He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days.
He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.
Whoever touches the body of anyone who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD. That person shall be cut off from Israel. He shall be unclean, because the water of purification was not sprinkled on him; his uncleanness is still on him.
We have written about the Red Cow ceremony before. It is very intricate. The issue of contamination by touching a dead body is so extreme that it is hard to realize how difficult the problem is. When the original parents in the Garden of Eden committed sin they set in motion a process of decay that is stronger than gravity. It is a descent into oblivion.
But God has engaged in the necessary war against this evil. That is why Jesus is so precious to us, so vital to our welfare. Look at the parallel passage in Hebrews 9:11-13,
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who though the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The benefit is eternal, beyond temporality. How does one think that God disposes of sin? It contaminates us now and it bars access to eternal life. But through the precious cross of Jesus we have the key to our escape—life now, and life forever. As it says in Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Water of the Word. Water of the Spirit. Water of Baptism.
Cherish the sacrifice paid for your soul. Walk clean before the Holy One who has suffered so to save you. Love him. Be holy. Live above the world of evil. Be salt and light. Wash your garments. Wash the feet of the saints. Bathe the lost world with the tears of your prayers. Shine a candle of witness into their dark minds. Be good. Be faithful. Be an example. At the end of this short road in time you will enter into your eternal glory with Christ.