A Messianic Perspective
In Leviticus and other sections of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), we read about the myriad of offerings and sacrifices, the ceremonial cleansings, and the stipulations for coming near to a holy God. On The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), for example, the high priest would’ve prepared for weeks ahead of time to perform the duties prescribed for the one day — with all its garments, offerings, animals, his family and other priests involved and contingency plans in case something didn’t go as planned. Then on the actual Day of Atonement, it would probably take him all day to perform the list of duties.
Granted, The Day of Atonement was the most holy day of the year, but there were six other holy days equally as rigorous in their requirements, not to mention the daily and weekly procedures of the temple and the offerings and sacrifices brought in by the people of Israel that were also required.
In Yeshua, we see the fulfillment of all of these requirements. His holy blood atones for my unholiness every single day; the temple is now my body; and Yeshua and the Holy Spirit now function on earth and in heaven just as the altar, menorah, showbread and all of the other required elements did in the temple. His blood is the only reason I can come near and access a holy God in any way. When I enter God’s presence and do not die, that’s Yeshua’ blood at work on my behalf.
Imagine thousands of years, generation after generation, of painstakingly keeping the requirements of the Torah and experiencing the consequences of not keeping them. Is it any wonder Jews have a hard time believing that one man could accomplish all that? How could it be as simple as putting our faith in Yeshua’s death for our sin and that His blood atones for all the sin of all mankind for all time? But wait, there’s more! Along with that faith, we now no longer need a temple, we have eternal life with a holy God, and we get all the blessings promised to those who keep the Torah? Impossible.
It would be similar to someone who only knew the computer through DOS programming language or by combining zeros and ones to make a single command. Then someone gives him an iPhone with just a few pictures and buttons. Now all he has to do is push one button and a whole set of commands are given in an instant. He would say, “No way! How could it really do all that?”
Now imagine someone who’s only grown up with iPhones, iPods, the Internet and handheld video games. They are equally as puzzled to find out all these buttons are actually individually programmed with a combination of zeros and ones. They say, “How can that be? We just push a button and it does what we tell it. Why would we need all those zeros and ones?” This is the Christian perspective. Many Christians don’t realize all that’s being accomplished by Yeshua’s blood on a daily basis or why they need to understand the Torah. But nothing’s changed about the requirements. God’s holiness is no less now than it was thousands of years ago. The wages of sin are still death. But yet, it seems so simple to just have faith in Yeshua’s blood, and indeed it is – incredibly simple when you understand all that His blood is covering for us.
Imagine a perspective that encompasses both – a knowledge of all the requirements prior to Yeshua shedding His holy blood and faith that His blood covers our unholiness and provides us access to God Himself and eternal life with Him and the promised blessings. This is the perspective of the first century believers – Jews who found their promised Messiah. To me, it’s the perfect perspective for an accurate understanding of God, Yeshua, the work of the Holy Spirit and my place with them. The more I understand the God of the Torah, the more I understand Yeshua and how to walk in His gift without taking it for granted, while gleaning the full meaning out of each of the functions Yeshua fulfills in my life.
I’m extremely thankful for the iPhone, but to fully understand and appreciate what I’ve been given, I must go back and learn the original foundation it was built upon.