Jesus in the Jewish Tahara
Haven’t heard of the Tahara? Well neither had I until I began my studies this week in Acts 9:32-33. In this passage a woman named Tabitha dies and they state, “after washing the body, they laid her out in an upstairs room.”
They did what with her body? That’s what I wondered. So I looked into the Jewish rites of death and found the Tahara. And through it, I see Jesus.
Check out the YouTube video explaining it HERE.
Did you catch those parallels?
First notice that they washed the body. They stated they pour water or even dunk the body in a Mikveh, a Jewish bath, for the sake of washing away impurities. This is all imaged in baptism! For Christians baptism is a symbol of death (Romans 6:2-3). It symbolizes the washing away of our sins (Acts 22:12). In a way, during baptism we have died and are preparing our bodies to be with God.
That’s why the next parallel is astonishing!
After the cleansing, the body is covered with a white linen and garment “similar to what ancient high priests wore.” And they say “They are dressing the person to go before God”! Now the New Testament states when we are baptized we put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). Here we are in a way putting on our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1). It is because we have Jesus on that we are able to be in the presence of God.
What is helpful is to realize is that this is done in Jesus now, not after we are dead. Why? So we can be in the presence of God now. Jesus has dealt with our death, cleaning us up and giving us access to God. So in a way you can have eternal life now.
So live your life today like you’ve already stepped into God’s presence, because you have!