PASSOVER GOODIES

We are a little behind from the Israel Study Trip, so this week's newsletter has some catch-up and preview goodies.  Since having a basic understanding of the four main sacrifices is important for continuing in Leviticus, the following excerpt in two parts is from the Torah Portion Vayikra

Another goody is a short video preview of the many interesting facts concerning Passover in the newly-released Creation Gospel Workbook Six: Hebrew Worship and Prayer Traditions.  We plan to record some Passover snacks for you to view next week on our facebook page.  The videos should be about five minutes in length. 

Looking for good Passover recipes?  Go to Hebraic Roots Network's facebook page and look for "Kosheries."  It's Shabbastic!

PART I of Vayikra

Olah: Going Up?

The first type of sacrifice is the olah.  This is sometimes called the elevation offering because the Hebrew word means to ascend.  The olah offering elevates the person offering it because he is striving for a higher degree of holiness, even in his thought life.  The olah is brought by a person who has sinned in his thoughts or failed to perform a required positive action, a sin of omission (Munk, 1992, p. 6).

Yeshua taught that sinful thoughts may turn into sins of actions.  The olah offering is a chance to acknowledge the sinful thought and to "nip it in the bud" by bringing it into the open; exposing the thought to the heat and Light early may prevent it from germinating easily into a sprout of the sinful act. Yeshua affirms this teaching of this olah sacrifice, that contemplating the sin IS sin in itself, and therefore requires atonement.  The Brit refers to the olah when it states:  "To him who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin" (Ja 4:17).  The olah offering is totally consumed in fire except for the hide, and no part of it may be eaten.

Shlamim is the Whole Thing!

The second type of sacrifice is the shlamim.  This is called a peace-offering.  The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, shares its root, but there is a deeper significance.  Shalem means completeness, wholeness, or to repay something in full.  Peace doesn't just mean the absence of conflict, but a complete restoration.  Shlamim is a plural noun, so there are many aspects to a complete life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The shlamim is brought in fulfillment of a vow made in God's honor (Nazirite vow, for example), as a spontaneous act of thanksgiving for a blessing received (todah!), or to celebrate a moed (Munk, 1992, p. 6). 

Are You Asham'd?

The third type is the asham, or the guilt offering.  When we feel guilty, we should also feel ashamed of our conduct. The word for the asham sacrifice and the English word for ashamed have the same root consonants, creating a great memory device.  The asham offering is brought to atone for a sin of sacrilege,[1] for a false oath regarding a theft, for a borderline situation involving doubt whether a sin was actually committed, for a Nazirite who accidentally became contaminated, and for cleansing from a tzaraat affliction, which is assumed to be the result of guilt (Munk, 1992, p. 6).  It could even be a result of following misleading advice (Le 4:3).

In the asham offering, the person committed a sin because he did not properly consider his actions or he rationalized his actions and the boundary became blurred.  He needs to atone for the evil speech that brings on tzaraat (skin disease) of failing to speak up as a true witness. Yeshua was sacrificed between two thieves, one who refused to acknowledge his sin and be a true witness to a theft, and the other who acknowledged his own guilt and the innocence of Yeshua.  Thus Yeshua became the second thief's asham offering, and the thief was forgiven and restored to Paradise that very day.

Chataat-Oops!

The fourth type of sacrifice is the chataat, or the unintentional sin offering.  This sacrifice is for sin committed through error or forgetfulness (Munk, 1992, p. 6).  It's a way of saying, "OOPS!"  Ignorance of Scripture is the main cause and remedy for chataat.  Yeshua said, "You do greatly err, not knowing the Scripture..." (Mt 22:29; 12:24,27 ).  The definition of chataat is to miss the mark.  The implication is that the person was making some attempt to hit the mark, but missed.  Whether the miss was in good faith or not, the sacrifice atones for the error.

Korban and Minchah

The sacrifices in general are what help a man draw closer to Adonai.  Korban is the general term for all offerings, and it means "to draw near."

