Thursday, January 24, 2008

Holy Ground

When Moses approached the burning bush God spoke to Him saying, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." (Ex 3:5) In the Old Covenant the ground was cursed. God told Adam "cursed is the ground because of you" (Gen 3:17). God also, because He had made Adam from the ground, told him that part of the curse was that he would return to the dust (Gen 3:19). The ground is cursed with death. In the Old Testament, they wore shoes or sandals because the ground was cursed. This was also the reason for all the foot-washing. Anything that got dirt on it was seen as having the curse of death on it. Only God's presence could reverse the curse and make the ground holy. This is why the priests were always barefoot in the temple.

James Jordan expounds on this idea: "Only the serpent travels with his belly or flesh in the cursed soil. Clean land animals wear shoes (hooves). Men only take their shoes off on “holy ground” (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15). Entering someone’s house, you washed your feet, to avoid bringing contamination into the house (Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 43:24; Jud. 19:21; Luke 7:44). In the death and resurrection of Christ, the curse has been removed from the soil."

Just as being dirty represented death, in the Old Covenant, when you touched a dead body you would be considered dirty or unclean. Dirty represented death and death represented dirty. Anything, in the Bible resembling death is considered dirty or unclean. One who was unclean had to go through various ritual washings, by which ceremonial defilements were removed (Num 19). Interestingly, Hebrews 9 refers to those "various washings," which could also be accurately translated "various baptisms," and they always involved sprinkling or pouring. Jesus reversed the curse of Adam. Through baptism we are washed and made clean and we stand, as the body of Christ, on holy ground.

1 comment:

Destiny Jane said...

Amen! Amen! Amen! I can't wait till the sermon on Sunday... You are such an awesome preacher and teacher!