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The Sacrifice of the Leper

This painting of two birds within a golden cross represents the Sacrifice required by Moses for the reentry of a cured Leper into the community of Israel. It symbolically represents the entry of a sinner into the kingdom of God. The Mosaic Law requires a leper who has been healed to offer to God the following sacrifice which is a perfect description of the event and the meaning of the passion of Christ. The leper (who symbolizes a sinner) was to bring two sparrows (representing the divine and human natures of Christ) to a priest. Then the Priest and the Leper were to go out of the Hebrew camp and slay one bird (the human nature of Christ) in an earthen vessel (which represents His human body made by God from the dust of the earth) over living (running) water (which represents the passage of time and therefore death). He was then to tie the living bird (the divine nature of Christ) together with a piece of hyssop (used by the Hebrews in rites of cleansing) to a cedar wood rod (the cross) by a piece of scarlet cord (His passion). The living bird was to be dipped in the blood of the dead bird, and the Leper sprinkled with this blood by the priest (who is Christ). Then the living bird was set free to fly up into the open air because, while Christ in His human nature suffered and died for us, His divine nature could not die. Because Leprosy is an incurable disease, perhaps the only Lepers ever cured were those healed by Christ himself, and commanded by him to make the sacrifice of Moses which was a prophecy and type of Himself.

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