He Laid Aside His Garments–Part 2
In the Old Testament there were two means of cleansing provided by the Lord. In respect of the priests operating in the court of the Tabernacle the divine command was that they must wash hands and feet at the laver or they would die. The priests were washed all over, once for all, on the day of the consecration of the priesthood: this washing was unique in their experience (Ex. 29:4). The washing at the laver was not once for all; it was daily, whenever they went into the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they came near to the brazen altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord (Ex. 30:20). This will simply remind us that ‘He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit’ (John 13:10.
However, there was another provision made for cleansing in the daily walk, in the ashes of the red heifer (see Numbers 19). Where uncleanness had been brought about by contact with a dead body, whether in the tent or in the field, the value of a previous sacrifice was made good to the unclean person (Num. 19:17-18).
In the New Testament, too, there are two provisions for cleansing which answer to these two Old Testament passages. The Lord Jesus is our Advocate and able so to act, if we sin, because He is the Righteous One and the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). The result of His advocacy is that the erring child is brought to confess to the Father his sins and as a result knows both forgiveness and cleansing. The enjoyment of fellowship with divine persons is thereby restored. There is another cleansing that we need, however, and that is in respect of daily defilement which we contract by reason of living in a godless world and in an unredeemed body. This is not sin as such: but it is certainly defilement which inhibits communion and fellowship with our Lord. This is the lesson of the laver.