“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)
What does is mean that Yeshua is our “high priest”? We can learn a lot about that role from the inauguration of the first high priest of the people of God, described in detail in this week’s Torah reading, תצוה Tetzaveh (“you shall command”), covering Exodus 27:20-30:10.
Continue reading Parashat Tetzaveh (תצוה): Exodus 27:20-30:10
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“…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (1John 5:11 NASB)
How thankful are we our Savior freed us from our old way of life far off from the Kingdom of Heaven? After generations of bondage in Egypt, ancient Israel was sent into freedom with all kinds of material wealth. In the Torah reading תרומה Terumah (“heave offering,” Exodus 25:1-27:19), the Holy One Who freed the people asks for contributions to build the Tabernacle, a special embassy between Heaven and Earth. Through these lessons of returning some of the blessings we receive, we get clued into the great gift we’ve been given through Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ).
In this reading, we also learn about cherubim, which we also see in Ezekiel and Revelation, and explore whether images of them in the Tabernacle are idolatry.
Continue reading Exodus 25:1–27:19: How thankful are we for our Savior?
“And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40 ESV)
What’s so important about the meticulous detail in the instructions for the Tabernacle? These pictures are like the résumé for the Mashiakh, the Christ. This week’s Torah reading, תרומה Terumah (“heave offering”), covering Ex. 25:1-27:19, foreshadows the work of Yeshua.
Continue reading Parashat Terumah (תרומה): Exodus 25:1–27:19
Yeshua the Mashiakh told us the two greatest commandments were to love God unreservedly and to love other people unselfishly (Matt. 22:34–40; Mark 12:28–31; Deut. 6:4–6; Lev. 19:18). Learning what the LORD would do in a situation — to walk as He walked (1Jn. 2:6) — is at the heart of this week’s Torah reading מִּשְׁפָּטִים Mishpatim (“judgements,” Ex. 21:1-24:18).
Continue reading Parshat Mishpatim (משפטים): Exodus 21:1–24:18
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Much of the world knows that happened in Egypt long ago, when the Holy One of Israel turned slaves into victors through 10 devastating plagues and the Red Sea crossing. And at the time, many in the surrounding Ancient Near East knew about it, too, even without the benefit of social media or CNN.
In Torah reading יתרו Yitro (Exodus 18:1–20:23), we learn that Yitro (Jethro) wanted the inside scoop, the real story on this victory over a superpower of the time, so he took his daughter and grandsons and tracked Moses down in the desert of Midian. Israel also got the inside scoop on Who their Savior was, through the 10 Commandments. But they and we must learn to treat the Holy One with respect.
Continue reading Exodus 18–20: Ten Commandments reveal the Creator and Savior of Israel and the world
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2 NASB; cf. Isa. 61:10; Rev. 19:7; 21:9; 22:17)
Scripture likens people truly loyal to the Creator of Heaven and Earth to a bride. And the presentation of the Ten Commandments at Sinai is compared to the signing of a ketubah (wedding contract).
It’s not by coincidence there are a number of parallels between the events at Sinai recorded in this week’s Torah reading — יתרו Yitro (Jethro), covering Exodus 18:1–20:23 — and the Jewish wedding ceremony. Marriage is about transparency, devotion and loyalty, and that’s the testimony of the LORD in the Ten Words of Exodus 20.
Continue reading Parashat Yitro (יתרו): Exodus 18:1–20:23
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Am I really free from my old way of life? Am I going somewhere in life that leads to eternal contentment, or am I wandering through this existence, at the mercy of happenstance? These are some of the big questions tackled in the Torah reading בְּשַׁלַּח Beshalach (“when he sent”), covering Ex. 13:17-17:16. We can’t imagine what our ancestors in faith experienced as they witnessed God’s work during the Exodus from Mitzraim (Egypt). As they were leaving the house of bondage, were they really free or did they leave their hearts in Mitzraim, despite the cruelties and indignities they experienced there?
Continue reading Exodus 13:17–17:16: Are you ready to enter God’s rest? 5 questions to ask yourself