Stories about predators befriending prey not only amaze me but give me hope that one day people of all colors and beliefs will live in peace. Even though that seems impossible, the Bible tells us that one day there will be peace, and one day every knee will bow (to Christ Jesus).
The important thing to understand, however, is that not everyone will be bowing because they want to praise Jesus as Lord; they will bow because our Lord has won the battle over evil, and those who have chosen to NOT be one with Him will exit His kingdom.
You see, none of us live up to the purity of God. All of us have sinned, and sin separates us from God. If we want to be with God for eternity, we can accept His free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yes, Jesus died and shed His blood to cover our sins. That act of mercy and grace has bridged the gap between God and mankind. It’s a gift! Just reach out your hand (your heart) and accept it. “For is it by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
The Bible tells us a lot about sin and its consequences throughout the Old and New Testaments, but one story in particular fascinates me. It’s the story in the gospel of Luke, Luke 17:11-19, where Jesus heals ten men with leprosy.
This story is a striking illustration of the loving plan of God and our Savior Jesus. According to R. M. Edgar, the leper story is analogous of human beings being spiritually dead as a result of sin and having only one way for redemption—through Christ Jesus.
In Edgar’s commentary, he makes three main points:
1) “As soon as the disease is suspected, the person is to go, or be brought, not to a physician, but to one of the priests.”
2) “The priest, in investigating the disease, is to ascertain whether it is superficial or vital.”
3) “The penalty of pronounced leprosy is a living death, and a consequent exclusion from the camp of God.”
So the disease of leprosy represents sin, the inflicted—the sinner, which if not divinely cured would be terminal—separation from God for eternity.
The Old Testament book of Leviticus details the handling of leprosy. It hints of the necessity of humility and confession of one’s shortcomings by mandating that the leper cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ (Lev 13:45). This is reminiscent of sinners humbling themselves before God and confessing their sin.
The spiritual message is clear: As sinners we are unclean (diseased humans, dead from sin) with only ONE Divine Physician—Jesus.
To live eternally with God requires the confession of sin and going face to face with Christ Jesus who is our high priest (Hebrews 2:17)—the ONLY one who can make us clean.
By the grace of God and our faith in the saving blood of Jesus, we have been washed clean. And we know from the words of Jesus (Luke 17:18) that we are expected to return with a grateful heart and thank God. (Excerpt from the “Right to the Soul Bible Study Guide.”)
I hope that inspires you to dive into the Bible with its many fascinating stories and analogies! Once you dive in, you’ll find that God reveals Himself and His good will throughout the Old and New Testaments. And once you get into the New Testament (which I actually recommend you read first), you will see the magnificent love of Jesus – God in human flesh. Nothing has changed my life more than following His example and being empowered by the Spirit of God. Unlike the spots on a leopard which never change (Jeremiah 13:23), the Word of God (the Bible and His Spirit) has a power to change people…for the better.
NOTE: To read the article from the source of the photo, click on the link below. https://www.msn.com/.../villagers-watch-in.../ss-AA1786xC...)
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