Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and I shall
Purify you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
A new heart will I give you, a new spirit will I put within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I
will give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:25-26
Jesus and the Red Heifer Connection
In order for the upcoming Jewish Temple to be constructed, there is a missing ingredient of prophecy waiting for its broadcast over all the nations. The controversial Red Heifer is this potent ingredient to begin the construction of the Temple. But why is this so very important? In the book of Numbers, God has laid out some special commandments to Aaron and Moses, concerning the Red Heifer.
These unique dictates were not to be taken lightly. The God of Moses and Aaron wanted them to strictly follow His words. Before I explain further in detail about the question above, there are some detailed processes that must initially be followed before we get closer to our question. Here I will write them in order from the Bible, so we will have clarity of God’s word.
Qualifications of the red heifer:
A. Female: you shall give her to Eleazar the priest (verse 3)
B. Red Heifer: speak to the children of Israel that they bring you red heifer
C. No Blemish: in which there is no blemish (verse 2)
D. Unyoked: and upon which never came yoke (verse 2)
Now after the red heifer passes all of its qualification tests, it’s time for the heifer to be sacrificed outside the camp. The book of Numbers chapter 19, demonstrates the need for a sacrifice of a holy cow and its relevancy. Why the red heifer needed to be holy was because they used its ashes and mixed them with water, for purification of sin corporally as a nation. In Exodus, chapter 19:9, it illustrates to us: “And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and lay them outside the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for all the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of sprinkling, because it is a purification for sin.”
Jewish sages announce to us that from the time of Moses through the destruction of the second temple, there were nine red heifers in the entire Jewish history. Also, most excitingly, in this generation there have been several prophecies coming to pass and have come into being: the advent of the Sanhedrin in 2004, and breaking ground earlier this year on the new training temple to prepare the Levitical priests.
The Temple Mount Faithful is an organization that has created a couple of corner- stones for the new Jewish temple. Their heart’s desire and goal is for the temple to be rebuilt in our lifetime. Also, of course, there is The Temple Institute. They are in the process of recreating many instruments and vessels, including David’s harp. They are also in the process of building the Altar for animal sacrifices.
A big prophecy the Temple Institute is focusing on concerns the Red Heifer. Rabbi Chaim Richman, who is the director of building the Temple, claims they have more than one Kosher Red Heifer (as believers this should not only send shockwaves through our spirits, but it should make us realize how close we are unto His second coming). The most engaging prophecy is by Maimonides(Rambam), under Hilchos Para Adumah 3-4, he mentions: The red heifer was a unique entity, the only one of its kind in existence at the time. (There have only been nine of them in all of history, and the tenth will come in Mashiach’s time.)
What Maimonides has alleged is that the tenth heifer will usher in the Messianic Era. In reexamination of the kosher heifer, we are approaching precisely the mitzvah (commandment), which the Lord gave to the Jewish people. The red heifer is a sign from God to establish the temple. They kill the heifer and burn its body to retrieve the ashes. What is the purpose of obtaining the ashes? There are several crucial reasons for the function of the red heifer’s ashes. I will arrange them in order so it can be easily understood.
Importance of the ashes:
A. They were to burn the Heifer outside the camp (verse 3)
B.Purifying the temple
C.Purifying the priest (verse 4)
D.Purifying the altar (verse 4)
E.Purifying all people who are defiled (verses 11-22)
F.A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and lay them outside the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for all the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of sprinkling, because it is purification for sin. (verse 9)
In accordance with Numbers chapter 19, the red heifer ashes were used in other circumstances for impurity and defilement. You can read further for your own understanding in chapter 19, verses 11-22.
After explaining in detail about the kosher heifer and its prophecy, let us move on to yet another compelling prophecy of how Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) is related with the kosher red heifer in accordance with Scripture. There are three different materials used while burning the red heifer.
Types of elements used:
A. Cedar-wood (verse 6)
B. Hyssop (note other translations mention Oregano) (verse 6)
C. Scarlet material (verse 6)
When the red heifer is going to be sacrificed, it was lead outside the city gates to be killed. In Numbers 19:3, “And you shall give her to Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth outside the camp, and one shall slaughter her in his sight.” Another good reference is Hebrew 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify his people with his own blood, suffered outside the city.” Why was it important for the heifer to be outside the camp? It would cause defilement and render the sacrifice ineffective. What would be a similar passage in our Inspired Scriptures, which we possess?
