Parashah Vayyikra 2019 (And he called) Leviticus 1 – 5

We are now starting the third book of the Torah, which is the central book. This book has also been called the Torah of the Priests, mainly because it is almost exclusively about the priestly duties, to include knowing what is sinful and what is not with regards to our everyday activities.

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The first 7 chapters deal with the sacrificial system, and this parashah outlines the regulations for the sacrifice, which also includes offerings. There are two main offerings: the meal offering and the First Fruits offering. This parashah also tells us the rules for the Sin and Guilt sacrifice.

Sin sacrifices are for those sins committed against other people and the guilt sacrifice is for those sins committed against the tabernacle by causing a loss of holiness, such as misappropriation of property belonging to the Lord or failure to give the Priest his due share of the sacrifice.

One of the things that demonstrates God’s compassion and understanding is that God takes into account those people who may be too poor to be able to give a bull or an ox, or even a sheep. He states that even though a sacrifice may call for the slaughter of a bull, if the person is too poor to afford the animal that is required, he can offer grain and oil and he will receive the same forgiveness as the one sacrificing a bull.

If you ask me, the most important thing we learn from this parashah is Leviticus 5:17, which says:

And if any one sin, and do any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he know it not, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.

I could do an entire series on that verse, alone, but the lesson I want to share with you today is that the sacrificial system was not done away with when Yeshua was sacrificed. In fact, the sacrificial system is still in effect and just as valid today as it was back when God gave these commandments to Moses.

What stopped us from sacrificing animals was the destruction of the Temple, because in Deuteronomy 12:5-6 we are told that the sacrifice must be made only where God places his name, which was (of course) the Temple in Jerusalem. Before the Temple, the sacrifices were made at Shiloh, where the Tent of Meeting Moses constructed was located.

The sacrificial system is a process that involves 5 separate steps:

  1. The first thing we have to do is sin;
  2. We have to recognize and admit that we have sinned;
  3. We need to repent of that sin- without heartfelt repentance, no sacrifice will be accepted;
  4. The next step is to slaughter the animal called for; and
  5. We must humbly ask for forgiveness by means of the innocent blood that was shed for us (Leviticus 17:11);

When Yeshua died on the execution stake, his innocent blood was shed so that through him, we can be forgiven. The sacrificial system is still in effect, but what changed with Yeshua was that the 4th step- bringing the animal to be slain to the Temple in Jerusalem- was replaced with the substitutionary sacrifice of Yeshua.

The animal sacrifice, which has never been done away with but was replaced by Yeshua, will continue in the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) when the Temple will be reconstructed. The only difference is that there will not be a need for the sin or guilt sacrifice, but the wholly burnt and thanksgiving/peace sacrifice will once again be performed.

There is no biblical reference I can give that absolutely confirms what I just said about the sacrifices continuing in the End Days. However, there is nothing in the Bible that confirms the sacrificial system was ever done away with, either. Today’s message is strictly from my understanding of how the sacrificial system works and how it will be utilized in the End Days.

Whether or not I am right about what will happen in the End Days will not be known for certain until the End Days. In the meantime, I think we can all agree that we should thank God for Yeshua’s substitutionary sacrifice which allows us to fulfill our requirements under the sacrificial system to receive forgiveness of sin.

 

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Tonight begins the Sabbath, so Shabbat Shalom, and until next time L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Parashah Terumah (offering) Exodus 25:1 – 27:19

Shabbat shalom! Donna and I are back from our trip to England, where we celebrated our 20th anniversary together with friends. I didn’t post anything during  that week, and now am getting back into the swing of things. I posted a little montage of our trip on the Picture Album page and hope you have the time to check it out.

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We are in the part of Exodus where the rest of this book is a description of the making of the Sanctuary. It is somewhat tedious to go through, as the details are very specific, but this is something that as we read through we need to look past what is written. In other words, read the P’shat but ask the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to show you the Remes, the underlying meaning (if there is one- not everything has to have a deeper meaning) of what spiritual message there might be for us.

