April’s nearly over; no sign of the Red Heifer

The internet has been abuzz with speculation about the possible revival of the red heifer ceremony. If it indeed takes place, this controversial event is slated for this April at the Mount of Olives, coinciding with the Passover season.

Some Jews and dispensationalist Christians are working to revive an ancient ceremony that they see as a prophecy of the restoration of the Temple and the coming of the Messiah. Many Muslims see this as a threat to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which stands on the Temple Mount.

In Catholic tradition, the red heifer ceremony has meaning in that Jesus performed it in his passion and revealed God’s character and the nature of God’s salvific work, which flows through the heart of nature.

In scripture, the ceremony is found in Numbers 19. After the Israelites have escaped slavery in Egypt, wandered through the desert and received the Law at Sinai, they are preparing to enter the Holy Land when God gives Moses and Aaron this ceremony.

A red heifer — a female cow that has not borne a calf — is sacrificed to the east of the tabernacle outside the camp. Her blood is sprinkled seven times toward the tabernacle before she is burned in her entirety, with red cloth, hyssop and cedar tossed into the fire. The heifer’s ashes are gathered, mixed with spring water, and sprinkled on the people to make clean those made impure by contact with death. Read more

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News category: Odd Spot.

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