When Gabriel tells Miriam about Yeshua, he called him the one who will reign over the house of Jacob forever (Luke 1:33). When an Angel of the Lord tell Joseph about Yeshua, he calls him the one who will save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Are these two different mutually exclusive callings? No! In the Tanach, the description of God as the one who removes sins is in the context of freeing the Jewish people to live in the way that he intended – safe, secure and at peace (i.e. psalm 103:3-5; Psalm 130.) Yeshua’s death and resurrection takes away our sins so that we can begin to live the way of life of the promised future Davidic kingdom. It is our inheritance for the future which can begun to be lived today. This is the Torah way of life. Paul calls it walking “in manner worthy of the calling”(Eph. 4:1). When we read the Bible from “left to right,” we learn the Way of the Lord as described in the Torah, summarized in the psalms and prophets, demonstrated by Yeshua in his life and teachings and taught to Gentiles by Paul.
Archive for February, 2013
When we repent of our sins and embrace the Messiah, we begin to live the life of the World to Come. That life can be described as living as those created in the likeness and image of God. This means embracing the values and virtues of Torah. The most basic value is that which Yeshua alluded to when asked what is the greatest commandment. He quoted a portion of the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:5 – love the Lord your God. He also said that the second greatest commandment is love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18). Therefore, we value loving God and loving people. A passion for these values bear the fruit of a robust and significant life. The rules of Torah serve as examples for us of how these values are lived out in real life. Even though the life that is described was lived thousands of years ago, the principles remain the same and therefore can be applied to our own world in the 21st century. When the New Covenant tells us to be kind to one another and to walk in love as Messiah loved us, we can find examples this life of self sacrifice from the Torah. For example, “You must not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind” and “You must not mistreat any widow or fatherless child” We learn from these verses that we need to serve those who are vulnerable in our community such as the disabled, poor and disenfranchised. In addition, we can apply this to all people. We should have an attitude of service to all people.T hese rules are not meant to be laws that are laborious and difficult. They become so when we do not embrace Torah values but simply treat these as laws unto themselves. But when we do desire to live as image bearers of God – loving god and loving others – and practice these values in our daily lives, the Ruach HaKodesh continues the inner transforming process and as a result we find great satisfaction in serving others. The good news is that this life – a life of loving god and ;loving others – is our destiny and inheritance in the World to Come and is available to us today in Messiah Yeshua. The result is a life of blessing and satisfaction.