A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua
The Red Heifer and the Blameless Mashiach
I was once asked by an orthodox rabbi:
“provide a verse which says that Messiah will be sinless”
I showed him Numbers 19:2:
This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.
The teaching concerning the red heifer, in how it must be spotless, without blemish. Totally red, to teach us that the red heifer is like Adam when he was first created, pure, without the blemish of sin. It’s a heifer, a female cow, a reference to the virgin Woman the mother of the Seed – that is Messiah, and a cow in reference to the sin of the golden calf (idolatry which causes death). That Moshe prepared it, teaches us that Mashiach will prepare it, even more so as it relates to him in every way – in that it is an identity placed upon him – essentially preparing himself (without blemish) to take on this identity (Son of Adam, of the Woman, idol worshipper). It’s a total willing imputation of our sin upon it. It is then taken outside the camp to its death (on Mt. of Olives in later times). With cedar for his strength (and the cross beam), hyssop for his humility (and what he drank from)…scarlet wool for his death (and the blood stained robe like Joseph’s), burned in the fire (of judgment), and whose remaining ashes (that which survives judgment) purify from contamination with death caused by our sin. The connections are all over the place. Where do you want to start? How about you tell me? Where in Torah do we even learn what Mashiach is?
His response was:
“Where in heavens name do you derive from Tanach that the Red Heffer is a symbol of the messiah?”
Not even Solomon in his wisdom understood the Red Heifer, so I doubt it was expounded upon outside of Joshua through 2nd Chronicles, but I am certainly keeping my eyes open. It was a chukat, a decree with no explanation in Torah. How does one see the red heifer as referring to Mashiach? After the fact. Much like one can’t even draw near to HaShem in the Tabernacle until after the ashes have first been sprinkled on him. The heifer serves as a chukat on the identifiable attributes of Mashiach. It doesn’t mean he is his mother, or that he’s Adam. That’s the point – these are identifications of who and what was imputed to him by decree alone by G-d (just as the red heifer is a decree!): he represents Adam, and the Woman. He suffers their penalty of death, and what remains of him from the fire (that is pure, ie, his resurrection in incorruptible flesh) is what then allows those contaminated with death to draw near to G-d, the source of life, as they too are now covered in his identity (and thus inherit his perfect merit which the Torah promises leads to eternal life) and thus can draw near to G-d even in the flesh without fear of getting fried by His holiness.