I wonder what it was like for a person who had to live outside the camp because he was unclean. God was very specific in his instructions concerning leprosy. The priest had to inspect the infected person, and if any spot no matter how small was identified as leprosy, that person had to live by himself, away from family and friends.
Could the leper hear the laughter of the people inside the camp? Could he smell the aroma of dinner cooking over a campfire? Was there dancing and singing inside while he was forced to remain alone and separated from all the activity? I bet those seven days seemed like an eternity. It would for me.
In a way, I think hell will be like that. Alone, separated, outside the gates of heaven, an eternity to realize their own uncleanness. Will they hear the praises and singing of those who were made clean by the blood of Jesus? And will those happy sounds magnify the shame of being forced to sit in their disease of sin?
The Old Testament leper could console himself with the hope that after the seven days of exile, a priest could pronounce him clean again, and he could return to the camp. There will be no such hope for those in hell.
Jesus, our High Priest, will have the final say. He will declare clean those of us who have accepted His grace, the forgiveness He bought with His death on Calvary. And He will pronounce “Unclean” everyone who has rejected Him, even those who tried to enter heaven by some other means than the blood of the Savior.
There are two eternities. One is inside the camp where God is. The other is an eternity outside, in darkness and solitude, an eternity of living in uncleanness and regretting every decision that sent them there.
I’m praying for you.