Parashat Vayikra (And He called) Leviticus 1:1-5:26
Maftir: Exodus 12:1-20 / Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Nisan
This Shabbat begins not only the reading of the book of Leviticus, but also the new month of Nissan or Aviv. When Nissan arrives, it is time to start the preparation for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In the Gospels there is a significant phrase that appears in the book of Luke concerning Yeshua,
“And when the days were fulfilled for His being received up, He turned His face to go to Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51
This verse speaks to the fact that Yeshua knew Passover was near and that it would be during this time that He would complete His calling, i.e. the Cross, and then ascend back into the heavens. In this passage, Yeshua went into Samaria but we are told that they would not receive Him because they knew His intent to go to Jerusalem. The Samaritans had contempt for Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The Samaritans had totally rejected the plan of G-d to establish His Kingdom. Why had they done so? The answer is because of their utter disdain for anything and everything having to do with the term Israel. Their theology had no place for a Kingdom that would be established from Jerusalem or would involve the descendants of Jacob. This is odd since the Samaritans themselves were partly descendants of Jacob.
I think of the many Christians today who are in fact spiritually connected to Israel through faith in Messiah Yeshua, but who have utter contempt for the theological perspective which states that the plan for HaShem’s Kingdom is rooted in the Land and people of Israel. I am like James and John who would like to see fire come down from heaven and consume such individuals. However, such a desire is not from G-d. For this is what Yeshua informed them when He rebuked them. Some manuscripts also includes the phrase,
“…you do not know what kind of spirit you are. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save.” Luke 9:56
The point is that judgment is reserved for G-d alone. One does have the right and the responsibility to point out that such theological views which reject what the Scriptures clearly reveal are incorrect and will bring about G-d’s judgment; but to want to see these individuals die is not in keeping with the dispensation of grace in which we now reside. Let us turn such ill feelings into a commitment to educate such brothers in exactly what the Scriptures reveal. Many of those who embrace a replacement theology and hold positions against Israel do so only because they have heard such things from others. By taking the time to open up the word of G-d with them you might be surprised how many will end up seeing things from the Biblical perspective.
Shabbat shalom and Chodesh tov
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