The grain offering is called a minchah, or a gift, tribute.  "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men."[2] This is the only sacrifice to which the Hebrew text refers to the person as a soul (nefesh), not a man, and it was brought by the poorest of the poor.  The poor man has no possessions to dedicate, so he dedicates his very soul.  Ironically the nefesh is the "rich man" of every man who is full of cravings for gain.  The nefesh strives against the ruach (spirit), and when the ruach prevails over it, then the man has made his rich man a poor man.

[1] 1: a technical and not necessarily intrinsically outrageous violation of what is sacred because it is consecrated to God  2: gross irreverence toward a hallowed person, place, or thing

[2] Proverbs 18:16:  Although the gift in Proverbs is matan, it is an equivalent expression.

PART II

Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the Pharisee's house, and reclined at the table.  And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster[1] vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume.  Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.'  And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' And he replied, 'Say it, Teacher.'  

'A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?'  Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.' And He said to him, 'You have judged correctly.'  And turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears,          and wiped them with her hair.  You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.  You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.  For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.'  And He said to her, 'Your sins have been forgiven.'  And those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?'  And He said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Lk 7:36-50)

Two days before Pesach:

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as   He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, 'Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.' But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, 'Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. (Mt 26:6-13)

In the preceding texts, Yeshua is the full picture of the four sacrifices.  At Simon the Leper's house two days prior to Pesach, Yeshua was the meal offering of matzah, the unleavened bread without sin for the woman who drew near and anointed him with oil of frankincense and leaned on him, transferring her own will onto the head of her substitute with covenant salt of tears like the olah.  The matzah was the minchah offering of the POOREST of the poor, and Yeshua hints to his disciples who have missed the mark on the significance of the woman's actions.

It is in offering the riches of one's own will that one makes himself or herself poor, not the absence of coin in the purse.  The woman's ruach knows that Yeshua is about to make himself the poorest of the poor as her substitute; relinquishing his own will to the Father's in the Garden to drink the bitter cup:  "Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done."  The physical poor are ever present; those who sacrifice the riches of the nefesh to the will of the Ruach HaKodesh are rare.  Yeshua was the once-in-a-Creation substitute poor man.

The woman's guilt and sorrow are assuaged by Yeshua, the function of the asham, and he forgives her sin as the chataat.  Yeshua's forgiveness releases the woman from her grief and shame, and he tells her to go in peace, shalom, the root of the shlamim.  Her gratefulness is evidence of her faith, and Yeshua says it is her faith that saves her.  Faith can be described as the gap of trust between the nefesh (feet) and ruach (head).  Although surely the two women's souls rebelled against destroying the alabaster containers, their spirits prevailed, demonstrating the sacrificial nefesh submitting to the ruach.  This is faith. In the description of the incense preparation in the Torah portion Ki Tisa, the myrrh is described thus:

Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty...(Ex 30:23)

Like the cinnamon wood that appears ordinary until it is burned and its fragrance released, the "flowing" myrrh is unremarkable and bitter until mixed with other spices.  The Hebrew word for "flowing," however, is dror, which means free-flowing, at liberty.  The commandment says to "Take for yourself...," a reflexive action.  Each human being must prepare the incense of prayer himself or herself.  The sorrow of myrrh, a burial spice, must be dror, free-flowing.  It is only through the voluntary, painful, death-like release of the myrrh from the alabaster box that the individual is set at liberty.

The Pharisee was a member of the sect who had taken over the teaching and interpretation of the Torah in Judea, the role of the priests and Levites.  As such, he should have known that Yeshua was much more than a prophet and that it was acceptable for the woman to anoint her altar sacrifice Yeshua with salt and frankincense and wash the legs and feet.  The House has always been a metaphor for the Temple.  Even before the destruction of the Temple (The House), the Pharisees recognized the home table as a type of the Temple altar, and the table altar is viewed as a substitute for the Temple altar to this day, yet Shimon neither offered nor ate of the holy sacrifice.

