A red heifer was born in the United States
For about 2,000 years Jews have long waited to hear the news that was recently released: a red heifer is born for the purification ritual.
Maybe this sounds a little strange to you, but the real meaning is even a bit difficult for some Jews to understand.
After man was contaminated by sin because of his disobedience, serious consequences were brought upon him. Death was established as a price to pay for sin, and could also be identified as the “wage of sin”. Death became a symbol of sin. Whenever a person died, there was the power of judgment, and every person who approached or touched a corpse became impure.
And how do you purify a person who has been contaminated? – Moses asked.
God answered by installing a law that would provide a means to deliver man from this impurity and give him the privilege of having a relationship with God.
The Almighty declared as a principle of the Law, in Numbers 19, that Eleazar, the priest, should take a red heifer – perfect in its redness and with no physical imperfections. It was so important for the heifer to be perfect that even its hulls were evaluated. It couldn’t have ever carried heavy loads. Its age typically ranged between three and four years old and was to be purchased with money taken from the Temple offerings to represent all the people of Israel.
This ritual was to be done outside the walls of the camp. After the construction of the Temple, the Mount of Olives became the chosen place for this. There was even special access from the eastern gate of the Temple to the Mount. This passageway was used on the Day of Atonement, with the scapegoat being led into the desert, and in the ritual of purification.
Once on the Mount, the heifer was slaughtered before the priest, who would take a small amount of blood in his left hand, wet his right index finger and sprinkled seven times toward the Temple.
There was no altar, only firewood to burn the heifer. Along with the burning animal, a cedar branch, a hyssop branch and a spool of scarlet wool was added. Everything was burned until it turned completely to ash.
Then, these ashes were taken by a pure man and mixed into water collected from a wellspring. After this was done, the water would be purified.
This mixture was divided into three equal parts. The first would be for the courtyard of the Temple. The second, for all those who had sacred jobs, and the third was placed on the Mount of Olives, for the purification of all Jews.
According to scholars, from the time of the Bible until present day, this ritual was only performed nine times, since it is so rare to find such an animal.
Described in a comment to Mishnah (Jewish Code of Laws, also known as the Spoken Torah), of Maimonides, the tenth heifer will be prepared by the Messiah. This is why finding this heifer is seen by Judaism as a great prophetic sign. It is noteworthy that this animal will be evaluated during the coming months to see if any of his hair changes color.
For us Christians, the Lord Jesus, our Messiah, came and fulfilled the Law, including the ritual of the red heifer.
His agony also began on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26.30), and His death and burial, took place outside the city (Hebrews 13.12).
He never carried the burden of guilt or transgression upon His shoulders. From an early age until his last breath on Earth, He lived to obey the Father.
The red color was present in His sacrifice, on His robe and in His Blood, which covered His entire body, from the top of His head, which was pierced by a crown of thorns, to His feet, which were pierced by nails – His skin could not be seen, only His wounds.
He was struck by mankind’s rebellion and became the most impure of men, bringing upon Himself countless sins.
Just as the heifer was to be slaughtered before Eleazar, and he would dip his hands in the blood, the same way Caiaphas, the high priest, was directly responsible for supervising the death of the Lord Jesus.
The Messiah was like a cedar, which is the highest, noblest and most enduring of all the trees. However, He was also like the hyssop, which is the smallest, most simple and purifying of the bushes.
After His death, His body was carried by a pure and sincere man: Joseph of Arimathea, and kept in a new tomb (John 19.41).
And because of the Lord Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, there is purification and complete redemption for the soul. The ashes gave way to the Blood that is much more precious and powerful, able to erase sins with a sincere repentance.
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God… Hebrews 9.13-14
In the entire history of Jewish sacrifices, millions of animals had their blood shed on altars. But there is no blood that can be compared to the sublime act performed on Calvary’s natural altar.
Despite being so desired and searched for in all the herds throughout the world, why has there not been a red heifer in 2,000 years?
This could mark an event in the history of Israel, God’s timing for the second coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
And if His return is close, the Rapture of the Church is even closer.
Be prepared, because the Bridegroom, as it says in Jewish tradition, will come home to get his beloved Bride, the Church. And, for this matter, we do not know the day or the hour.