Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23- A Bird In the Hand Is Worth Two In the Bush

February 23, 2011

Scripture Readings:
Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56;
Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtle doves.
-The Twelve Days of Christmas
Leviticus 14:1-57

Today we continue with the ceremonial cleansing of anyone who has been cured of leprosy.  It should be noted that what the priest performs in this chapter is not intended to cause the healing of the leprosy.  It is intended to be a sign. The priest is reacting. This ceremonial cleansing represents what Christ does for our sin in the following ways:
  • The priest went to the victim for the ceremonial cleansing, rather than the victim going to the priest. Christ came to earth to deal with our sin. We do not go to God, He comes to us.
  • The victim is an outcast from the community until this cleansing ceremony.  We are outcast from the family of God until Christ cleanses us from our unrighteousness.
  • A turtle dove is killed in an earthen vessel that is overrunning with water.  Christ was killed in his body (an earthen vessel) that was filled with the Holy Spirit (overrunning with water).
  • A living bird is dipped in the blood of the dead bird along with cedar, scarlet and hyssop.  Christ was resurrected and is alive after being sacrificed.  Cedar, scarlet and hyssop are pictures of the cross, which also speak of Christ's humanity. Hyssop is a disinfectant.
  • The live bird is permitted to fly away to freedom.  Christ's resurrection gives us the ability to fly away from the death that our sin required.
  • There is blood and water in this ceremony.  When Christ was pierced on the cross, both blood and water came out of his side.  The blood and the water represent his life and his spirit.
Friends, you and I have spiritual leprosy.  Christ's death and resurrection heal our spiritual leprosy. May Christ cleanse us of our disease.  May we be brought into the family of God through his cleansing sacrifice.

How does this ceremony reflect Christ's work in your life?

Mark 6:30-56

Things seem busy and crowded in Mark's gospel.  It is understandable that Jesus and the disciples would be getting into boats to find some space.  Today, Jesus performs the feeding of the five thousand.  He does this after the disciples have come back from their own ministry of miracles.  This pictures Christ's ability to provide for our needs.  The disciples could not begin to meet the needs of the people on the scale that Christ could.

Next, Jesus sends the disciples into a boat while he spends some time alone in prayer.  Notice that Christ fuels himself by spending time alone and by praying.  Do you ever carve out time to be alone and pray?  Do you ever fuel yourself spiritually?

He must have gotten some pretty good fuel, because the next thing he does is walk on water and save his disciples from a storm.  The winds calm down when Jesus gets in the boat. I don't know about you, but I want whatever he's fueling himself with! His prayer session and solitude continue to supply Jesus with miraculous power to heal all of the sick who swarm him when he gets to shore.

How do you get through the day spiritually?  Do you recognize prayer as a source of energy to heal your life?

Psalm 40:1-10

Use this psalm in prayer today.  Use this as fuel to make you spiritually strong. Notice in verses 6-10 the prophetic nature of the verses. This is the voice of Christ in Psalm 40:6-10.

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
    Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand
    you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
 Then I said, “Look, I have come.
    As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.”
I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Proverbs 10:11-12

Vs. 12  Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers a multitude of sins.  (Jesus' love covered all of my sins!)

What did you see today?  Please share.


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton


  1. Thanks for explaining that ceremony. It's very touching, thinking of what Jesus has done for me and how the ceremony reflects that.

  2. Yes. Learning what this ceremony meant blew me away. Powerful.