Emor / Say
1 Peter 2:4-10
These are the feasts of the LORD…
God’s Chosen People have been observing the days of Adonai since He brought them out of Egypt. In the wilderness, God appointed certain times called moadim to honor Him. The singular form of moadim is moed (מוֹעֵד); it comes from the root yaad (יָעַד), which means appointed, designated or designed.
What happened? Why did we, why do we….forsake the feasts of the LORD and transgress with the holidays of man? “Throughout the centuries, however, many Christians have thought of them as “Jewish holidays,” so they have feared observing them, lest they appear “too Jewish”. For this very reason, early Greek and Roman church leaders replaced these appointed times with holidays of their own making. We especially see this with Easter replacing Passover. In the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia (volume 5, p. 228), we find this entry: “The emperor himself [Constantine] writing to the churches after the council of Nicaea [in AD 325], exhorts, ‘At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present [Even though Yeshua and the disciples celebrated Passover: Matthew 26:17-30 that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day [Easter Sunday] …(freeemessianicbible.com).
The Christian Church claims that by observing these appointed days, they are coming “under the Torah (Law). They might ‘do’ a Passover, but that might be show only. It is easy for a Christian church to ‘do a Passover’. That way they would never have to complete the cycle – that would be the Shabbat. But God calls them HIS feasts—His appointed times. “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are My appointed feasts.'” Leviticus 23:2. So, if God has feasts that belong only to Him, then celebrating them are the privilege of the people of God, whoever we may be.
These are not the holidays of man, but rather the High Holy Moadim of The LORD. What a difference!
To continue in holiness: Leviticus 21:16-20 God commands Moshe to tell Aaron that no man with any defect shall approach God in the Holy place, and in Leviticus 21:17-24 God commands Moshe to tell Aaron that an animal with any defect shall not be brought as an offering. We might look at these verses as though it would seem that God is punishing those that may have a handicap or an animal with a deformity. But if we look closely at these verses we see that God is showing His people what is to come.
No High Priest may receive an offering if it has a deformity and no offering may be received if it has a deformity.
Putting this into context:
- Yeshua is the High Priest – Hebrews 5:6 ‘…just as He says also in another passage
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:20 –‘where Yeshua has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
- Without any defect - ‘ Ephesians 5:27 ‘That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’
- We are the offerings – Romans 12:1 ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.’
- How are we defiled? – Ezekiel 5:11 ‘So as I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare.’
Anything that strays from the walk of Adonai, anything that substitutes or changes or denies, defiles the man/woman who is walking outside of the Torah. It is up to us, each as individuals to seek out the truth, and remove the idols of our heart – the idols that are keeping us from being the unblemished offering.
Baruch HaShem ~
The Holiness of Time…
We are spiritual beings but we live and operate in the physical. We are holy souls living in the flesh.
Ecclesiastics 12:7 ‘And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.’
Ezekiel 18:4 ‘Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.’
Genesis 2:7 ‘Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.’
That is why there is secular time as well as holy time. One day in seven, we stop working and enter the presence of the God of creation. We set aside a specific day that He sanctified, blessed and hallowed. It is His own seven day cycle for God and man. On certain days of the year, the moadim, the High Holy Days, we celebrate the God of history, the present and the future.
Whereas the High holy days represent events of past, present and future; and the holiness of these days relate specifically to the events of the past, present and future; the holiness of Shabbat is determined by God alone because He alone created the universe.
The Shabbat is part of creation that was implemented at the beginning of our time cycle, unbeknownst to us did it exist prior? Nonetheless, it was created by God with creation. It is a specific holy day, a holy time for no other reason than for man to be set apart with Adonai. Genesis 2:3 clarifies: “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it, He rested.” This is the first time the word “holy” is used in the Bible. Abraham Joshua Heschel, in his book The Sabbath, writes: “… the word kadosh (holy), “a word which more than any other is representative of the mystery and majesty of the divine,” is first used in the Torah in relation to time.” It wasn’t a holy place or a holy person. It was holy time. Mark 2:27 'And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'
The Moadim/Set-Apart Days were implemented as man walked the earth, as each event unfolded. Within each High Holy Day there is an undisputed event or reason, set in stone on the calendar of Elohim. Each Appointed Time represents a time in and because of God. Shabbat and the High Holy Days, both set apart, yet both different.
Leviticus 23 has always been referred to as the calendar of holy time. Leviticus 23 is explicit: ‘And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.’
As we observe these Moadim and specifically the Shabbat, we set aside a time of holiness. It is a time of spiritual elevation towards the God of the universe, The Creator. When we ignore these days, we dilute His word and replace it with a compromise that elevates our self, our own time.
Time is a precious commodity often overlooked, yet always coveted. We never seem to have enough time. We lack time to accomplish what we need, want and have to do. We comment that we don’t have enough time to ‘spend with God’. How brilliant of Him that He created one day in seven specifically reserved for Him and man.
Psalm 46:10 ‘He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 62:1 ‘Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.’
Psalm 19:14 speaks of meditating on God’s word, ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ This Psalm is repeated at the end of the Amidah, which is read daily.
The Aliyah of spiritual living is not to gain a wealth of information, but to create sacred moments with the Creator – at His calling. This is a time to be attached to holiness.
For a moment, time can stand still as we honor the Shabbat and His Appointed Times.