What does it say?
The Lord commanded that an unblemished red heifer be given to Eleazar the priest and slaughtered outside of the camp. He is to take some of the blood with his finger and sprinkle some toward the tent of meeting. Next, the red heifer is to be burned in his sight and the priest shall cast cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet material into the midst of the burning heifer. The ashes of the heifer are used for purification of persons and dwellings that are unclean because of contact with a dead person. A clean person is to take the ashes, which is called water and sprinkle them on the unclean, on the third day and the seventh day. If they do this ritual, they will be considered clean and received back on the seventh day, but if they do not, they will be cut off from the congregation.
What does it mean?
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (Jn 14:6) The Lord God is holy and we are not; therefore, we must be made holy or remain separated from God. Do the ashes of a slaughtered and burnt red heifer actually make clean. No! However, it represents a truth, it makes one aware that we are unclean and in need of purification. Death is separation, there are many deaths besides physical death. Adam and Eve died on the day that they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were separated from the tree of life. In this text, two different days are mentioned in the purification process: the third day and the seventh day. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4) God rested from all of his works on the seventh day. All who trust in Jesus are made pure like Christ and will enter the rest of God. (cf. Heb 2)
What shall I do?
I shall trust in the Word of God become flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. By his death, burial and resurrection on the third day, I am made pure. This is already but not yet. I day and an hour is coming in which Christ will return and raise all who trust in him from the dead, to newness of life, to eternal life in the new heaven and new earth which is yet to come.