At the end of the book of Vayiqra (Leviticus) in dual Torah reading בהר Behar/בחקותי Bechukotai, we look back at the journey through the parable of the Tabernacle. At the end of the book of Shemot (Exodus), the LORD moved into the newly created Tabernacle, and everyone had to get out. “And He called out” (Vayiqra) from the Tabernacle at the beginning of Leviticus for the people of Israel to draw near to Him. Vayiqra teaches how God is helping us move closer to Him and to each other.
In the Torah reading אמר Emor (“to say, speak or tell”), we will spend most of our time together discussing how God instructed the High Priest and the priestly line to respond to the reality of death around them. We will also ponder how God teaches us to give and receive charity and the difference between legalism and obedience in keeping Torah and God’s appointed times, aka the festivals of Yisrael.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14–16 NASB)
Here’s the lesson of Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement): The LORD wants us to enter His “rest.” He wants our old way of life to be covered over and the guilt taken away, so we can enter His presence.
This study of the combined Torah reading אחרי מות Acharei Mot (“after the death”) and קדושים Kedoshim (“holinesses”), covering Leviticus 16–20, will be focusing on Hebrews 4:14–10:39. This teaching dives deep into the role of Yeshua (Jesus) as our High Priest, so we can learn Heaven’s lessons in the parables of the Tabernacle and Yom haKippurim.
Our sins affect other people, including our children and grandchildren. God said the northern kingdom, the House of Israel, were so far gone, so utterly unrepentant that God’s only recourse was to send 90 percent of them to the grave and the other 10 percent into exile.
The culture and economy of Israel’s royals, nobles and judges were so entrenched in the oppression of the poor, the righteous and the just that God couldn’t do anything with them except wipe them out. Their exile has endured for millennia and is still in force to this day.
The exile of the House of Israel will only end when Messiah Yeshua returns to the earth.
In this study of Leviticus 12–15, we will be taking a step up and a step back the topics discussed. Some of it is unsettling, and it is easy to lose ourselves in some of the more distasteful details, while forgetting the important life lessons the Holy One of Yisra’el is communicating to us.
The seventh day of Chag Matzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) is a memorial to the crossing of the Red Sea. It’s not only the zenith of most movies about Israel’s flight from Egypt but also a parable about every believer’s path to repentance, salvation and righteousness.
Mankind can only serve one master: God or sin. We can’t serve both. God purchased all of Israel with the death of the first born to serve Him. God owns all of Israel. God is not only teaching Israel a lesson but Egypt as well. When God covered the children of Israel with the cloud and then sent them through the sea, this was a form of baptism.
Repentance is something that happens on the inside, the water is a physical representation of that repentance. Repentance doesn’t pay for your sins. Repentance is merely step 1 of our walk with God. It clears the conscience so salvation can enter. Step 2 is filling one’s life, so “Egypt” will never return.
Yisra’el has a long history of forgetting what makes people “holy,” what makes them “clean” to approach the Presence of the Name. The LORD does that; the person doesn’t make himself or herself holy. It’s also often been lost that being declared tamé (“unclean”) doesn’t make one sinful or wicked either. Understanding the parable of “clean” and “unclean” is key to understanding Yeshua’s instructions on hand-washing in Mark 7 and Peter’s vision of unclean meats in Acts 10.
Yeshua’s frequently argued with the Pharisees over their emphasis on their man-made traditions over the plain word of scripture and how their man-made traditions were doing more to keep people away from God than bringing them into God’s embrace.
Even after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, these false ideas about the inherent holiness of the Jewish people and the inherent wickedness of the Gentiles was hindering God’s goal to lift up, bring near, make clean and declare holy believers from the nations in the same way Heaven does for the “native-born.”