Emor 5770 – Bride, Priest, Citizen

Leviticus 21:13-15  And he shall take a wife in her virginity.  (14)  He shall not take a widow or a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot, but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.  (15)  And he shall not defile his seed among his people. For I, Jehovah, do sanctify him.

2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. For I have espoused you to one Man, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

The High Priest was only to marry a virgin. There is nothing wrong with marrying a woman who is not a virgin, but the High Priest had to keep himself to a much higher standar– beyond simple right and wrong–because of his close contact with YHWH. He is also a type of the Messiah, for whom we are preparing ourselves as a bride. In practical terms, it is impossible for us to be pure. Everyone has sinned and therefore the whole body of his people has also sinned. Our theology is corrupt, our behavior is corrupt, our minds and hearts are corrupt. On what basis can Paul say that he intends to present the Church to Yeshua as a pure virgin?

Solely on the basis of Yeshua’s righteousness imputed to us through his blood which takes away our impurity. He more than covers us, more than forgives us. He cleanses us, making us whole and pure again.

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Ezekiel 44:23  And they shall teach My people to discern between the holy and common, and between the unclean and the clean.

1 Peter 2:4-5  For having been drawn to Him, a living Stone, indeed rejected by men, but elect, precious with God;  (5)  you also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

We have become the bride of Messiah, and we have also been made priests, not of the orders of Aaron or Melchizedek, but that of all believers. From the beginning, when Israel was chosen from among the nations, she was chosen to be God’s bride and a nation of priests to the world. Set apart and made holy, we are tasked with teaching the world the difference between unclean and clean, drawing them closer to their creator and interceding on their behalf.

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Leviticus 22:18  Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel, and say to them: Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, who offers his sacrifices for his vows, for all his free-will offerings, which they will offer to Jehovah for a burnt offering…

Leviticus 24:22  One judgment shall be for you whether an alien or a native; for I am Jehovah your God.

1 Peter 2:9-10  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  (10)  you who then were not a people, but now the people of God, those not pitied then, but now pitied.

We are the bride of Messiah, we are a nation of priests, and we are citizens of the Kingdom of God.  We have been reborn into the nation of Israel, wild olive shoots grafted into a cultivated tree. As citizens, whether physically circumcised or only spiritually, we are expected to behave ourselves as children of the King, not flaunting privilege, but obeying a higher standard.

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