Parashat Tzav (Commandment) Leviticus 6:1-8:36 (English 6:8-8:36)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 25:17-19
Haftarah: I Samuel 15:1-34
This Shabbat is the Shabbat before Purim and therefore we read two special portions. The Maftir speaks about Amalek, from whom wicked Haman came, and the Haftarah tells of the Amalek king Agag, also related to Haman.
In this week’s Torah portion, there is an important word; the word is simply “this“. It is used frequently in the Torah in relating to the foundational aspect of something. For example, in Leviticus 6:13 (6:20 in English) one reads, “This is the offering of Aaron and his sons….” In other words, one learns the primary aspect of the Kohanim (Priests) in this passage. In this same verse, this offering is called perpetual. This is the same word which is used for the daily Temple sacrifice. One would assume that this sacrifice had to be offered daily by each individual priest. The difficulty is that this sacrifice was only made once by the individual priest for the purpose of inaugurating his service. The Kohanim served on a rotation basis twice a year and during the festivals; hence they could not offer this sacrifice each day.
In reality, it was the Kohan HaGadol (High Priest) who offered this sacrifice every day in the Temple. According to tradition, the regular Kohanim needed to think about this offering twice a day, morning and evening, when the Kohan HaGadol was offering it. This passage refers to the Kohan HaGadol in a most interesting way. In verse 15 (22 English) he is literally called the Kohan HaMashiach (The Priest, the Anointed One).
The message for us today is that we need to remember what Messiah Yeshua has done for us, by offering Himself in our behalf. As we learned last week, this sacrifice is sufficient eternally. It is very significant when describing the sacrifice which the High Priest made daily; it is called a sin sacrifice. The language is most informing, because the Torah states, “This is the Law of the sin sacrifice“.
Once again, the use of the word “this” is significant, as it teaches the primary work of the Kohanim is to atone for sin; and likewise this is what Yeshua, our Messiah has done in our behalf.
*Remember the Fast of Esther is Thursday. It begins shortly before sunrise and ends at darkness (not sundown).
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