It’s Not About the Cows


During my Junior year of HS, while living in northeastern Kansas, I had an unusual Saturday morning job.

I had a milk route.

milk cows

Actually, I assisted an older gentleman who handled the route on weekends. His route wasn’t to the stores and homes, but to the dairy farms, to collect their raw milk. He drove a truck with a big stainless steel tank. We collected the milk from the farmer’s holding tank, drove to the next farm, and so on. When our tank was full, we offloaded at the Dairy.

milk truck      milk tank.jpg


When we arrived at each farm, the first order of business was to check a sample of the milk. Occasionally, disease or sickness would break out and affect the cows. Diseased cows produced contaminated milk which had to be discarded. Serious illness among dairy cows is more common than you might think.

cows milking.jpg

It was vital that each test was carefully done. If contaminated milk got into our tank, then it contaminated all of it.

If it got into the Dairy, then all kinds of trouble ensued.

The milk had to be perfect.


The Law of Moses required the priests to maintain a supply of cleansing water for purification of certain sins and defilements. The water was made with the ashes of a red heifer, a cow that hadn’t given birth.

The animal was taken outside of Jerusalem and burned to ashes. The ashes were collected, placed in stone jars, and then mixed with the water. It was holy cleansing water.


A perfect, flawless red heifer was rare. Just the birth of a red cow was uncommon.

It would be inspected closely and if even one black hair was found, or some other aberration, the animal was rejected. The red heifer had to be flawless.


That flawlessness was a symbol of God’s righteousness, of his holy perfection. The water mixed with the ashes cleansed people from defilement, such as having touched a dead body.


The red heifer and cleansing water was a picture of the coming Messiah who would offer himself in perfect righteousness to cleanse those who were neither perfect nor righteous.

Jesus was taken outside the city, was given a scarlet robe to wear, and was sacrificed.


The cleansing water was stored in stone jars, not clay, but stone. Jesus once used six stone jars in a powerful illustration of who he was and why he came.

Tomorrow at the Southeast Church of Christ, I will be speaking at 8:30 and 10:45 on the topic of, “Six Stone Jars.”

So come and be lifted up by the cleansing power of amazing grace!

I’ll look for you.


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