Parashah Terumah starts with God instructing Moses on the making of the Sanctuary and the items for the Sanctuary. This includes the ark of the covenant, the menorah, altar, tables, items necessary for the sacrifice, and the tent itself, including the support bars and their sockets. If we look at the instructions for items that are going to be in the section called the Holy of Holies, then work our way outwards to the outer court, we see the materials to be used are different based on where they are located. Those closest to the Holy of Holies are to be overlaid and made of pure gold, and the materials for the tent are to be the finest woven linen.  As we move outward, the sockets and rings for the tent supports are made of silver, and the tent itself from goat hairs and rams skins. As we reach the outermost court, the sockets are brass and the tent is from tanned skins.

So what does this mean to us? For me, it means that to come closer to God we need to be made more pure. We all start out at the farthest edge from God, being born into original sin with the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) the Talmud describes. When we are of the age to decide, we decide how much closer we want to come to God. When we choose to be closer to God, we begin a lifelong trek that goes from the outer court to the inner court to the Holy of Holies. This is a spiritual trip, which as we travel we change from brass to silver to gold.

This sounds nice, but there is a catch: purification is a process that involves heat and stress.  You don’t go from brass to gold without suffering through a lot of T’souris first.

The choice to get closer to God is not an easy one to make, right from the start, because most everyone you know will think you are in a cult or just crazy, and they will try to dissuade you from it. I used to wonder why someone would do that. Then, as I grew more spiritually aware it became very clear to me why: someone who is God-fearing reminds those who aren’t how wrong they are.

Shaul (Paul) tells us this in 2 Corinthians, 15-16:  For we are to God the sweet aroma of Messiah among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. 

I believe that we all are born into original sin, but because we are made in the image of God we also have an innate knowledge of the existence of God. It is deep in our DNA, and we sense it when we ignore God. Oh, yes, we excuse it away, we rationalize disobedience, and we tell ourselves it is just religious rhetoric. We do that because we hate to think we aren’t in charge of ourselves.

In truth, in the most important way there is, we are in charge of ourselves: we have Free Will. And we are allowed to use that Free Will to choose whether we will be a slave to God or a slave to the world (sin.) The truth that no one wants to hear is that we are slaves, and the only real choice we have is to accept the lie of freedom that the enemy offers (which is slavery to sin and eternal damnation), or the truth that we must submit to God, who is a benevolent master and who wants us to have eternal peace and joy.

God wants everyone to be closer to Him. Both those that love and worship Him, and those that hate and reject Him. God wants all His children to have eternal life. But- He is still God, and holy, and to get closer to Him we need to become holier.

Yeshua made getting closer to God much easier: He blazed a pathway for us that wasn’t possible before. When you accept Yeshua as your Messiah, by His sacrifice receive God’s Grace and decide to obey Torah as God commanded you, you start a lifelong passage from brass to silver to gold.

And as you get closer to God, you will be more blessed and joyful and secure than you could ever have imagined.

As we say today, you’ll be “golden!”

 

Parashah V’yikra (And He called…) Leviticus 1-5:26

We begin the second book of the Pentateuch with the regulations regarding the offering of a sacrifice for atonement of sin.

Now that the Sanctuary has been completed and is in service (end of Exodus), the use of the altar and initiation of the sacrificial system is to begin. The animals allowed to be used as sacrifice are domestic animals which are clean (which will be identified later in Chapter 11, although even in Noah’s time it was already known which were clean and unclean; see Genesis 7:2.) Wild animals were not allowed because they cost the person nothing, and unclean animals were not allowed because they were, well…unclean. Also any animal that kills other animals is unacceptable, or if the animal had killed someone, such as if a bull had gored someone to death, even if it is a “clean” animal it would now be unfit to be used as a sacrifice.

God gives Moses the instructions for the burnt offering (the entire animal is burnt to demonstrate total devotion to God), thanksgiving offering, sin offering, and guilt offering.

