Saturday, April 15, 2023

A True Witness


Was Yeshua the Messiah spoken of in the Torah and the Prophets?

This is a question that we of course have to answer if we believe that Yeshua is Whom the Father says He is.

The final witness and proof that He was the promised Redeemer of Israel happened during the days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread or as some call it, “Passover”.

The following are important biblical criteria that answer the above question. 

I want to present them in reverse chronological order.

Yeshua was the omer  - “resheet” - the first - of the new creation that was waved before the Father on the first day after the weekly Sabbath (of the Passover week), so that we could be accepted. “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first of your harvest to the priest. He shall raise the sheaf before YHVH, that you may find acceptance; on the day after the sabbath, the priest shall raise it” (Leviticus 23:10-11).  This scripture (in its literal form) was followed when the people entered the Land of Israel, but when Yeshua fulfilled it, He was the beginning of the New Creation. Just as He was the beginning (resheet) of the 'old creation' when the Word became Light on what was called "one day" in Genesis 1:4-5. (It was called "one day" and not 'first day' because it was the beginning of an eternal day of Light and Life.)

Yeshua left us two signs that He was the promised Messiah; one was the sign of Jonah, (ref. Matthew 12:39-40) and the other was that He would tear down the Temple and build it in 3 days (speaking of his body) (ref. John 2:19). Thus, He was in the grave 3 full days, that is 3 full twenty-four-hour days – (working our way backward) Sabbath, Friday, and Thursday were those days. The lambs were sacrificed on the day called "the preparation day" or Passover, which was the 14th day of the first month (see Numbers 9:5). In the year of Yeshua's crucifixion Aviv 14th (in the Hebrew calendar) was on the middle of the week - a Wednesday, and the high holy-day or the first day of Unleavened Bread was Thursday (the 15th).  Note: the 14th of Aviv never falls on a Thursday. In the Hebrew calendar, it only can be on a Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. 

The 'perfect day' for Aviv 14th would have been Wednesday because it allows for exactly 3 full days until the wave offering on the day after the Sabbath, which would be the 18th – with the numerical value of the letters “Yud and Chet”. These two letters, if their order is switched around, i.e., “Chet-Yud”, form the word "chai", meaning "living" or "alive". 

The women who came to anoint Yeshua's body did so on the first day of the week. (ref. Luke 24:1). Some posed the question as to why they did not attempt to do it on Friday, the day after the high holy day.  It would have been impossible to have gotten near the tomb then, as it was guarded by the soldiers who were placed there by the High Priest.  These soldiers were actually the first witnesses to Yeshua’s resurrection on the outgoing Sabbath and the incoming of the first day. They were paid to lie so that no one would believe Yeshua's two stated proofs of 3 full days in the grave.

Yeshua would have ridden the colt of the donkey into Jerusalem on the 10th of Aviv, at the same time that the priests carried the lambs to the Temple area for their 4 days of examination, paralleling the injunction on the first Passover (ref. Exodus 12:3). This means that, if the Passover the 14th was in the middle of the week, the 10th would have fallen on Sabbath.  But this would not have been a problem for the Almighty, as Yeshua proved that there are higher laws that can override an ordinance.  When Yeshua was in the Temple on a Sabbath He healed a crippled man and then told him to pick up his mat and go.  Many were irate over this incident, as well as at other times when Yeshua healed or delivered someone on a Sabbath. Here is His answer to them: “My Father is still working, and I also am working" (John 5:17).  After healing a person with epilepsy on a Sabbath Yeshua had this to say:   "If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?" (Luke 14:5).   With these two examples it is not hard to accept the fact that He rode the colt of an ass into Jerusalem on that day. Additionally, the colt that Yeshua was riding on had not been used for work before (see Mark 11:2; Luke 19:30) and was therefore not yet subject to the Sabbath rest that one's beasts of burden were to enjoy (ref. Exodus 20:10).

In Hebrew Roots circles a number of calendars circulate now, but the criteria for a true witness still remain the same. “'But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?'… 'But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.'  (Matthew 26:54; 56).  

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful! And I can see how the passage in 2 Corinthians 5 ties in here, illustrating Yom ha'Bikkurim - Messiah's fulfillment, and our participation going from death to life.

    And the bit about the 18th - the almost circular or mirror-image of 'chai'; even in the arabic numerals there is 1 - 8 seeming to represent the full dimension of life from beginning to eternity / new beginnings.