Purification and Baptism

The other day I wrote about something that was quite the little revelation to me.  I’d been keeping mikvahs (water purification rituals) after my niddahs (menstrual cycles) because Torah commands a woman to cleanse herself after her discharge time before coming together with her husband.  But then, in TorahClass, I read that when Messiah was on the cross and His side was pierced, blood and water flowed.  TorahClass said the shed blood was sufficient to cover our sins – it was eternal redemption (past, present, and future).  But then it went on to say that the shed water was sufficient to purify us – it was eternal purification (past, present, and future).

I’d NEVER been taught that.  In church you’re taught “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus’… which is a LIE.  You’re taught “Are you washed in the BLOOD of the Lamb”… and y’know, even as a kid, that didn’t sit right with me.  I’d think, “Wait a minute!  If you’re washed in BLOOD, your garments don’t come out ‘spotless, are they white as snow’ as the song says, they’d come out red, hello.”  It didn’t make sense to my childlike mind.  And now I know why – because it’s WRONG.  We’re redeemed by the blood of the Lamb… but we’re washed in His living water – the water that purifies us.  Well, that’s a TOTALLY different thing, now isn’t it!  And it makes a HELLUVA lot more sense then what christianity teaches, that’s for sure!  ((Needless to say, I green-lighted.))

As to the question of whether or not we should still keep a mikvah, I’m of the mind that we should NOT.  It’d be like sacrificing animals while saying Messiah’s blood redeemed you.  It flies in the face of what you claim to believe.  Either Yeshua is sufficient, or He’s not.  I know the jury’s still out on this for a lot of people, but not for me.  There are things we should keep, and things we should stand in Messiah on, and that’s a Messiah thing, IMO.

Anyhow, then I was talking this past week with a friend, and she wondered about baptism.  “Isn’t baptism a sort of a mikvah?” she asked.  And it would appear so, wouldn’t it?  A ‘washing’, an immersion in water?  But my answer is no, and I thought we should put it up here on my blog, for the record.  Baptism and Mikvahs are two TOTALLY different things.

You see, a mikvah is a purification ritual… ‘ritual’ meaning you do it every time you become unclean, whether because of discharge (like menstrual cycles) or because you touch someone/something unclean or whatever.  It’s done more than once – baptism is NOT.  It’s a one-time event.

Secondly, a mikvah is done for a specific purpose, to cleanse a person and make them ceremonially acceptable again.  Doing this has a purpose – it achieves something for the person.  Baptism is the complete opposite – it is a mere show of what your faith already has done.  We are baptized in order to outwardly illustrate what has happened inwardly – that we have died with Christ (gone ‘down’ into the water, like He went down into the grave) and then rose again into new life (come ‘up’ into new life from the water/grave).  It’s a picture, nothing more, nothing less.  Baptism doesn’t achieve anything, it’s simply a sign to others.

So there is a VAST difference between mikvahs and baptism.  The two are NOT the same, and we are to emulate Christ and be baptized to identify ourselves with His redemption/purification… but that has nothing to do with purification as a ritual.  Get it?

I just thought we’d better clarify that, in case anyone else was wondering!  ((grins!))

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