Harmonizing the Apostle Paul with Moses
And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them, Luke 5:14.
The study of scripture can be exciting and very satisfying. There is simply no substitute for having a perfect bible and then learning to trust every nuance of that bible. We will use the case of the leper who was healed to make that clear. Keep in mind that the Apostle Paul had two careers. He had been a Pharisee of the Pharisees and then he became the Apostle to the Gentiles. Those two careers harmonize in the Pauline Epistles.
As usual, in their mind numbing efforts to make the scriptures easier to understand, the NIV and the ESV obfuscate the very offering that Jesus Christ commanded the healed leper to offer. When you read Leviticus Chapter 14, you see the detailed and time consuming offering that the priest had to offer in tandem with the healed leper. You can be sure that the priest never forgot the testimony of that leper.
What makes that particular offering stand out above all others is where the offering is killed. Your King James Bible is not hard to understand in this context. It is hard to believe. And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest's, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy, Leviticus 14:13. In your King James Bible, the holy place is the first chamber of the tabernacle in which the table of shewbread and the incense altar are found.
Try to imagine a priest carrying a lamb behind the first veil, setting it down next to the table of shewbread and the incense altar, and then killing it. That is what your King James Bible says happened. The NIV cleans that up: He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. The ESV does the same thing. The sanctuary can refer to anywhere in the outer court as well as behind the first veil. The reader is protected from truth.
God's love for the leper is greater than we could ever imagine and this is something that the Apostle Paul would have us to understand. He does that through his reference to the blood of his cross. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven, Colossians 1:20. Isn't it interesting that Paul highlights the blood of his cross?
When you learn to trust your King James Bible, you don't overlook those things. That isn't just some sentimental flowery way to describe the blood of Jesus Christ. He wants us to think about the blood that collected on the cross itself. Where in the sacrifices was there blood on wood? There is blood on wood in the sacrifice for the healed leper. As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water, Leviticus 14:6.
The Apostle Paul is flagging the blood of his cross to make you look at Leviticus 14. Colossians 1:20 is not unique only because of the blood of his cross. Its other uniqueness is that he tells you that that blood was used to reconcile things in heaven to as well as earth, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. What other offering is killed within the holy place? By this offering we see that even heaven was tainted by the sin of Lucifer and that God used the blood of the cross to reconcile even heaven to himself. Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight, Job 15:15. Eliphaz the Temanite was on to something there.
Imagine the priest of Luke 5:14 as the leper cleansed from his leprosy came to him with his story of being cleansed by Jesus Christ. The entire process of the offering took over a week. We don't see many lepers being cleansed in the word of God and the chances are good that the offerings of Leviticus 14 are offerings that no living priest had ever offered. Surely this was a testimony for the priesthood to consider! Surely it is a testimony to us that the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ reconciled things in heaven as well as earth. We have a great bible if we can only bring ourselves to believe what it says. Keep in mind, the Apostle Paul will not use the words blood, sacrifice, or offering without having a specific one in mind from that Old Testament. Study and believe the book you hold.