The sin and guilt offerings are both for having sinned against God (all sins are sins directly against God, no matter who we actually sin against in our personal relationships), but the sin sacrifice was more specifically for sins such as false witnessing, becoming impure, failing to perform an oath, or failing to do as God has prescribed. The guilt offering was for sins against any of the holy things of the Sanctuary, whether intentional or not.

In all the sacrifices God has made provision for the poor, in that they are allowed to offer an animal that is in accordance with their ability to pay, i.e. a wealthy person would be required to bring a bull, whereas a poor person would be allowed to sacrifice doves or grain.

I think the way the sacrificial system works has been one of the most misunderstood things in the bible, and that is frightening when we consider that our very salvation is rooted in this system. The sacrifice was made to cleanse us of the sin we have committed, and when we sin again, we need to confess, ask forgiveness and offer the sacrifice in order to be forgiven. Most people “get” that, with regards to the Old Covenant system, but don’t really see how it relates to Yeshua’s (Jesus) sacrifice.

Under the old system, God commanded the sacrifice had to be made at the entrance to the Sanctuary, and later at the Temple in Jerusalem. After the Temple was completely destroyed by the Romans in or around 73 AD, there was no longer the opportunity to be forgiven. Imagine how devastating that was to the Jewish community! For those who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah (back then as now), the need to bring the sacrifice to the Temple was no longer necessary because Yeshua’s sacrifice was a once-and-for-all sacrifice.

Here’s where it gets all screwed up: many Christian religions have been teaching that Yeshua did away with the sacrificial system and that we are now made clean by His blood, which is true, but they imply that there is nothing else that needs to be done. This is not true- you still need to try not to sin, to do T’shuvah (turn) from your sinful activities, and continually ask for forgiveness because the forgiveness of sin is available, but it is not given until the sin is confessed and forgiveness requested.

The sacrificial system is a threefold process:

  1. You come before the Lord and confess your sin;
  2. You offer the sacrifice;
  3. You ask for forgiveness, and to be made clean, through the shedding of the blood that you have just presented before the Lord.

The only part of this that Yeshua completed already is the second step- the sacrifice- but we still have to recognize and confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness by means of the blood of  Yeshua.

Don’t be suckered into the teaching that because of Yeshua you are clean forever- you can be, but you aren’t: you still have to confess your sin and ask forgiveness. Forgiveness through Yeshua is available for the asking, but it is not automatically given. That is what much of Christianity teaches, that you are automatically cleansed before the Lord by means of Yeshua’s sacrifice…..WRONG!!

You are not cleansed until you confess your sin, do T’shuvah (repent), and ask to be cleansed.

The sacrificial system is still in effect, only modified by Yeshua, in that now we do not have to take our sacrifice to the Temple in Jerusalem. We still have to confess, repent and ask forgiveness.

As I said above, and I feel it is so important to remember: Yeshua made forgiveness available for all, and for all time, but it is not given automatically.

Parashah Bo (come) Exodus 10 – 13:16

The plagues continue, with locusts, darkness and the final plague, the death of the firstborn of Egypt.

Moses is instructed by God what the Israelites must do to be protected from the angel of death, for even though Goshen had been protected from the other plagues, it seems that the angel of death was over everyone and everything, and only the blood of the Passover Lamb would protect you from death. They are also told to sacrifice the lamb, and to make sure that the sacrifice is eaten in the prescribed manner, with nothing left over, and only those who are Israelites, or slaves and sojourners with Israel who have been circumcised may eat of this meal.

After the death of all the firstborn, both men and animals, Pharaoh lets the people go. They plunder the Egyptians, who give willingly, and leave the very next day. Moses reminds the people of the Passover regulations, commanding them to teach this story throughout all their generations and to eat the Passover meal (Seder) every year according to the way it should be done, with no leavened products for a week.

