Of skin and sin

“And the priest shall look, and if the eruption has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous disease.” Leviticus 13:8

The Christian recognizes the goodness of God in all created things, even in one’s own body (Psalm 139:13-16). Our bodies are his workmanship. From darkest melanin to lightest shade, from smooth to hairy, even unto the wrinkled years of mature wisdom, our skin is the handiwork of the Master.

The poor leper faced a most shameful trial. He wore disease on his sleeve. His very appearance announced his miserable person, as if to say, I have not contracted uncleanness; I am uncleanness itself. The leper could not be comfortable in his skin.

But it is more shameful to be a sinner than to be a leper. Sin lies upon our very persons; our personalities are spotted and stained with its hideous presence. It appears in what we think, in what we say, in what we do. Its hideousness must be covered by the regal clothing of Christ, its borders driven back by the transformation of the Spirit.

Let us, the children of God, treat one another with grace, overlooking trespasses and showing honor one to another, just as God has honored us lepers in Christ. The weakest believer on earth will stand forth in the blinding radiance of victorious perfection. For soon our loving Lord “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil. 3:21).