Parashat Tzav (Command)
Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:1–8:36
I previously wrote on this Scripture portion, Parashat Tzav (Command), that the “HaOlah” sacrifice which means, "to go up", has a deep connection to the work of Yeshua our Messiah. As I read this week’s portion once again, I saw a similar phrase that I saw in Parashat Tetzaveh (You Shall Command), which is found in Shemot (Exodus) 27:20–30:10.
But first, let’s see what’s written in this week’s portion:
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. And the priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the burnt offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the burnt offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.
Leviticus 6:1–6 (6:8–13 in the English Bible)
In Exodus 27:20 (Parashat Tetzaveh) it is written: “And you shall command the sons of Israel, that they shall take to you pure olive oil of crushed olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually." In this week’s portion, it is written, ““Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.” So, we see a theme emerge of light/fire that was to be continuously burning. In Exodus, the instruction was for the entire assembly of Israel while, in Leviticus 6, the instructions are specifically for the priests. However, the concept is still the same, and that is: keep the fire burning, always!
So, what does this mean to us, followers of Messiah, today? The Hebrew word “תָּמִיד” (tamid) can be translated as "continually, constant, always", in others words, with no end. I believe that this concept of a continual light and fire is a very important concept for us as believers. Yeshua has offered Himself as an everlasting sacrifice; unlike the priest that had to offer daily sacrifices, He, as the eternal High Priest, has offered Himself as the final and ultimate sacrifice for us all!
He is the eternal light that burns within each of us. But, we cannot take this for granted! Our part is to make sure that His light shines from within us, and that our fire for Him continues to burn every day. I believe this is what Paul meant when he wrote to the Philippians, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Is His fire burning within you? Are you shining His light through your actions each day?