The term “The Passover Lamb” is first introduced to us in this parashah. To the Jewish people, the Passover Lamb represents freedom from slavery to Egypt, and is a very important part of our history. Because the Temple no longer exists, and the Torah specifies that the Passover Lamb had to be sacrificed at the Temple, we do not eat lamb at Passover; the usual dish chosen is chicken.

I have this great recipe for baked chicken: grease a pan, place the cleaned chicken pieces in the pan and spread butter over them. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh parsley flakes. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, or until the skin is browned and bubbling. YUM!!

The Passover Lamb means freedom from slavery to Jews, and to Christians it is a reference to Yeshua, who sacrificed Himself to free us from a different form of slavery: slavery to sin.

Now here is the interesting part: the Passover sacrifice was not a sin sacrifice- it was a thanksgiving sacrifice. There are 5 types of sacrifices:

  1. Whole Burnt Offering
  2. Meal Offering
  3. Peace Offering
  4. Sin Offering
  5. Guilt/Trespass Offering

The first three offerings are voluntary, and the last two are mandatory for atonement from sin. The main difference is that of all 5 sacrifices, the only one where both God and the person sacrificing shared of the meat was for the Peace, or Thanksgiving sacrifice. This was representative of the communion between man and God.

Yeshua’s sacrifice was clearly one made for the atonement of sin- it was most representative of the wholly burnt sacrifice, since His entire body was given to God. But wait! If the sacrifice Yeshua (Jesus) made was a sin sacrifice, why is He called the Passover Lamb? The Passover Lamb sacrifice was a peace offering, a Thanksgiving sacrifice, and not a sacrifice to atone from sin. So, then, is calling Yeshua the Passover Lamb really accurate?

Not from a human timeline, but since God is not subject to any timeline, we need to look at another specific sacrifice to find the complete relationship opportunity that Yeshua’s sacrifice made possible. That sacrifice is described to us in Leviticus 16- it is the Yom Kippur sacrifice. We are told to have 2 goats (not lambs)- one to be sacrificed and one to be released into the desert after the people have placed upon it’s head their sins. The goat that was chosen by lot to be sacrificed had it’s blood used to atone the alter and the Most Holy Place, and the rest of it was a burnt sacrifice. I checked the Chumash and did not see specifically where it mentioned if any portion of the Yom Kippur lamb was to be given to the Priests, but since God says that we are all to afflict our souls ( fast), clearly this had to be a wholly burnt sacrifice, with no parts being eaten by the Priests.

As we can see, Yeshua’s sacrifice was more like the Yom Kippur goat, not the Passover Lamb, so which is it? Did Yeshua’s sacrifice cleanse us of our sins, or bring us into communion with God?

The answer is: it has done both of these things at one time.

The way I see this working is that Yeshua took on our sins, as the Yom Kippur goat does, and freed us from sin when He sacrificed Himself on Passover. The Passover Lamb sacrifice was a Thanksgiving, or Peace offering which allowed us to commune with God. But, communion with God is not possible when we are covered in sin, so first we must have the sin removed. Only after we have been cleansed of our sins can we have complete communion with God and come into His presence. Under the Sacrificial System one had to perform two, separate sacrifices to attain this state of communion, but with Yeshua’s sacrifice both were accomplished, at once.

Yeshua is the Passover Lamb, which was a lamb chosen by man whose blood would protect them from death, and He is also the the Lamb of God, the Yom Kippur lamb chosen by God (through throwing lots) to atone for the sins of the people. He is both of these: God chose Yeshua to atone for the sins of the people, and when you choose Yeshua as your Passover Lamb, then you have both atonement of your sins and protection from death (not the first death, of course, but the second death, which is for all eternity.)

PS: Next week Donna and I will be on our annual anniversary cruise so I will not be blogging. Have a great week, and I will be back on February 13. 

