感恩,並表達人賴祂才得以維生。贖愆祭向來牽涉到賠償問題。在痲瘋病人的情況堙A獻贖愆祭或許是賠償他在不潔淨期間所無能獻呈的祭物和十一奉獻。離群索居了這麼久,令人懷疑他自己是否能供得起所有這些祭物。但毫無疑問的,他的朋友和家人會樂於幫助他準備這些祭物,並歡迎他回到社區和家中。同樣的,當一個罪人悔改,他也應該被熱烈的歡迎歸家。

        若患者很窮,他可以用兩隻潔淨的鳥代替贖罪祭和燔祭的羊羔,但贖愆祭的祭牲一定要是一隻公羊羔。莊嚴的儀式則不論貧、富都一樣,因為他們在上帝面前的地位沒有分別。我們的團契或教會對貧、富都應一視同仁。

        獻完祭後要用如同膏抹承接聖職的祭司一樣的方式,用油和血膏那得醫治的痲瘋病人。意思是一樣的:他應聽上帝的話、做上帝的工、走上帝的路。今天人的污穢要能被潔淨、與上帝的關係要能恢復,惟有藉著接受耶穌基督得赦罪之恩。我們這些已被耶穌的寶血洗淨,與上帝恢復關係的人須像那恢復身份的痲瘋病人一樣,不再離群索居,而必須與眾信徒、肢體過團契的生活,因為團契生活能堅固信心,促進靈命的成熟。

禱告

        主啊,幫助我們察看自己,並正確的瞭解,耶穌是為潔淨我們,使我們能與教會眾信徒相交所獻上的最後、最完全的祭。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Leviticus 14
Key Verse:“So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.”(Leviticus 14:20b )
Overview

        Here we see that it was possible for a leper to be restored to health, cleanness, and communal life, as provision was made for his cleansing. The haling of such awful diseases was attributed to the grace and mercy of God. The ceremony of purification was elaborate and spiritually significant: everything was geared to bringing the former leper back into a place of fellowship with God and the community. Jesus, Himself, after miraculously cleansing the leper instructed him to show himself to the priest and “offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” (Matt. 8:4). He gave another reason for the purification ritual, that it might be a testimony for the glory of God.

        On the day to priest found the leper to be clean, two birds were brought to the priest; one was killed, possibly symbolizing the death of the leprosy, the other set free, symbolizing the person’s new freedom. He could now return to his rightful place among his people and to the Tabernacle of worship. The sprinkling seven times with the blood mixed with water represented complete purification. Cedar wood, a piece of scarlet cloth, and hyssop (probably had this purification ritual in mind he pleaded to the Lord, “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean”, indicating his desire to be cleansed from sin.

        One the eighth day after the priest pronounced him clean, three lambs were to be sacrificed for the trespass, sin, and burnt offerings. Along with each was offered a grain offering (14:10), which served to express gratitude to God and dependence upon Him to sustain life. The trespass offering was always for restitution. In this case, it may have been offered as restitution for all the sacrifices and tithes that the leper had been unable to make during his uncleanness. As a former outcast, it is doubtful he could bring all these offerings himself, but offerings and welcome him back into their family and community. In the same way, when a sinner repents, he should be happily welcomed into the family of God.

        For those who were poorer, the lambs for the sin and the burnt offering could be substituted with clean birds, but the trespass offering always had to be a male lamb. The solemn ritual was the same since both rich and poor are alike in the presence of God. In our own circles of fellowship, rich and poor should be received in the same day.

        Following the sacrifices, the healed leper being cleansed was anointed with blood and oil in much the same manner as the anointing of the priests for service, and the meaning was the same: he should hear God’s word, do God’s work and walk in God’s ways. Today, cleansing from defilement and restoration to communion with God is attained only by asking and receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and brought into communion with God must, like the restored leper, not live in seclusion from the brethren. Rather, we must have fellowship with the body of believers, for with this comes the strengthening of faith and spiritual maturity.

Prayer

        O Lord, help us today to examine ourselves and properly understand the final and totally complete sacrifice of Jesus for our cleansing and entering into the fellowship of your Church.


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