Jesus and purity

Jesus kept all the laws. He never broke the Sabbath. He fulfilled the purity rules, I blurted out in class a few days ago.

How? a student want to know. How does Jesus keep purity rules?

Here’s my best, belated shot: Levitical purity rules are rules of cleansing. Just as the force of the slavery laws is not “Woohoo! We get to keep slavery!” but “here’s how you go about freeing slaves, just as you’ve been freed; so also the purity rules specify types of impurity, but mainly give instruction about purification.

Jesus keeps Sabbath by giving rest in the fullest sense. Jesus keeps purity rules because He provides permanent and more thorough cleansing than water mixed with ashes of a heifer.

Jesus also keeps purity rules because the purity rules always aimed to train Israel to be pure in life and heart. No matter how carefully the Pharisees kept the purity rules, the land was defiled by their imposition of burdens on their disciples, defiled by their un-Sabbatical behavior. So too the temple was a house of thieves and unclean greed even though priests sprinkled blood everywhere it belonged at the right time. Jesus calls His disciples to a life of purity that surpasses that of the scribes and Pureones.


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