Parashah Bo (Go) Exodus 10 – 13:16

The last three plagues fall upon Egypt: the locusts, 3 days of darkness and the death of the firstborn. With this last and most terrible plague, Pharaoh is humbled before God and allows the people to leave without condition. In fact, he pretty much kicks them out. The rules for the Passover Seder and the festival of unleavened bread are also given in this parashah, as well as the Lord telling Moses that this is to be the first day of the year for the Jewish people.

The sacrifice of the lamb is very different here than anywhere else in the Tanakh. This lamb was to be chosen on the 10th day of the month (Nisan in the current Jewish calendar, Abib back then) and then taken into the house- separated from the rest of the flock and treated, almost, like a family pet. Then it was to be slaughtered in the late afternoon to evening of the 14th day, roasted whole over a fire and eaten in it’s entirety.  Anything that was not eaten was to be burned up completely.

We always hear Yeshua referred to as the Lamb of God, and the Paschal (Passover) Lamb, and His sacrificial death is the ultimate sin sacrifice, through which we all are able to be forgiven.

We may be wrong in calling Yeshua the “Passover Lamb” because the Passover lamb wasn’t a sin sacrifice!

The Passover lamb was not a sin sacrifice: it was a friendship offering.  There are 5 types of offerings, or Korbanot:

  1. the burnt offering- represents total submission to God’s will and the entire animal is burnt on the altar at the Temple
  2. the sin offering- this was for unintentional sins, and the part that was eaten was eaten only by the Kohanim (Priests)
  3. the guilt offering- this sacrifice was for any sins that may have been committed but the person is unaware of them. It’s like insurance, and the eaten part was eaten only by the Kohanim
  4. the food and drink offering- this is another type of friendship or thanksgiving offering, devoting to God the fruit or work of our labor. The items sacrificed are not naturally made but man-made items which we devote back to God. Whatever portion is to be eaten is to be eaten by the Kohanim
  5. The peace, thanksgiving or friendship offering- this was obligatory for survivors of life-threatening crises and included free-will offerings, and offerings made after fulfillment of a vow. The essential difference between the peace offering and all the other offerings is that only the peace offering is eaten by both the Kohanim and the one making the offering. This was shared between God, the Kohan and the one making the offering.

Thus, the Passover lamb that was slaughtered was not a sin offering at all- it was a thanksgiving offering (in Hebrew, Todah / תודה) so we can’t really call Yeshua the Paschal Lamb because that lamb was not a sacrificial death to absolve us of sin.

On the other hand, the peace offering was designed to bring us closer to God, as all the sacrifices were meant to do, and with Yeshua’s death the Parochet was torn from top to bottom, representing that the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the common person was no longer there. And this was an act of God because it was ripped from top to bottom, from Heaven to Earth, from God to Man. So when Yeshua died, His death not only was a sin sacrifice, as we would do on Yom Kippur, but was also a peace offering.

Yeshua’s sacrifice, the offering of His life, performed a dual purpose under the sacrificial system- the sin offering to cleanse us before God, and the peace offering to bring us in total communion with God.

The Passover was supposed to be shared with family and those who have been circumcised and joined to the people of Israel (sojourners with the people) and as such no one who is not a “Believer”, if we can use that term, is supposed to partake. I have shared my Passover seder with people who are not Jewish; in fact, Donna and I try to invite people who are not Jewish and have never been to a seder to introduce them to the roots of their religion. If anyone is a member of any of the Judeo-Christian religions, then the Passover seder should be for them since they are followers of God. How often have you heard me say that God has no religion? So if they believe in God then they should partake of the Passover seder. Well, that’s my feeling.

I also feel they should be made aware of the fact that God’s laws and rules in the Torah are valid for them, too. In fact, not just valid, not just a good idea, but required.

