And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” – Matthew 8:4
Scripture reading: Isaiah 53:1-12
The Lord Jesus conquers death; He restores life, in communion with God. That’s what He showed in the healing of the leper, who was dead (figuratively speaking). This healed leper, however, could not return to God’s people just like that. He first had to go to the temple, make the required sacrifices and show himself to the priests. By his sacrifice, he would testify that he actually did deserve death, but now an animal may die in his place. It pointed at the Messiah, Who would die in his place an eternal death; He would take upon Himself this man’s death and the death through sin of every believer!
This man was healed, not because of his kind request or faith in Jesus; he was healed, thanks to the work Christ would perform at Golgotha. On the basis of that work, symbolized in the sacrifice of the animal, God (in His priest) would declare him clean and admit him to the communion of His people again. At the same time, as the priests would hear the man’s story and the manner of his healing, they would know that the Messiah had come. He would take over their task and fulfill the meaning of every sacrifice they make! That’s when these sacrifices will become redundant. Through His suffering, death, and resurrection, He will deliver those who are His from suffering and death and restore to them life, even eternally! That’s the light of the gospel that shines today over all manner of suffering and over death!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for patience and endurance, for faith and hope in all the promises of the gospel. Pray for those who suffer among your loved ones or in the congregation.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.