Yeshua asks Shimon a question to draw him into making a judgment, which is one of the functions of the altar.  Self-judgment at the altar is necessary just as it is in prayer.  It is ironic that Shimon judged correctly the case of the two debtors, yet he could not judge himself correctly at his own altar in his own house.  The Pharisees were the teachers of the Torah, yet in his sarcastic acknowledgment of Yeshua as "Teacher," Shimon betrayed his ignorance of the heart of worship that opens the doorway to the altar of mercy.  Both women drew near to Yeshua in an intimacy of touching[2] rejected by those who viewed their sacrifices, yet each woman drew near to prepare her korban anyway.  This is the heart of korban, to share the suffering of the substitute so that the repentant one can break the alabaster box and bring sincere intention.

[1] Alabaster in Hebrew is the substance of the Beloved's legs (Song of Songs 5:15), specifically his lower legs.  The lower leg, or calf (shuk Strong's #7783), is considered an extension or "abundance or overflow, probable" of the upper leg, or thigh, the part offered on the altar.  In like manner, the liver's extension ( yoteret), translated as "protuberance" or "lobe" in English, is also offered on the altar.  Yoteret means more or excess, possibly typifying the excesses of the nefesh.  The contranym is evident: expensive alabaster held the excesses of the nefesh (soul), but it was broken to reveal the poor man's aroma (ruach/spirit) within.

[2] Touching between unrelated men and women (n'giah) is forbidden among Orthodox Jews, a custom likely in place during Yeshua's lifetime. 

Add to your Passover reading list!

Now available on amazon.com is Creation Gospel Workbook Six: Hebrew Prayer and Worship Traditions.  The workbook is the study guide and companion work to Standing With Israel: a House of Prayer for All Nations. It is written for those who want a deeper examination of the text of the Amidah prayers.

Section One analyzes the prayers of the Shmonei Esrei in the context of the Creation Gospel study paradigm of the Seven Days of Creation, the Seven Spirits of God, the Seven Feasts of Israel, and the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Section Two is Review and Study questions for each chapter of Standing With Israel. This section is great for personal or small group Bible studies. 

Section Three is a deeper survey of Jewish customs in Hebrew prayer, focusing on the sample feast of Passover to trace the transformation of prayer and seder customs from the First Century to the Mishnaic period.

Ever wonder about foot-washing? The egg on the seder plate? Why Yeshua was called a Nazarene, but there is no scripture reference for it in the TANAKH? Did they sing "Dayeinu" at Yeshua's seder? The answers to these questions and many more are here!  Click Here to Order.




The Seven Shepherds of Israel

Is Hanukkah over with for the year?  Not if you're interested in the lost sheep of the House of Israel!  This newest BEKY Book is slightly more advanced than beginner level, but it traces the deep roots of Hanukkah from the Torah to the Prophets to the Gospel of John and Revelation. 

Yeshua could not have been clearer in his response to his challengers during the Feast of Dedication in the Temple.  "Tell us plainly, are you the Messiah?"  Yeshua's liturgical answer was plain to Jews, but it has been concealed from the nations.  Yeshua's identity as a Shepherd Messiah was Good News, but its full impact is still largely obscured from both Gentile and Jew in the celebration of Hanukkah.  The Hanukkah prophecies are still revealing uncircumcised hearts today.

What do Enoch, Methuselah, and the Church at Sardis have to do with Hanukkah? This is a Hanukkah like you've never read about it before! 

To pre-order the Kindle version of
The Seven Shepherds: Hanukkah in Prophecy, CLICK HERE or the image below.  The paperback will be available on amazon.com by late April. 





The Table of Contents includes:

Glossary

Introduction: Leading and Feeding

The Short Story

The History of Chanukkah

Talmudic Paganism?

How Alexander's Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Became a Chanukkah Celebration

Great Lights

Sheni

Chaggai and Chanukkah Roots

Two Messiahs: A Parable

Twin Prophets

Pray that Your Flight be not in Winter

Enoch: The Seventh from Adam

Conclusion

Questions and Challenges for Review

References