I think it is interesting that the Passover seder is probably one of the most well-known Jewish celebrations, and that Yeshua (Jesus) is called the Passover Lamb by nearly everyone, yet His sacrificial death was not the same as the passover lamb’s death. His death at Passover represented what the Yom Kippur sacrifice is to do. The two biggest Jewish festivals, Passover and Yom Kippur, were brought together in one event with the sacrificial death of Messiah Yeshua. He freed us from sin and brought us into communion with God, which is what is happening in the parashot we are reading tonight. We read how the people are freed, and soon the people come to Mt. Horeb (Sinai) and there they commune with God.

Is there a parochet still separating you from God?  The curtain in the Temple was woven material, thick and heavy, but is there a parochet in your life that you can’t see? Do you obey the commandments that are in the Torah? Do you follow what God says to do? Do you believe that you should do as Jesus did?

I believe there is a parochet thicker, heavier and more impossible to penetrate than the one in the Temple of Solomon- it is called “religion”, and it is what separates us from God. It separates us from God because it rejects His laws (I am not just talking about Christianity- even within Judaism many of the Jews today who are reform or conservative ignore and reject Torah laws as obsolete) and acts, thereby, as an idol. The biggest complaint Yeshua had against the Pharisees was that they gave man-made traditions precedence over God’s laws. Rules made by people that take precedence over the rules given to us by God: this is what I consider the absolute definition of “religion.”

People need to read the bible, from Genesis through Revelations, and recognize it is one book, Christianity was not created by Yeshua (it was created by Constantine) and the commandments God gave us in the Torah are the only rules and regulations that we are to follow. At the end of Deuteronomy Moses writes that anyone who adds to or detracts from the laws written in that book will suffer all the plagues of Egypt. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to deal with that.

Read the book, the whole book, and see for yourself that there is nothing “new” in the New Covenant  and understand that Yeshua died so we could be free of sin once and for all, and that the parochet that was torn was supposed to stay torn.

Don’t let your ‘man’-dated worship of God repair the parochet.

 

 

 

Parashah Pesach (Exodus 12:21 – 12:51)

Weren’t we in the book of Leviticus last week? How’d we get back to Exodus?

Today, actually tonight, begins Passover (‘Pesach’, in Hebrew.) As such, this being one of the most important and happiest of all the Holy Days God gave us, we read this portion of the Torah and then get back to Vayikra next week.

Passover is a Holy Day that is somewhat misunderstood, by both Jews and Christians. If you ask most any Jewish person how long Passover lasts, I’ll bet the answer you get is “7 days”, but that’s wrong. “Passover” only lasts from evening until midnight, when the angel of death passed over Egypt. The 7 days that we fast (no leavened products, i.e.. nothing with yeast) is called Hag Ha Matzot. It is the Feast of Unleavened Bread that lasts 7 days. Another thing that is misunderstood is that Passover is when God said we should celebrate the new year; God never said that Rosh HaShannah is the Jewish new year. In Exodus God tells Moshe that this day (the day the Jews left Egypt) is to be the first day of your year. Rosh HaShannah, the Jewish New Year, is a Rabbinical holiday and not a God ordered Holy Day. The day that it is celebrated on is a God-ordered Holy Day, but that day is called (by God) Yom Teruah, or Day of Trumpets. It is a memorial day.

From the Christian viewpoint, because of the undeniable association of the sacrificial death of Yeshua (Jesus) on the day after Passover, leading to His resurrection on the third day (Sunday, the beginning of the Jewish week, as we are told in the Bible) the sacrifice of the Passover lamb is considered to be what Yeshua underwent, which was a sacrifice to absolve us of our sin. Especially since He is often referred to as the Lamb of God. Even the Jewish people, for the most part, believe that the Pesach lamb was a sin sacrifice.

Oh, oh…not so, oh no. The Passover lamb was sacrificed, yes, but it was a thanksgiving sacrifice, a peace offering, not a sin or guilt offering.

Go back and read the first chapters of Leviticus we just went through- it describes how the different sacrifices are to be administered by the Kohen. There is only one type where the person offering the sacrifice also partakes in the eating of the sacrifice, and that is the peace offering. God demands that the Passover lamb be roasted and eaten by those offering it, so that makes the Passover sacrifice a peace offering, not a sin offering.

