What an amazing picture we find in Leviticus 14, where the Bible describes the ceremony for the cleansing of a leper: two birds are ordered to be brought the tabernacle for the ceremony: one is sacrificed, but the other the priest is to “dip … in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water.” (:6) Then the priest “shall let the live bird go free over the open field.” (:7) Can you imagine the feeling of that second bird as he flew away: he must have felt that he had narrowly escaped death!
Which is exactly the way that those of us who are Christians should feel! We too have had a close escape with death — and worse than death. We were sinners, under the wrath and just condemnation of God for our sin; “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:28). Every one of us deserved eternal punishment for our sins against God. Yet instead, we are free — only because like that bird, we were washed in the blood of One of our fellows — the blood of Christ. And now, like that bird, we have been set free!
Those who have narrowly survived encounters with death, or who have recuperated from debilitating illnesses, often report that they have a new attitude. They are very appreciative of life, and tend not to take things for granted. They know the fate that could have been theirs. This should be the attitude of every Christian. Our souls should “soar” just like that bird set free over the field. We have been set free, and granted a new lease on life, because of the sacrifice of the One who took our place on the cross, and gave His blood to save us.