• Joseph Durso

Ashes of the Red Heifer


Freedom From Guilt

Of all the sacrifices offered, the red heifer is the most unique. Numbers 19:2, "...an unblemished red heifer in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never been mounted." All the offerings were to be unblemished and with no defect, but this animal had never carried a yoke; it symbolized a gentle, humble heart that offered rest.

1. The Humble Heart of Jesus

Matthew 11:20-30, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

2. More than A Lamb

Hebrews 10:1, "For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.' The law fell woefully short of eradicating sins.

3. A Purification of Sin

The ashes of the red heifer were to be mixed with water for purification. Numbers 19:9, "...the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep it as water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin." The purpose of this sacrifice was for purification from sin." It was not a sacrificial substitute but a purification.

Christ, as the fulfillment of the Old Testament law and prophecies, turned a shadow into an eternal substance.

4. The Purification of Our Conscience

As an Old Testament picture, in verse 14, the red heifer is for purifying our conscience. This sacrifice is not for the forgiveness of our sins or our standing in justification. But for clearing our guilty conscience. The devil tempts Christians to sin for the purpose of separating them from God by a guilty conscience. No one wants to face another person when there are bad feelings. How much more when the Christian has a guilty conscience to pray to the one who died for him?

5. From Shadow to Substance

Hebrews 9:13, 14 “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our CONSCIENCE from dead works to serve the living God.”

6. A Perpetual Sacrifice

Numbers 19:10, "‘The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; and it shall be a perpetual statute to the sons of Israel and to the alien who sojourns among them." Therefore He gave us the sprinkling of the water of the ashes of the red heifer, which could have lasted an extremely long time as few ashes could have made barrels and barrels of water for purification.

7. The Assurance of a Clear Conscience

1 John 3:19 “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”

God knows all things, and He knows the sins that His beloved Son carried away as far as the east from the west. Colossians 2:13, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions..." God knows all things, and He knows all our sins have been washed in the blood, and He wants us to know, also.

Even so, the blood of the eternal sacrifice is sufficient to purify our conscience daily. The law gives Israel the picture. Jesus tells us that John the Baptist was the greatest of all the Old Testament saints. Then He says, but the least in the kingdom of God is greater. Why? Because we have gone from the shadow of a cross to the crucifixion in living color. We see Jesus like the saints of old could not.

The blood of the eternal sacrifice is sufficient to purify our conscience daily, hourly, or moment to moment. Numbers 19:21, "‘So it shall be a perpetual statute for them."


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