The Red Heifer

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 19:1-22

INTRODUCTION: The red heifer is a glorious sacrifice. It was a grand thing for the people of God in the Old Testament, but it is much more than that. In it we can see the glories of God’s working in our daily walk. We can see the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God.

  1. THE SACRIFICE OF THE HEIFER (Numbers 19:1-10)
    1. The Command from the Lord (Numbers 19:1-2)
      1. Given to Moses and Aaron (Numbers 19:1)
      2. The two LORDs (Numbers 19:1-2)
    2. The Character of the Heifer (Numbers 19:2)
      1. It was to be a red heifer
      2. Without spot
      3. Wherein is no blemish
      4. Upon which never came yoke
    3. The Composition of the Sacrifice (Numbers 19:2-10)
      1. Bring the red heifer to Moses (Numbers 19:2)
      2. Moses and Aaron give the red heifer to Eleazar (Numbers 19:3)
      3. Eleazar takes the red heifer without the camp (Numbers 19:3)
      4. One slays her before his face (Numbers 19:3)
      5. Eleazar the priest takes her blood with his finger and sprinkles her blood directly before the tabernacle seven times (Numbers 19:4)
      6. One shall burn the heifer in his sight (Numbers 19:5)
      7. The priest shall cast cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet into the burning: (Numbers 19:6)
      8. The priest shall unclean (Numbers 19:7)
      9. He that burneth the red heifer shall be unclean (Numbers 19:8)
      10. A man that is clean shall: (Numbers 19:9)
        1. Gather up the ashes of the heifer
        2. Lay them up without the camp in a clean place
        3. Wash his clothes
        4. Be unclean until even
  2. THE PROVISION MADE BY THE HEIFER (Numbers 19:11-16; Hebrews 9:13)
    1. Touching the Dead (Numbers 19:11-13)
      1. The defilement (Numbers 19:11)
      2. The purification (Numbers 19:12-13)
    2. Open Air Contact with Death (Numbers 19:14-16, 19-20)
      1. The defilement (Numbers 19:14-16)
        1. A man dies in a tent (Numbers 19:14)
        2. Every open vessel (Numbers 19:15)
        3. Touching death (Numbers 19:16)
      2. The purification (Numbers 19:19-20)
        1. He shall be purified on the third day and on the seventh day and on the seventh day he will be clean (Numbers 19:19)
        2. If he does not purify himself on the third day (Numbers 19:20)
          1. He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord (Numbers 19:20)
          2. That soul shall be cut off from Israel (Numbers 19:20)
  3. THE WATER OF SEPARATION (Numbers 19:17-19)
    1. The Preparation of the Water of Separation (Numbers 19:17)
      1. Take the ashes of the burnt heifer
      2. Add running water
      3. Place it in a vessel
    2. The Application of the Water of Separation (Numbers 19:18-19)
      1. A clean person shall take hyssop
      2. Dip it in the water
      3. Sprinkle it the third and the seventh day upon:
        1. The tent
        2. All the vessels
        3. The persons that were there
        4. The person that touched a bone, one slain, one dead or a grave
    3. The Person Applying the Water of Separation  (Numbers 19:19)
      1. Must be a clean person
      2. He shall wash his clothes, bathe himself in water, and be clean at even
  4. THE PASSING OF UNCLEANNESS (Numbers 19:21-22)
    1. He That Touches the Water of Separation Shall be Unclean
    2. Whatsoever the Unclean Touches Shall be Unclean
  5. THE TYPOLOGY OF THE RED HEIFER
    1. The People or Elements Present
      1. The red heifer typifies Jesus Christ
      2. The priest typifies Jesus Christ
      3. The unclean typifies a defiled saved man
      4. The one who slays typifies several different parties acting in unity
      5. The ashes typify the Holy Ghost
      6. The running water typifies the word of God
      7. The dead typifies the wickedness of this world
    2. The Typology in the Red Heifer
      1. The dual nature
        1. The humanity
          1. The red is a symbol of humanity
          2. Many believe Adam was red.
          3. For one, he was made from the dust of the ground and it is often red.
        2. The deity
          1. Without spot – no external sin to condemn Christ of (1 Peter 2:22)
          2. Wherein is no blemish – no internal sin to condemn Christ of (1 John 3:5)
          3. No yoke
            1. A yoke was used to bring an animal into submission.  The animal was not naturally cooperative and this would bring it into submission.
            2. Christ had no need of yoke for He always did what was pleasing to the Father. (John 8:29)
    3. The Typology in the Sacrifice
      1. The place of the sacrifice
        1. The red heifer was taken outside of the camp
        2. Jesus Christ was sacrificed without the camp (Hebrews 13:12-13)
      2. The performance of the sacrifice
        1. The red heifer was slain without the camp.
          1. The one who killed
            1. Notice the obscurity of the one who killed the red heifer.
            2. Who killed Jesus
              1. The Romans
              2. The Jews (Acts 2:23, 36)
              3. The sins of the world (Isaiah 53:5; Galatians 1:4; 1 John 2:2)
              4. God the Father (Isaiah 53:10; Acts 2:23)
          2. The death of the red heifer
            1. The red heifer was not only killed but it was also burnt
            2. Christ not only died in the flesh on the cross, he suffered our hell for us on the cross as well.  When Christ said “it is finished” it is very possible that He was talking about His suffering for sins.
        2. The sprinkling of the blood
          1. The person sprinkling
            1. The priest was responsible for the sprinkling of the blood.  He sprinkled it seven times.
            2. Jesus Christ sprinkled His own blood on the mercy seat in Heaven. (Hebrews 9:11-15) The seven symbolizes completeness.
          2. The place of sprinkling
            1. The priest sprinkled the blood, not on the mercy seat but directly before the tabernacle of the congregation.
            2. This should tell us this sacrifice may picture something a little different than the idea of eternal redemption
            3. It was sprinkled between the presence of God and the presence of people.
        3. The care for the remains
          1. The ashes are to be gathered and put in a clean place
          2. When it is time to apply they are to combine it with running water.
          3. The ashes are the earthly representation of a sacrificed heifer.  The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ.  He is here to represent the ascended Christ who is at the right hand of God.
          4. The water is a picture of the word of God. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
      3. The purpose of the sacrifice
        1. The emphasis of this sacrifice is not present forgiveness, but future cleansing.
        2. It pictures the daily cleansing of our walk.
        3. We come into contact with the deadness of this world and become defiled. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Corinthians 7:1)
        4. We need the ashes of the red heifer (the Holy Ghost) and the running water (the word of God) to cleanse us and make our fellowship sweet with the Father.
          1. The water of separation was taken from a vessel and sprinkled
          2. In the age of grace we need not that it be sprinkled for we are the vessel in which the Spirit of God dwells.

CONCLUSION: The red heifer teaches us much about the defilement of this world, and our need for cleansing. Are you walking with the Lord, and allowing the Holy Spirit to use the word of God to cleanse you from the defilement of this wicked world?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 27:14

He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.