Parashah Tzav 2020 (Command) Leviticus 6 – 8

We continue receiving the instructions from God regarding the various sacrifices. We are told to maintain the fire on the altar, the daily burnt offering, what to do with the parts of the offering, which parts go to the Priests, who may eat of which parts, what to do with the ashes, and finally, the inauguration of the services and anointing of Aaron and his sons.

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Considering how close this reading is to the Passover Seder (which this year will be in just 5 days), I want to talk about something I have mentioned before in different messages but always bears repeating.

Let’s look at Leviticus 7:15, which is part of the instructions for the Peace Offering (I am using the Soncino edition of the Pentateuch and Haftorah):

And the flesh of the sacrifice for his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering.

Did you know there are actually three separate types of peace offering? They are:

  • Thanksgiving offerings, which are for deliverance from sickness or danger;
  • Offerings in fulfillment of a vow made in times of distress; and
  • Free-will offerings when the heart is moved to show gratitude to God

The unique thing about the peace offering is that it is the only sacrifice in which the one sacrificing partakes in the eating of the sacrifice. With all the other types of offerings, what is offered is reserved to the Lord and the Cohen making the offering; the Lord gets the best parts, and the Cohen takes a part of what has been offered as his payment, which he shares with his family.

But the peace offering is not just giving to the Lord, it is sharing with the Lord. It allows communion between man and God, bringing us together eating a holy meal while sharing each other’s presence.

During the Seder, we remember the sacrifice of the Passover lamb, and how its blood on the lentils of our homes saved us from the plague which killed all the firstborn. That sacrifice was not for sin or guilt but was a peace sacrifice because the one offering shared in the meat, and it saved us from danger.

Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus) sacrificed himself in order that we could have a way in which we could ask God for forgiveness, and his sacrifice occurred the day after the Passover Seder. Consequently, he has been called the Pesach Lamb of God, referring to the Passover sacrifice.

But that doesn’t make sense because the Passover lamb was not a sin sacrifice, and Yeshua died for our sins; his sacrifice replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple, which within a few decades after Yeshua’s death was completely destroyed, making sacrifice impossible.

Yet, the sacrifice of Yeshua was more than a sin sacrifice because his sacrifice provided more than just forgiveness of sin. His sacrifice also serves as a thanksgiving offering because once cleansed of sin we are able to come into communion with God; the parochet was torn, allowing us to enter into God’s presence. Not only that, but it saves us from danger, in fact, the greatest danger there is: the eternal consequence of sin.

Yeshua’s sacrifice is a double-edged sword: one side is the Yom Kippur sacrifice, which provides us forgiveness from our sins, and the other side is the Passover sacrifice, a thanksgiving offering that saves us from the danger of our sins and brings us into communion with God.

Two of the most important offerings that can be made to God: one to attain forgiveness of sin and the other as thanksgiving for salvation from danger. Only Yeshua, the Messiah, could have made this possible with one action, and only God could have given us a Messiah who was able to live a sinless life and thereby be an acceptable sacrifice.

What is left for us, today, is to accept that Yeshua is who he said he was, the Messiah God promised to send and to obey what he taught, which is what God said in the Torah.

One last note: in today’s reading God also specifies that when someone does not do all that is required regarding the peace offering then he will nullify the offering, and instead of communion with God it will be considered an abhorrent thing and not be accepted. Not only that, but the one who ignores God’s instructions will be cut off from his people and his iniquity will be on him.

The reason I point this out is that Christianity has been teaching Jesus died for our sins and therefore all sin is already forgiven and all that “Jewish” stuff in the Torah is not for those who follow Jesus. This is a lie and tantamount to violating the instructions for the thanksgiving sacrifice, which means that anyone who professes to follow Jesus but ignores the instructions in the Torah, will not have his or her offering (meaning Yeshua’s sacrifice) accepted. 

In other words, if you think that you are saved because Yeshua died for your sins, but you ignore what is written in the Torah, then Yeshua’s sacrifice will mean nothing for you.

God gave instructions in the Torah that tell us how to worship him and how to treat each other, and nothing Yeshua did or taught went against or changed any of those. If you want to be saved by the blood of the Passover Lamb of God, then you need to follow the instructions that the Lamb of God told us to follow. Don’t worry about what Paul or John or any of the Apostles said because they are not the Messiah!

Obey Yeshua, who taught to obey God, and his sacrifice will be accepted for you by God.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

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