“The cohen is to offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar; thus the cohen will make atonement for him; and he will be clean.”-Leviticus 14:20
We’ve just finished studying the very demanding and complex rites the METSORA (skin disease carrier) had to go through to gain re-entry into the camp of Israel after his TZARA-AT (skin disease) cleared up.
The METSORA actually had to go through what seems to be four different levels of purity before finally attaining HOLINESS.
1st LEVEL: The METSORA is UNCLEAN and outside the camp of Israel.
2nd LEVEL: The METSORA is pure enough to step inside the camp of Israel
3rd LEVEL: The METSORA is now clean and eligible to come to the AZARAH (entrance) of the Tabernacle or Temple, but he is still not allowed to pass beyond the gate.
4th LEVEL: The METSORA is now allowed to pass beyond the gate of the Tabernacle or Temple and reassume normal participation in the ritual sacrifices. He is no longer a METSORA at this point.
After this painstaking study of all the requirements and hoops the METSORA had to jump through to get CLEAN, and then to progress to HOLY, I think we are one step closer to understanding the traditional Jewish mindset on one point in particular.
It’s no secret that religious Jews often refer to Christianity as a “cheap religion”.
After studying these complex METSORA purification rights, are you starting to see why some religious Jews might scoff at the idea that all a gentile has to do is pray a few words to receive Christ at some evangelical revival and then BATTA-BING, BATTA-BOOM, in one quick instant the Gentile goes from being CLEAN to HOLY.
And what’s the cost?
Contrast this to what the Hebrew had to do to maintain his relationship with YHVH.
The many sacrifices that had to be offered up to take one from UNCLEAN to CLEAN to HOLY were expensive and time-consuming, and had to be repeated on a regular basis.
In some cases, it could cost an Israelite everything he had to participate in the required sacrifices.
If he didn’t obey, he knew his relationship with HASHEM could be broken, and that was a nightmare to be avoided literally AT ALL COSTS.
For the ancient Hebrew, peace with God was the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IN HIS LIFE.
Minus peace with God, what hope was there in this life or the next?
So from a traditional Jewish standpoint, I can certainly understand much more now, especially after studying Leviticus, why some religious Jews may view the Christian faith as being “cheap”, meaning it costs nothing.
Here are a couple of interesting responses I found on QUORA in response to the question “Why is it so hard to convert to Judaism?“
“Converting to Judaism is hard because adhering to Judaism is hard. Imagine you’re training to be a Navy SEAL (elite special operations) where you must have absolute mastery over weapons handling, emergency management, self-defense, first aid, etc. SEAL training will take you years and will be the most grueling experience of your life. But why?? The more important and difficult the job, the more difficult and extensive is the training. Being Jewish is really, really hard. It’s a privilege! Just like being a SEAL. But it’s a huge responsibility to oneself, to the world, and to G-d. As such, the process of conversion will obviously be difficult.”
“Basically: Judaism is a collective religion. Everyone’s deeds effects the nation as a whole; and not just the current living nation, but every Jews actions effects all Jews across history. That’s why it says “all Jews are responsible one for another”. As you can imagine we’re reluctant to take, and give responsibility to a stranger. Hence, before someone joins the force, and will effect us all, we want to be 100% sure, the individual is sincere and responsible. Remember, in Judaism there’s no leaving after you’re in. That’s the reason for the rigid barriers to get in. Only the truly sincere will enter. Look at the first sin of our nation. It was instigated by insincere converts – the “Eirev Rav”.”
“In the Jewish faith, when someone converts and goes through the process, he is considered by Jewish law as a Jew. He is required to fulfill all of the six hundred and thirteen commandments that were commanded to Jews alone etc. Someone that cares about G-d’s will, wouldn’t want to just convert anyone that walks through his door, because if he would be converted without a thorough testing, he is likely to pass the whole thing up, a week, month, year later. Then you have a group of people sinning on a constant basis.“
“I would like to add that Judaism is a religion which values action more than words or belief. It is the first religion that offered the world a conscience and therefore the concepts of ethics and morality. The long periods of study are not the only thing. Participating in Jewish holidays, observing the Sabbath as much as a gentile is able, and participating in the community are equally as important.”
Notice the huge mindset difference from the gentile Christian who walks down an aisle at a Billy Graham revival, utters a few words in prayer, and then is assured that he is now HOLY and “saved” regardless of how he or she lives his or her life afterwards which is usually characterized by a bizarre Sabbath-breaking, pork-eating anti-Torah lifestyle.
In contrast, the religious Jew’s every waking hour is guided by his or her dedication to HASHEM.
This includes his diet, how he treats his neighbor, how he conducts business, when he rests and how he participates in the community.
I’ve seen many Christians walk around rather arrogantly and accuse Jews of trying to work their way to heaven.
A Christian should instead be humbled beyond imagination, especially if you have a proper understanding of Leviticus.
It cost God His son Yeshua to take you from UNCLEAN to HOLY.
This was a cost far beyond the wealthiest man on this planet’s ability to pay.
I don’t think you really can understand or appreciate the depth of what Yeshua accomplished without a proper understanding of Leviticus as it was a tremendous ordeal to go from UNCLEAN to CLEAN to HOLY in ancient Israel.
To conclude, at this stage, you should have a lot more understanding of why a religious Jew would view Christianity as “cheap”.
And now after this study of Leviticus, you are in a much better position to converse with a religious Jew on these matters and hopefully be in a better position to see where they are coming from.
I’m all about building bridges of understanding between Jew and Gentiles, so that in Messiah we can come together as ONE body.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
neither slave nor free,
nor is there male and female,
for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.“