April 18, 2011

The Blood of the Covenantal Lamb

This is the article that I recently wrote for Tehila magazine.

The Torah has been in existence since before Creation. As John 1:1-3 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. He was in the beginning with Elohim. All came to be through Him, and without Him not even one came to be that came to be.” Yahshua is the Word, and the Torah made flesh, as written in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

In Revelation, we see that not only is Yahshua the Torah which existed before the foundations of the earth, but He is also the Lamb slain from before the foundations of the world (Rev. 13:8). In Isaiah 53:7 we read of the Messiah, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, but He did not open His mouth.” The plan of salvation was already in place. The design of Torah was established from the beginning. Any lamb slain before the Father from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation is a physical representative of Yahshua, each displaying an aspect of his character as the Torah and Son of YHWH.

The blood of the lamb is representative of our faith in and our acceptance of the covenant set before us by YHWH from the beginning. John recognized Yahshua as being that all-encompassing perfect lamb in John 1:35-36, “’Again the following day, Yoḥanan was standing with two of his taught ones, and looking at יהושע walking, he said, “See the Lamb of Elohim!’”

What is this covenant I speak of? Well, the short version is: Torah. The slightly lengthier explanation is that this is a blood covenant set forth by YHWH in which His Son, as the Word and Lamb, became the sacrifice slain for us. His blood is the covering for our sin. It is also a sign of our acceptance of the covenant which we have entered into with the Father and the consequent protection therein.

If we have accepted the blood covering of Yahshua, we have in effect accepted His covenant of blood and agree to live under the conditions of that covenant. YHWH stated the conditions of this covenant in the beginning, when He made man. He also reiterated the covenant to Noach, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Children of Yisrael at Mt. Sinai. YHWH told His people over and over, “I will establish my covenant with you…” (Gen. 6:18)

In Genesis 15 we see YHWH going through the steps of illustrating the covenant which He made with those who choose to trust and obey Him. The instructions that YHWH gave to Abraham are specific steps made in the making of a blood covenant between men. A blood covenant is based on the differences between the two parties. Basically, the people involved in making the blood covenant are “blood brothers” at the end of the ceremony. They pretty much say, “If I violate the terms of this covenant, may I become like these flayed animals which we are walking between.” It is important to note that although YHWH has spoken the terms of the covenant to Abraham, YHWH actually “cut the covenant” with Yahshua- the Light (Gen. 15:17, Luke 1:79). Yahshua took on our part of the covenant (Matt. 27) and chose to die in our place (Rom. 6:23), knowing that we, as sinful-natured humans, would violate the covenant.

Part of being “blood brothers” in a blood covenant is that each person involved becomes as a brother to the other people. This means that they are now obligated to protect each other, their families, and their property as if it were their own, even with their very life. As described in Exodus 15:26, among other places, the terms of the blood covenant between YHWH and those who choose to follow Him are these: You will guard (Hebrew ‘Shomar’ H8104, which means to ‘protect’) and do my Torah- all of it. In return, I will guard you against my enemies. If you break your part, you have brought the curse upon yourself. But- if you return; I will have mercy and continue to protect you.

During Pesach, YHWH’s people celebrate and call to remembrance the time in Egypt when YHWH once again fulfilled His part in this covenant by protecting those people who had chosen to come under the sign of the blood. In Exodus 12:12-13 we read, “And I shall pass through the land of Mitsrayim on that night, and shall smite all the first-born in the land of Mitsrayim, both man and beast. And on all the mighty ones of Mitsrayim I shall execute judgment. I am יהוה. And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I shall pass over you, and let the plague not come on you to destroy you when I smite the land of Mitsrayim.” Those who did not have the blood covering were destroyed, whether they were of Hebrew descent or not. The true “Hebrews” (Strong’s H5680, from H5676) are those who have chosen to “cross over” in a covenant with YHWH; who have chosen to walk with YHWH between the pieces, in the making of a blood covenant.

One thousand years later, Hebrews watched as the ultimate Pesach Lamb shed His blood for any who chose to cross over in covenant. Once again, they were protected- covered- by the blood of the lamb, which took on man’s transgressions of the covenant, and died in our place. “And when the captain and those with him, who were guarding יהושע, saw the earthquake and all that took place, they feared exceedingly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of Elohim!” (Matt. 27:54)

Today we celebrate the Feast of Pesach as a remembrance of YHWH’s mercy and grace in protecting those who accept His covenant- past and present. We also look forward to the future, when we will see the Lamb of YHWH come to this earth once again, as the King who will destroy His enemies and yet again cover with His sovereign hand those people who have chosen to enter into the covenant. “And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1) And again, “I saw another messenger flying in mid-heaven, holding the everlasting Good News to announce to those dwelling on the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear Elohim and give esteem to Him, because the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, and sea, and fountains of water.’” (Rev. 14:6-7)

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