Adrian’s Midrash (A-Drash)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Sh’mini “Eighth”
Jeremiah 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17
First, let me apologize for not sending out an A-Drash last week. The demands of my schedule got the best of me; however, all of you were in my thoughts.
Second, Passover (Pesach) and Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) went very well this year. We had our personal one at home, and two other Seders, which one of them I hosted, and the other, me and Jennie, simply attended with the Jackson Hole Jewish Community (Reformed—mostly).
Each and every time Pesach comes along, I am amazed at both the bewilderment and the awe I see on the faces of those that have attended for the first time. Not too mention, the second and third timers. It’s like witnessing a child finally getting that first “Aha!” moment when he understands simple math.
Therefore, if I may sway-away from the Torah portion for the next couple of weeks to bring you some insights of Yeshua within the Passover, you may be presently surprised or terribly upset. Either way, I encourage you to seek the Scriptures as the Bereans once did to discover the truth for yourself. I will do my best to present this teaching without offending any of you because I know that some of you who receive this weekly are not Jewish or Gentile believers in Yeshua as the Messiah. However, I know that all of you are my friends and I consider you to be those, which should not receive anything less than my fair interpretation of the Word of YHWH.
How do Netzarim (Messianic) believers perceive Yeshua in the Passover? The first thing to do is to understand the mo’ed’s (appointed time’s) purpose. In Leviticus 23, YHWH says, “These are YHWH’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly” (23:2b, YHWH mine, NLT). Now that doesn’t sound like much, but it, nevertheless, establishes a few designed purposes: (1) These feasts belong to YHWH, (2) they are to be proclaimed, and (3) they are to be official days of holy assembly.
Eventually, after several years these feats, which were designed by YHWH for the specific role of having man engage in personal and holy assembly with him, turned into meaningless, man-made repetitions that stifled the meanings behind them because of rebellion. Isaiah expressed these words by the Ruach HaKodesh, “I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!” (Isaiah 1:14).
Here, YHWH specifically refers to the same feasts of Leviticus 23; however, he is quick to add the word “your” to the context. What were intended to be feasts of purpose, became nothing more than religious experiences through rebellious hearts. The focal point of the Spring and Fall feasts fell on deaf ears, and repentance was needed to return back to the original meanings of these feasts. With all the feasts, Pesach no different, they pointed to the purpose; they were merely shadows of the things to come. Very powerful shadows, but shadows nevertheless. Moshe (Moses) says, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’ “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him” (bold type mine, Deuteronomy 18:15-20).
This messianic prophecy (mp) has been argued over and debated for years, between both Jewish and Christian scholars; however, in light of the Passover Seder, it’s not hard to see that this mp relates to the one (Yeshua), which says, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him” (John 8:28-29).
Now, regardless of your view on the above prophecy in Deuteronomy, you’ll have to come to a resolution within your own mind about Yeshua one way or another. Yeshua, who quoted the above, cannot be considered anything less than a madman if what he said wasn’t true. No way could a person claim to always do what pleases Abba (the Father); either he is a madman or the Messiah. He could neither be a good teacher, nor a prophet because of the resolve of the statement itself: I do nothing on my own . . .
Interestingly, just after Yeshua says this, let’s notice together the very next verse, “Then many who heard him say these things believed in him” (John 8:30). These many, sorry Gentiles, were Jews. Did they make a connection with what Moses said 1500 years earlier? Possibly. However, by the end of the day, the ones that believed in him were ready to stone him to death in the Temple because he didn’t say or teach it the way they had hoped the Messiah would. Passover is a time of personal deliverance from Egypt (Sin); therefore, let each of us consider the leaven in our hearts, and allow YHWH’s Word to ring loud and clear in our hearts. The end of Part 1.
Shalom v’Chag Sameach! (Peace, and Joyful Holidays!)