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Leviticus 21:18,23

Leviticus 21:18,23
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Leviticus 21:18, 23, “For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame…shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish.”


Short Thoughts:

Under the Old Covenant, the holiness of YHWH barred any priest with a physical defect from drawing near to His presence. But now the Holy One Himself has drawn near to us and borne our “blemishes” in Himself, so that even the most severely disabled can enter the True Holy of Holies by the work and in the person of Christ (Heb.10:19-22).


Long Thoughts:

YHWH is infinite in holiness, and one of the things that means is that sin and its effects cannot survive in His presence. To that end, under the Old Covenant, priests who were maimed or had physical deformities were barred from serving at the altar and entering into the presence of the Lord.

This was not because God hated the disabled or thought them to be less worthy than others, it was because their disabilities were an effect—and, in that sense, a picture—of sin and death and so could not enter into that holiest of places before the presence of the God who is only and wholly purity, life, and light.

No one marred in this way could enter into the holy place….but that does not mean that God—in His love—could not bring the holy place to them, and that is precisely what He does through the incarnation.

With the coming of Jesus Christ, the Holy One—the One who sanctifies the holy of holies—enters into the trenches of fallen experience and wades neck deep through the mire of our sickness and disease. In Christ, YHWH incarnate draws the marred and disabled and diseased so close to Himself that He bears their brokenness in Himself (Matt.8:14-17). He cleanses them from the inside out with the sprinkling of His blood, the washing of His word, the righteousness of His life, the Holiness of His own heart.

Yes, we—physically disabled or not—dare not enter His presence unbidden, it would be like a gasoline-soaked rag walking into a blast furnace. However, because HE has come to US, because the HOLY ONE has made us HOLY in Himself, because of the veil-tearing death and vindicating resurrection of our Lord and our God, all people—even the most severely disabled or maimed, in body or soul—now have direct access to the heart of holiness through Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22).