Together we have begun our study of Leviticus chapter 8 and are deep into that portion of Scripture the church normally terms the Law.
I think the word “Law” is a sloppy term to use in place of the word TORAH as it imparts an incorrect impression of what this part of the Scriptures is really about.
TORAH does NOT mean “Law”, it means “teachings”.
Until the study of Greek became popular, it was the word TORAH that was used.
Now before we start getting deep into the text, there is an important point I’d like to take the next couple of days to address.
That point is why should Yeshua believers, whether Jew or Gentile, even take the time to study the TORAH at all?
Are we really obligated to obey all the commands, regulations, and laws of the Torah?
If so, to what degree?
Given that we are so far removed from the original culture of the Bible, what does it really mean for a modern disciple of Yeshua today to be Torah-observant?
I think it’s important to address some of these issue before we go any further.
Knowing exactly why you are doing something can serve as powerful motivational fuel and help us see the big picture behind the myriad of details we’ll be getting into once we dive back into the text.
So concerning the question of whether or not we are obligated to obey all of the Torah, my first response is that it’s impossible.
Out of the 613 commands and regulations in the TORAH, more than half deal with rituals that are to take place at the Temple.
Since there hasn’t been a temple since 70 A.D., it is impossible to follow all of the Torah-prescribed rituals no matter how much one would want to.
This brings me to a very distinct mindset difference between Christians and religious Jews.
Christians have little interest in Temple ritual and seem perfectly comfortable in their assumption that they do not have to deal with Temple rules.
On the other hand, a good portion of religious Jews are passionately waiting for the Temple to be rebuilt, so they can OBEY the Levitical ritual laws and commands.
When asked what is or what was the purpose of the TORAH, the primary reason given is that the TORAH’s role is to teach us what sin is and why we need to have our sins atoned for.
It also teaches us how complex and serious a matter sin is.
The complexity of sin is something the church is not too familiar with.
First, because they never teach the Torah (contrast this with Jewish Shabbat school, where the first book a child will learn is Leviticus).
Second, because the church adheres to this weird doctrine that all sins are the same in God’s eyes.
While it is true that the role of Torah is to teach us what sin is, it is not the only role of the Torah.
I would say that is one of the “negative” roles of Torah.
However, on the other side of the coin, Leviticus has a very “positive” role to play in our lives.
What is the opposite of sin?
The opposite of sin is righteousness, right?
So that is another role the Torah plays in our lives, to teach us what righteousness and holiness is.
The Torah plays two roles.
On the negative side, it teaches us about sin and how diseased we human beings really are because of our sin.
However, on the positive side, it teaches us the solution to sin and what righteousness and holiness are all about from the Lord’s perspective.
Unfortunately, the church has overlooked this positive aspect of the Torah.
They have jumped to the conclusion that the Torah’s only purpose is to show us what sin is and because “Jesus paid for our sins”, it’s okay now to pretty much throw the Torah into the trash can.
The big problem with that attitude is that since it is the Torah that tells us what sin is, without it, we have no way of knowing what sin is from God’s perspective.
The problem is our human definition of sin hardly ever matches up with God’s definition.
Throw away the Torah, and it is the wickedness of your heart that ends up becoming the judge of what is right and wrong.
And when you look at the church, that is exactly what has happened with all of their pagan Easter and Halloween celebrations.
Let’s get this straight, the Torah is the only document that defines what sin is and more importantly what the remedies are.
If that isn’t a good enough reason to take time to study the Torah, I don’t know what is.