Numbers 19* The ashes of a heifer. (1-10) Used to purify the unclean.(11-22)1-10 The heifer was to be wholly burned. This typified thepainful sufferings of our Lord Jesus, both in soul and body, asa sacrifice made by fire, to satisfy God's justice for man'ssin. These ashes are said to be laid up as a purification forsin, because, though they were only to purify from ceremonialuncleanness, yet they were a type of that purification for sinwhich our Lord Jesus made by his death. The blood of Christ islaid up for us in the word and sacraments, as a fountain ofmerit, to which by faith we may have constant recourse, forcleansing our consciences. 11-22 Why did the law make a corpse a defiling thing? Becausedeath is the wages of sin, which entered into the world by it,and reigns by the power of it. The law could not conquer death,nor abolish it, as the gospel does, by bringing life andimmortality to light, and so introducing a better hope. As theashes of the heifer signified the merit of Christ, so therunning water signified the power and grace of the blessedSpirit, who is compared to rivers of living water; and it is byhis work that the righteousness of Christ is applied to us forour cleansing. Those who promise themselves benefit by therighteousness of Christ, while they submit not to the grace andinfluence of the Holy Spirit, do but deceive themselves; wecannot be purified by the ashes, otherwise than in the runningwater. What use could there be in these appointments, if they donot refer to the doctrines concerning the sacrifice of Christ?But comparing them with the New Testament, the knowledge to begot from them is evident. The true state of fallen man is shownin these institutions. Here we learn the defiling nature of sin,and are warned to avoid evil communications.
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