The richness of Jewish faith in Messiah Yeshua:
“For if you [non-Jews] who have been cut from the wild olive tree which is natural to you, and grafted contrary to your nature into a good olive tree [Israel], how much more fruitful would they be [Jews], if they were grafted into THEIR OWN natural olive tree [Israel IN Messiah Yeshua!]? I am desirous, my brethren, that you should know this MYSTERY, so that you may not be wise in YOUR OWN CONCEITS…”
Yeshua said, “Salvation [life] is from the Jews”, Jn 4:22
When Constantine severed the ‘church’ from Jewish Believers, he cut that ‘church’ off from life! Before you defend him, in his own words, “Let us no longer have ANYTHING to do with that disgusting people, the Jews.” He said this as the ‘head of the church’, when he MANDATED the CHANGE from worshiping on the Shabbat to worshiping on The Sun’s Day. He acted as an anti-Messiah, a False Messiah [Daniel 7:25, 1 Jn 2:18] He cut all those who followed him and the first ‘ecumenical counsel’ OUT of the Olive Tree of Israel! Shaul was prophetic when he wrote, “Well, they were cut off because of their lack of trust, but you exist by trust. Be not high-minded, but fear! For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, beware, or He will not spare you! Consider therefore the goodness and severity of Elohim: on those who fell, severity; but on you, goodness, IF you continue in His goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off!”
Am I saying that no one who is a ‘christian’ is saved. NO. Because in spite of him, the WORD remains true! What I am saying is that those who DO know Messiah know that He IS a JEW.
And, I am saying that if a Jew comes to trust in Messiah, his ‘fruit’ in Messiah is marvelous! All the TRUE traditions of Israel ‘come alive’ in Messiah Yeshua, even some of those they developed AFTER Yeshua came to earth. Suddenly, the Synagogue is a place to hear the VOICE of the MESSIAH, His Torah. The Sabbath is a day of JOYFUL rest, and not a drudgery done to try to be perfect and earn salvation. The FEASTS become a living example of what Yeshua did, especially Pesakh [Passover]. And, they become predictive of what He is about to do, if we understand them FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE.
Jews, unbelieving ones, point to Yeshua, even when they don’t WANT to! They have established some customs that can ONLY be explained in Yeshua, long after they rejected Him. “To them is given the oracles of G-d” [Romans 3], even if they don’t believe!
One example: The Affikomen at Passover. This is a later tradition of Jews. This is a ‘dessert’, which is actually a piece of the Matzah [unleavened bread] placed in a ‘unity bag.’ That “Matzah Tash’ or matzah bag/unity bag has three compartments. A piece of Matzah is divided up into three pieces and placed into each of the compartments. The MIDDLE piece of the ONE broken piece of bread is taken out at a certain point in the ceremony. Three pieces of ONE Matzah: Father, Son, Ruakh. The middle piece is taken out. [“I came out of my Father”] It is wrapped in LINEN and hidden away for children to find. It must be sought together, and brought to the FATHER [the one conducting the ceremony in a home is the father]. The Seder is not complete until the Affikomen is found! The father gives the child who found the Affikomen a token, usually a coin [silver dollar], and promises a greater gift later. This ‘custom’ is such a CLEAR picture of Messiah Yeshua, the “middle matzah”, the Son, coming to earth, dying, being hidden in a grave, rising from the grave and leaving his linen cloth behind, being sought out, returning to the Father, and giving a ‘deposit’ on LIFE, with the promise of RESURRECTION at a later date!
Another: Khannukah is a custom that developed about 200 years before Yeshua ministered. During the Maccabean revolt, Jews took the Beit HaMikdash back from Antiochus Epiphanes, an “anti Messiah” Greek who told Jews they could not study Torah NOR keep the Sabbath [just like Constantine]. He defiled the temple by offering a pig in the Holy Place, and erecting a statue of zeus and declaring himself god. The popes have done the same. The Maccabees revolted. They took the Temple back, cleansed it, and “Dedicated” it. The word for “dedication” is Khannukah. They began to celebrate that “Dedication” AS A NATION, and Yeshua honored it! He went to Jerusalem during Khannukah [Jn 9-10], and preached a message about the false shepherd! [Antiochus, Constantine, and the eventual Anti-Messiah, the son of perdition who will soon appear]. It’s important to note that as passionate as Yeshua was about pointing out the errors of the Pharisees, HE DID NOT REBUKE THEM FOR THIS FEAST! Khannukah is called the Festival of Lights, because they would light a lamp with 8 lights during this season. Why? Because they ‘dedicated’ the Temple in the 9th month of the year [our December], and that dedication was considered a “Sukkot” celebrated out of season, Sukkot usually being celebrated in the 7th month as commanded, and is a 7-day feast, with an 8th day called “Yom HaShmini”, also known as “Simkhat Torah” [Lev 23]. The two Temples that Israel had built before had been dedicated on Sukkot, an EIGHT DAY FEAST [seven days, with a “Great Day” at the end]. At ‘Khanukah,’ the ‘dedication’ after his defilment, to begin that feast out of season, they LIT THE MENORAH, as lighting lights begins EVERY DAY with Elohim, especially His Sacred Days [Sabbath, and the feasts] They had not been able to keep the ‘Season of Our Joy’ [Sukkot] for three + years because of the Greeks, and its kicking off with the lighting of the Menorah was a GREAT JOY to them! Little did they know that the Messiah would be CONCEIVED during Khannukah, and be BORN DURING SUKKOT! And, after all that took root in Israel, nearly 1500 years later a new custom developed around the “Khannukiah.” The original, in-home Khannukiah [Khannukah Lamp] was an oil lamp with eight holes in it [these 1st century pottery lamps have been found all through Jerusalem]. When candles became the standard ‘lamp’ for the home, the “Khannukiah” of today was developed. This was an eight-stemmed candelabra that looked like the Menorah. [Hence, it came to be called a Menorah]. Today, there are NINE LIGHTS. None are certain why, but one account says that In the late middle ages, a community of Ashkenazi Jews [probably one of my grandfathers, 😉 as “Dreyer” means ‘turner’, which also happens to be the root of the ‘turning toy’, Dreidel, of Khannukah] ordered a bunch of 8 branched “Menorahs” ahead of time. When they were received, they had NINE lamps on them! Oy! No bother, we’ll use it, and call it “The Shammash”, the servant candle. It is used only to light the other eight lights! This, too, is a beautiful picture of Messiah Yeshua, conceived at Khannukah, who gives light to the world! And, He gives light into the ‘eighth millennium! [8’s symbol also means infinity; in Hebrew, it is the letter khet, LIFE, also known as the “Letter of Light!”].
He was conceived during the commemoration of ‘new light’ after one of the ‘darkest’ times in Israel’s history. He was born during Sukkot, the ‘Feast of the Ingathering.’ He died and rose again during the feast of Pesakh. He sent the Ru’akh on Shavuot, and will call His Bride out on Yom Teruah! He will judge the world on Yom Kippur, and begin to dwell with us at Sukkot.
The JEWISH nature of our faith is SO RICH. EVERYTHING Jews do, whether believers or not, if it does not contravene Torah, it points to Yeshua! They can’t help it!
Again, “how much more fruitful would they be [Jews], if they were grafted into THEIR OWN natural olive tree? I am desirous, my brethren, that you should know this MYSTERY, so that you may not be wise in YOUR OWN CONCEITS…”
And, “If their rejection [of Messiah] has resulted in reconciliation of the world, how much more will their restoration [to Messiah] be? Indeed, it will be life from the dead!”
Be good to Israel. It could be the life of you.