There are some things in Scripture that defy understanding and a logical explanation. For instance the rites of the Red Heifer, as described in the book of Numbers, reveal that a priest who was clean and then participated in the slaying and burning of the Red Heifer became unclean. Yet the ashes from the heifer, when mixed with waters of purification, were sprinkled upon someone who was unclean in order to make them clean. The paradox is that the very same ashes could make one person unclean while, at the same time, make another clean.
Consider that the Messiah likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a “pearl of great price” (Matt. 13: 45-46). Where does a pearl come from? It comes from an oyster which, in terms of food, is considered unclean (Lev. 11:9-10). So here is another paradox; something of great value coming from something that is regarded as unclean. Couple that with the fact that, in the New Jerusalem, a pearl is the gate of the city!
Consider the tzitziot,or the fringes, one of which is supposed to be a cord of blue. In Hebrew, the blue cord is called tekhelet, and is believed to come from a Mediterranean mollusk. That mollusk, like an oyster, is considered to be unclean. Yet, like the pearl, something considered as holy comes forth from something that is considered unclean. All this interesting information leads us to a question that Job asked:
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! (Job 14:4)
Actually, there is someone. These previous examples were intended to demonstrate that the Creator can take something that is unclean and bring forth something that is clean. He, alone, can take something that is unholy and transform it into something that is holy, precious, and valuable. In that same vein, how does professing faith that Yeshua is the Messiah and Son of the Living God make someone, who was unclean, clean and guiltless? In physiological terms, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to answer. Yet we are told, with God, nothing is impossible. We understand that God is the only One who can take something or someone who is unclean and impure and transform them into something that is holy and valuable. Peter alluded to this when he said:
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
At one point, we were not shown mercy and were not considered to be His people. We were regarded as unclean and guilty. But now, through the Messiah, mercy is extended to us and we have become His people. We have been made clean. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Yeshua. In temporal terms, this cannot be logically explained – it’s something we accept by faith. Therefore, our confidence and faith should not rest in logic, but in the mercy and love of the God. He is the Creator of all things and if He said it, that settles it.
All that is required of us is to humble ourselves and acknowledge our errors. On the surface, that seems simple enough, however, it can prove very difficult at times to do that because it requires that we die to ourselves. We must die to our will, our wants and desires. It is amazing to consider that those who are willing to die this become a Pearl of Great Price – transformed from unclean to clean.
Today, let us reaffirm our commitment to be a people with a contrite heart and trust only in His goodness and His mercy. If we do this, we can be certain that He will transform us into His own special people, a peculiar treasure unto Him.