Did Jesus follow the Torah? Did he change it?
How does God interact with us?
It is time to revisit the Bible but with two differences to our usual approach. It is usual to think of places and this list will tell a story of its own; Eden, the Ark, Babel, Ur, Egypt, Sinai, Canaan, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Judea, Galilee, Golgotha. Now let’s see things from God’s perspective and how He paints His canvas over time:
I walked with Adam and Eve but they doubted me and brought on a curse. Noah was the last righteous man and I needed to recreate humanity. Men needed to be brought down a peg or two so I confounded their language. I found a man, Abram, with whom I could work, so I spoke to him. I needed a leader of the Hebrews to lead them out of slavery, so I spoke to Moses, first individually then, through him, to the nation of Israel. Then I spoke many times to prophets, the true leaders of my people, often to correct those who were acting as leaders. Then it was time to make a personal appearance …
Scripture is basically an unfolding series of key events, each featuring an interaction between the Divine and mortal man. It is the event that is important, not the location or even the people involved. God is the instigator, the central Character. We must focus on His revelation to mankind, as these interactions are so precious, more so than most of us realise. So, here is the list again, with yet another perspective:
The fall of man. A second chance. Limitations brought on by man’s pride. The call and covenant with a family. Rescue and covenant with a nation. Calls for repentance and return. Incarnation and salvation.
Today we tend to overcomplicate things. That is the Greek way, to exercise our intellect and allow it free reign. The Hebraic way is a lot simpler. For those today wishing to enter or sustain a covenant with God, the call is not a recitation of creeds or a delving into systematic theology, but rather a single command, “Remember”.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
This is the most important Jewish prayer, the Shema. It’s all about remembering the commandments and teaching them to your children. Visual aids were also given to help – symbols tied on hands and forehead (Tefillin) and scrolls of Scripture on doorposts (mezuzah).
In the New Testament, we have this familiar instruction:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19)
Remembering key events. This is important for God, so it ought to be important for us. We don’t just remember those events from the lives of others, great characters who inhabit the pages of the Bible, but we also have our own memories, times in our own lives when God broke through. We must consider these moments as precious, our divine moments, because they are part of our faith journey and testimony.
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp