Friday, June 5, 2009

Clean and Unclean

"For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.' (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods 'clean.')" -Mark 7:19

Is Jesus saying, “Some parts of the Bible don’t hold any more; some parts of it are obsolete?” That does not seem to fit in with what Jesus says about the Law of God in Matthew 5:18:

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

This categorical statement does not seem to fit in with Mark 7:19 at all! But maybe we should look closer. Immediately before his statement about the Law in Matthew 5:18 Jesus tells us his relationship to it: “I come not to abolish the Law and the Prophets… but to fulfill.” This means that Jesus did not “declare all foods clean” by abolishing the clean laws, but by fulfilling them.

In Zechariah 3, the prophet has a vision of the High Priest standing before the Lord, covered in excrement and filth (v. 3). But God does not rebuke him or strike him. Rather the Lord turns and rebukes Satan who is standing by the High Priest accusing him of sin (v. 2). Then he says: "Take off his filthy clothes… See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you…" (v. 4-5). Later, the Lord speaks of a day in the future, when “a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (13:1).

Jesus was treated as unclean, and crucified outside the camp, on a garbage dump, that we could “draw near to God in full assurance, having our heart sprinkled clean from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19).

Jesus fulfills the clean laws so that, in him, we are “clean”.


Elizabeth J. said...

Hi there! I arrived here from the "Confederat in the North" blog. Looks like you have some thought-provoking articles here on your blog. Feel free to stop by my blog.

Elizabeth J. said...

Thjanks for following my blog-I appreciate it.=)

Anonymous said...

that was a great post. totally agree with what Elizabeth said. (though-provoking articles)

Lauren Ann