But didn’t Yeshua offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin? Yes, He did. Well, when do the Jewish people offer their sin sacrifice? That’s on Yom Kippur.

You see, Yeshua is both sides of the coin, so to speak: His sacrifice to overcome our sin was on Passover, and the Passover sacrifice is a peace offering to God. When we think about it, isn’t the Messiah supposed to bring us all back into relationship with God?  So when He sacrificed Himself as a sin offering, didn’t that also allow us to come into relationship with God? Wasn’t the curtain torn from the top down? From God to us? When Yeshua died on that execution tree, His sacrifice was both the sin sacrifice that comes at Yom Kippur (the final one that will be at the End of Days) and the peace offering that brings us back into relationship with God. His sacrifice counted then as two- the sin sacrifice to cleanse us before God and the peace offering that will bring us into relationship with God. They may be a little backwards to us, since our time is linear, but God’s time is different. What Yeshua did back then was for then, and for now, and for the rest of time; one sacrifice to accomplish two things, from then until forever.

Isn’t God just amazing?!? It gives you goose-bumps. Now do you see the real association between Passover and Yom Kippur? We usually associate Passover with freedom from physical slavery and follow it up with Shavuot, the giving of the Law on Sinai as a “one-two punch” against sin. For those that accept Yeshua’s Messianic calling as true, these two Holy Days also represent the freedom from spiritual slavery and the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, which only because of Yeshua’s sacrifice can now indwell forever. Prior to Yeshua the Ruach fell on the person, but was lifted up later. Only because of Yeshua can that Ruach now indwell and remain.

And there’s another misunderstanding- as nicely as this all fits, Passover is not really associated with Shavuot, but with Yom Kippur. Passover and Yom Kippur are the two sides of the same coin, sacrifice for sin to cleanse us and peace offering to bring us back into relationship with God. Again I ask, isn’t that what the Messiah is supposed to do?

I also do two things at once to my Christian friends at this time of the year: I teach them by kidding with them and rebuking them at the same time. I ask them if they ever considered that as they are celebrating and honoring the resurrection of Yeshua, they are eating something that He would find to be an abomination and an insult on His table?

Think about it before you buy that Easter ham. Also think about it when you have bread and cake all next week. Yeshua told his Talmudim (Disciples) to beware the Hametz (yeast) of the Pharisees;  Yeshua and all His followers fasted from yeast during the celebration of Hag ha Matzot. Do you want to do as Yeshua did? Do you really want to please God?

If you do not normally fast during the 7 days after passover, try it. I am sure there are many who fast from something for a day or a week to get closer to God. Don’t you think that fasting as God says you should would bring you that much closer to pleasing Him? To being in communion with Him?

Forget the ham- do a turkey or a chicken. No lamb- that is not allowed because the lamb is the demanded sacrifice and it must be done at the Temple, but the Temple doesn’t exist anymore so we don’t do lamb on Passover. Chicken, turkey, maybe a nice brisket, no bread- only matzah for the next week. No cakes, no nothing with any yeast in it at all.

Try it. Do what God says and He promises to bless you (read Deuteronomy 28.) Don’t get all caught up in that drek about obeying Torah means you aren’t under the blood- that’s nothing but a bunch of fertilizer taught by those who don’t understand and don’t want to obey God to those who don’t want to make their own decision about how to worship God.

Here are my two most favorite ways to eat matzah: spread butter lightly over it with salt (warm the butter a bit first or it will crack the matzah)- YUM!!! And for breakfast eat Matzah Brei: soak matzah in warm water, when it’s soft wring out the water (carefully) and then drench the matzah is an egg wash with a little milk (and cinnamon), then fry in a frying pan greased with butter. Serve hot with syrup or sugar. It’s sort of a Jewish french toast, and I cannot believe you won’t LOVE it!

Chag  Sameach!!