“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28 NASB)
The cost of freedom for enslaved Yisra’el was the death of the firstborn of Mitzraim, and the cost of our freedom from slavery to the deathward lifestyle away from the Creator is the death of the LORD’s Firstborn.
The last three plagues, including the coming of the Destroyer for the firstborn of Mitzraim, and the first Pesakh are the focus of Torah reading בוא Bo (“come,” Exodus 10:1-13:16).
Continue reading Parashat Bo (בוא): Exodus 10:1–13:16
It’s no coincidence that the freedom of Yisra’el from bondage in Mitzraim was accompanied by 10 plagues and the release of mankind on the coming Day of the LORD comes after seven plagues. Why such drastic measures are required to give people freedom is behind this week’s Torah portion, וארא Va’era (“I appeared,” Exodus 6:2–9:35).
Continue reading Parashat Va’era (וארא): Exodus 6:2-9:35
“Man is free, but everywhere he is in chains,” wrote a French philosopher in the mid-18th century, setting off a firestorm in Europe against monarchy. But more the three thousand years earlier, a greater shockwave resounded from within the superpower empire of Mitzraim, and that’s what we see in this week’s Torah reading, שמות Shemot (“names,” Exodus 1:1–6:1).
Continue reading Parashat Shemot (שמות): Exodus 1:1-6:1
We’ve been mining the account of the life of Yosef in Mitzraim over the past three weeks (see the sections Vayeshev, Miketz and Vayigash) to see foreshadowings of the coming Mashiakh.
These shadows grow even more defined in this week’s Torah portion, ויחי Vayechi (“he lived,” Gen. 47:28–50:26). In this fourth and last section on Yosef‘s life, we see parallels between pharaoh, Yosef and Ya’akov, and the Father, the Son and the people called Yisra’el.
Continue reading Parashat Vayechi (ויחי): Genesis 47:28–50:26
“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11 NASB)
” ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.’ ” (Mark 6:4 NASB)
The ancient saying “familiarity breeds contempt” could easily sum up how Yosef‘s brothers treated him in his early years and how many leaders of Yisra’el treated Yeshua. The prophetic parallels between Yosef and Yeshua the Mashiakh sharpen further in this week’s Torah section, ויגש Vayigash (“he approached,” Genesis 44:18–47:27).
In it, the brothers’ contempt turns to fear when they realize their plots against Yosef have put them at his mercy. It’s also a picture of the Day of the LORD, when Yisra’el then the world must confess, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26; Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).
Continue reading Parashat Vayigash (ויגש): Genesis 44:18–47:27
Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you? Or at least forgotten about what you’re going through? It would have been easy for Yosef to think so. He’d been languishing in prison for a crime he didn’t commit for at least two years. The second installment of the account of Yosef (see part 1) is in this week’s Torah section, מקץ Miketz (“from the end,” Gen. 41:1–44:17). We see “that dreamer” go from victim of justice to vice president of the mighty empire of Mitzraim, and the prophecy pointing forward to Yeshua the Mashiakh gets fleshed out.
Continue reading Parashat Miketz (מקץ): Genesis 41:1–44:17
The accounts of Yosef‘s “coat of many colors” or “Technicolor Dreamcoat” and his standing strong amid adversity and oppression in Mitzraim are popular among children and adults. But a scandalous aside in this week’s Torah portion, וישב Vayeshev (“he settled,” Gen. 37:1–40:23), involving his brother Yehudah may not reach many children’s ears. Yet both Yosef and Yehudah provide important “calling cards” for Mashiakh Yeshua.
Continue reading Parashat Vayeshev (וישב): Genesis 37:1–40:23