Numbers 19:2–3 “This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him.'”

January 29th, 2023 by Pastor Ed in devotional

What did these qualifications God was requiring mean?

1. Red: It was important to God that the cow be red. Red is the color of blood and the color of the clay of the earth, which the first man, Adam, was fashioned from.

2. Without blemish: It was to be without blemish. The rabbis would later write that this meant that “even three hairs of another color” disqualified an animal.

3. No defect: It was not just to be without blemish, but it was also to be without defect, or no defect, meaning it was never to have had a past injury or any kind of congenital fault. The sacrifice was to be as pure and perfect in every way as possible.

4. No yoke: It was to never have been used in harness, meaning being used for any kind of work. We could also say that no yoke on it meant that it had never been under slavery or bondage.

This reddish-brown cow would have to be young in order for no yoke to have yet been put on it. The high priest inspected the sacrifice, but he was not to be the one who slaughtered the animal, which was done outside the camp. Once it was slaughtered and burnt, the ashes would be used for the purification ceremony.

What an amazing foreshadowing we see here in Numbers of the ultimate sacrifice of the Messiah. It was not coincidence that Jesus was taken before the high priest, who examined him and then handed him over to others to kill. He was taken through the Damascus gate to Golgotha, which was outside the city walls. But unlike the sacrifices of the Old Testament, Jesus’ shed blood was able to cover not only the sins of a single nation but of the whole world. We need to occasionally stop and deeply ponder the wonder of the many prophecies set in writing by God, hundreds of years before the events happened. They were recorded both for those who would witness them, and for those of us who would look back and have our faith encouraged as we see how these crystal-clear predictions were fulfilled.

“Thank you, Lord; again we say thank you for Your great love displayed on Golgotha for humanity. May You empower us to take that message to others today.”