What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 14)

As the first anniversary of the Exodus drew near, while Israel remained at the mountain, God proceeded to detail through Moses the patterns and particulars of the priestly, propitiatory order (Leviticus 1:1ff). Serving also as food for the priests, the edible offerings brought by the people often included various combinations of grain, flour, bread, oil, spice, salt and wine. Yet most of the different types of offering-payments were mainly those of animal sacrifice, ranging from the less expensive turtledoves or pigeons to the larger and increasingly more costly sheep, goats and bulls. The people were invited to make voluntary offerings as acts of devotion to express thankfulness (7:12) or to make a vow (7:16). But when God’s commands were broken—resulting in sin—only a sin offering would suffice. Read more

What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 13)

The Creator of the universe had made His choice: humanity’s national facilitator of reconciliation would be the groaning, ungrateful, stiff-necked people of Israel. In fulfillment of His covenant with the patriarchs, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had delivered His holy people through astonishing feats of power, and given them His commands of love with the sobering assurance of either abundant mercy or glorious wrath. In terrifying displays of authority, the God of Commandments—through His faithful law-giver Moses—made clear Israel’s objective and definition as a distinctive treasure among all the nations. As His priestly servant and mediator, God required Israel’s faithful submission and obedience to His word. But for the people of Israel to fulfill their uniquely ordained mission of helping to save the world, they first needed to be shown the method and the means of dealing with their own sin, and to find the way of righteousness that would accomplish their own reconciliation.

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The Bible claims that Yeshua is the Son of God, but how can the eternal Creator of the universe have a son? Did He mix with humanity to father biological offspring? Or maybe replicate His essence through some kind of cosmic reproduction? No, the reality and sense in which the God of Israel can have a Son—and for that Son to be Yeshua—is nothing like anything any mere mortal could conceive. And though it defies comprehension, it was through this embodiment of Himself that God decided—from the beginning—He would not only restore Israel, but bring salvation to the world.

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What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 12)

As Moses neared the camp, he began to see and hear the sights and sounds of sin rising from the people. During his forty-seven-day absence while he was on the mountain with God, the people had “sinned a great sin” (32:30), having “turned aside quickly from the way that [God] had commanded them” (32:8). With the willful and ignorant assistance of Israel’s soon-to-be high priest, the people threw off their oath, cast their gold earrings into the idolatrous shape of a calf, bowed down to it, and triumphantly announced, “These are your gods, O [Israel], who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (32:4).

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What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 11)

To their newly stated national definition, thirsty, hungry, and temperamental Israel was instantly resolute in her response: “All that Adonai has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8). And with that resounding, unalterable voice of conviction and commitment, the people consecrated and washed themselves, complied with the instructions not to touch or approach the mountain, and quietly awaited further instructions from their God.

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What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 10)

The Creator of the universe had been long at work to restore mankind from their self-induced separation from Him. Having chosen a people through whom He would make that Way, God set the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob on their promised path. The following four-century journey of salvation and pain would lead them down to foreign Egypt in favor. And though it would also permit their oppressive enslavement there, God would still remember and fulfill His unbreakable covenant to Israel’s fathers, and multiply His people ten-thousand-fold. Out of their misery and suffering, God raised up reluctant but faithful Moses to confront Pharaoh and deliver Israel from bondage through powerful, supernatural acts and wonders. And by the shedding of the innocent blood of the lamb, the God of Deliverance saved Israel from Egypt’s national, deathly judgment and mightily set His people free.

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What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 9)

While Moses, having fled Egypt, came to dwell in the land to the east, God still heard the cries of Israel, and did not forget His covenant people (Exodus 2:23-24). After forty more years, when Moses was eighty (Acts 7:30), he was out, as usual, shepherding his father-in-law’s flock on what turned out to be the mountain of God (Exodus 3:1). All at once, Adonai suddenly appeared to Moses in a burning fire, engulfing a nearby bramble in flames—though the bush was not consumed. And there for the first time, Adonai spoke to His servant Moses from out of the blazing bush, declaring,

“I am the God of your fathers, God of [Abraham], God of [Isaac], and God of [Jacob]…. I have seen, seeing the affliction of My people… and I have heard their cry… for I have known their pains. And I come down to deliver them out of the hand of the [Egyptians] and to cause them to go up out of the land… to a land flowing with milk and honey…. [S]ay to the sons of [Israel]: ‘I am’ has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:6-8,14 mjlt)

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What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 8)

Having dispersed Noah’s descendants to form a world of nations, God continued His reconciling work through obscure, unremarkable Abraham. God covenanted with Abraham that He would make him into a great nation, give him a great name, and make him a blessing to all the families of the earth. God also promised Abraham a land as a possession for the generations that would miraculously be born through him. And even though he had no children, and was personally given no inheritance in the land—“not even a footstep” (Acts 7:5, mjlt)—Abraham believed God. The covenant made by the God of Promise was renewed with Abraham’s son Isaac, and again with Isaac’s son Jacob…

…the promise, however, would not come without pain. Read more

What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 7)

Before he died, Abraham found a wife for his son from among the people of his father. He was determined to maintain his line’s distinction while still sojourning in that promised, yet foreign, country. Isaac loved Rebekah, who, like Sarah, had been barren. But Isaac prayed to God, and his prayers were abundantly answered—Rebekah conceived, and had not one child, but twins. From the womb, the two boys contended with one another, for God, indeed, had already made His plans. Esau, ruddy and hairy, came out first; and clutching his heel was relentless Jacob, the supplanter. Read more

What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 6)

Sealed by the covenant of circumcision, the birth of Isaac marked the beginning of Abraham’s promised line, and the distinction of a set-apart people. Until this time, Abraham had proved himself most malleable—willing to appease the command of both God and wife alike. But now, with the coming of his son Isaac—the promised progenitor of his name—would Abraham continue to obey, even in the face of great personal loss? Read more