“Then the heifer (cow) will be burned...”
There was once a beautiful heifer or cow that belonged to a rich family in Israel. This cow was the pride of the family and the envy of the entire region. The children would play with this fine animal, and many families were fed daily with her milk. This cow was truly a blessing from God, and everyone loved her.
That is why all that knew her, cried on the day of her sacrifice. She was taken to the altar and was burned in the fire. The ashes would be mixed with water to be used later in purification rites.
A question comes to mind in relation with this incident. What did the poor cow do in order to deserve such a cruel death? She was faithful, obedient and productive, yet she was killed at the altar for the sins of a man.
This poor cow reminds me of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, who being God became poor for us, so that we would be able to partake of the infinite riches of God. He became a man for the sole purpose of dying for the salvation of God’s elect. He died in order that we might live abundantly.
The ways of God are very mysterious and strange. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the purpose behind the cow’s sacrifice and Christ’s death. The only thing we can do is to accept the fact that He died our death because God’s love determined so. His sinless life made possible a perfect and acceptable sacrifice at Calvary. I thank Jesus for his sacrifice because it was either him dying on the cross for my sins, or me paying the price for my sins in hell...forever.