Tzav (Command)

Torah Reading: Leviticus 6:8-8:36

Prophets’ Reading: Jeremiah 7:21-8:3, 9:23-24

Apostles’ Reading: Romans 12:1-8

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Insights

This entire parsha deals exclusively with burnt offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings, food offerings, peace offerings, vow offerings, freewill offerings, ordination offerings, and wave offerings; as such, there is much within this parsha that is exclusively written for the Aaronic priets and/or the Levites.

There was one passage in particular that stood out to me, however.

When discussing the unleavened bread of the meal offering in Leviticus 6:27, God states, “It is most holy, as are the sin offering and the trespass offering. Every male among the children of Aaron shall eat of it, as their portion forever throughout your generations, from the offerings of the LORD made by fire. Whoever touches them shall be holy.” I believe there could be some parabolic relationship here between these meal offerings of unleavened bread, which caused the Aaronic priests to be made holy, and Yeshua our Messiah, who makes us holy; for we are His kingdom of priests of a royal priesthood. As it is written, “For by His will we are made holy by the offering of the body of Yeshua the Messiah, a single time.” (Hebrews 10:10) This connection seems to be evident Yeshua’s own words, having gone so far as to refer to Himself as the unleavened bread of the Passover offering, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body, which is broken for your sakes. Do this, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24) He is that meal offering which makes us holy, just as the meal offering made by the sons of Aaron made them holy.

As for the Prophets’ reading, the Prophet Jeremiah puts this parsha in perspective, as he records the following words of God, “For I did not speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing I commanded them, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’” (Jeremiah 7:22-23) From this it is learned that no amount of technical accuracy can replace heartfelt obedience.

There is has been very real struggle in the church for the last 2000 years, fought by generally good but misguided people, to find philosophical agreements in ethereal topics that don’t have any real-life application. Is God a trinity? Should we baptize by sprinkling, or by dunking? Are we spirit-lead, spirit-filled, or is all that charismatic stuff nonsense? The Messianic movement has been no better. Do we follow the Rabbinic calendar, or look for the ripened barley? Is the sacred name pronounced Yah-way, Yeh-oh-vah, or Yah-oo-wah?

Friends, do we not yet realize that none of this matters in terms of real-life application? Yeshua our Messiah did not say, “I know your doctrines,” “I know your creeds,” “I know your beliefs;” but rather, He said seven times, “I know your works.” (Revelation 2-3) Again, no amount of technical accuracy can replace heartfelt obedience! For God did not command only these lesser matters of us; rather, He has a clear preference– above these lesser matters– for us “to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Yeshua Himself referred to these as “the weighty matters of the Torah: justice, mercy, and faithfulness.” We have been straining out gnats while swallowing camels. Now both gnats and camels are unclean, and not fit for human consumption; but if you are going to focus on one, I urge you to focus on the camel over the gnat.

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