Friday, April 14, 2006 | 
Hol HaMoed Exodus 33:12-34:26; Numbers 28:19-25; Ezekiel 36:37-37:14 and Song of Songs

This Shabbat, in the middle of the Passover week, has a special reading portion not from the chronological reading cycle. The Passover story is mentioned in several scriptures, but in Exodus 12 we find the explanation of the Exodus.

"Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household… an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.'” (Exodus 12:3-6)

From the tenth to the fourteenth day of the first month (of the Hebrew calendar), every Hebrew family brought a lamb into their home to see if it was “without defect and fault.” Knowing that this lamb would save them from the plague of the death of the firstborn, I am sure they watched it very carefully!

It was also nearly four days between the time Yeshua was “taken” into the Garden of Gethsemane and then crucified as the Lamb of God. Jesus was examined and tested and found to be “without fault.” In his three and the half years in ministry, he was also examined by the people.

In verse 11, we read: “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover.” In other words, always be ready! We also don’t know when Jesus will return.

He is our Passover Lamb, celebrated by Christians this week and Messianic Jews – on Easter in addition to Passover.

In today’s reading from the Prophets, we have Ezekiel 37 the Vision of the “Dry Bones.” That was partially fulfilled. After the Holocaust, we literally saw dry bones and bodies piled up and a hopeless situation.

“Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished We are completely cut off.' Therefore, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.” (Ezekiel 37:11-13)

There seemed to be no hope after the killing of 6 million Jews. But three years after theo Holocaust a man named David Ben Gurion proclaimed on May 14, 1948 the re-born of the Jewish state. That fulfilled, now we await the final episode:

Verse 14: “’I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,’ declares the LORD.”

That is still ahead of us. But just as the first part of this prophecy in the salvation plan of God was fulfilled, I trust and believe also the second saving part will arrive in his fullness. The spiritual restoration will follow the physical restoration. Of that there is no doubt!

- Michael Schneider–

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