During the Passover the paschal lamb was lead out of the city to be sacrificed. In Matthew 27:32, “And as they were going out, they found a man of Cyrene, whose name was Simon, whom they compelled to carry his cross (Jesus Christ). And they came to a place which is called Golgotha, which is interpreted The Skull.” These are perfect examples of the Messiah being our perfect sacrifice. The red heifer and our Passover lamb both were, sent outside of Jerusalem.
The burning of the heifer reveals an image that represents that of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. What do I mean? Lets look what Scriptures will reveal to us. First of all, let’s look at the following passage closer. In Numbers chapter 19:5, “And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin and her blood and her flesh, with her dung, shall he burn.” The consuming of the heifer by fire is a representation of the Messiah’s death and suffering. The Suffering Servant chapters in Isaiah 53:1-12 are a great example how our Lord was consumed through suffering and death.
I will post some passages so we can see the similarities.
Isaiah Chapter 53
A.He was slain for our sins (verse 5)
B.He was afflicted for our iniquities (verse 5)
C.He was led as a lamb to the slaughter (verse 7)
D.Yes it pleased the Lord to afflict him (verse 10)
E.He has put him to grief; he laid down his life as an offering for sin (verse 10)
F.He has poured out his life to death (verse 12)
G.And he bore the sins of many and died the death of transgressors
There are three important elements thrown in during the consuming of the cow.
Here they are in order: cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet. What do these items symbolize about Jesus Christ?
Meaning of the three materials:
A.Cedar wood: A Roman cross (verse 20)
B.Hyssop: I thirst so they filled a sponge with vinegar and put it on the point of a reed and placed it on His mouth (verse 29)
C.Scarlet: Matthew chapter 27, And put on Him a scarlet robe (verse 28)
All three elements used in Numbers 19, were also practiced during the crucifixion of the Messiah. In the book of Matthew 27:28, it points to the scarlet robe, “and they removed his clothes and put on him a scarlet robe.” How should we view the scarlet robe in light of Scripture? In the book of Isaiah 1:8, God’s view of humankind’s sins is exposed. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be like wool.”
There is one more view on the scarlet robe that will shed more light upon it. In Genesis chapter 37, it announces a man named Joseph. We are all familiar with his story, so I will not tread there. However, I do want to make an important observation about what Joseph was wearing. First of all, the men named Jesus Christ and Joseph were very similar. Both of them wore a robe and secondly, they were both kings.
But what kind of robe did they both wear? From my studies, they were both very similar in appearance. Most translations, when speaking about Joseph’s coat, mention that it was a coat of many colours, which is an incorrect translation of it.
In the Bible of the RSV, The New Oxford Annotated Bible, and the Holy Bible from the ancient eastern text translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta, the correct terminology of the robe is distinguished in all three Bibles. “A long robe with sleeves.” However, this long robe with sleeves for Joseph was a royal garment that most likely was scarlet. I say this with confidence because scarlet was a sign of royalty among kings.
How does this correlate with Jesus Christ and the robe that He wore? In Matthew 27:28, it says, “and they removed his clothes and put on him a scarlet robe.” Just like Joseph, the Messiah was also a king. In Matthew 37:37, “This is Jesus The King Of The Jews.” The two together complement each other, for the robes mentioned in Genesis chapter 37:3 and in Matthew 27:28 are actually tailored. You may ask what this implies. It implies that these tailored robes were worn by kings; they were in a position of authority.
It is important to understand that the kosher heifer was a burnt offering. The priest threw cedar wood into the burning carcass. Numbers 19:6, “And the priest shall take cedar wood....and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer.”
It really is amazing to see the patterns in our topic; the cedar wood symbolizes the cross for which our Messiah was burned on the Roman cross as the burnt offering (see Isaiah 53 up above). Just as Eleazar had thrown the cedar wood into the midst of the heifer, Matthew 27:32 mentions, “And as they were going out, they found a man of Cyrene, whose name was Simon, whom they compelled to carry his cross.”
This will be our final subject matter, and as we close out on this last topic, let us remember everything that Christ did on the cross for us. Eleazar had thrown the hyssop into the fire. Numbers 19:6, “And the priest shall take hyssop...and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer.” Does anyone remember the verbal action of Jesus Christ when he was on the cross? He said in John 19:28; “I thirst.”
Then back in Matthew 27:34, it say: “And they gave him to drink vinegar mixed with gall; and he tasted it, but he would not drink.”
This symbolism marks how bitter our sins are unto our Messiah. The sin of humankind is repulsive in His sight. Even the slightest of our sins are disgusting to Him. Our sins have caused wrath upon the Messiah’s body. This is why He became our burnt offering.
Written by Michael Jones