Tzav - Command
- Tzav – Command
Vayikra or Leviticus must be one of the most beautiful books – I think I may end up saying that for all of them though. What I love about this book is that it is all about relationship. Years ago, when I was trying to plough my way though the Bible in a year I would get so stuck in this book. I had no context for these chapters and I was often left unmoved by all the rituals and rules. It was completely foreign and outside of my frame of reference.
Today, I still cannot say that I have experienced these rituals first-hand – we have no Temple but I can say there is a greater context and frame of reference than ever before. The question, you may ask is how?
The answer in itself feels simple today but a few years back it began as an overwhelming discovery and start of a journey I will forever be grateful for.
It all began with the command – the tzav.
Now the word command in English does not denote feelings of love, nurturing and overall intimacy, on the contrary we have come to see this word as cold, militaristic and it can leave us with a picture of loveless and brute-force rulership. How different is this word in the context of Scripture and our Hebraic roots!
The beginning of this word is the letter tzadi – it is the 18th letter of the Hebrew Alephbet. 18 in Hebrew is life as this is the numerical value for the word chai – which means life. Tzadi is the first letter of the word Tzadik – which is a righteous person but this letter also represents tzayid hunting – a dual meaning to the letter but both pointing us to life – either the fullness of life or the ending of life based on whwhch direction we choose. I was thinking today that this is very much how we respond to Elohim’s commands. We either embrace the fullness of the commands of Elohim, or we walk away from it and allow life to be taken from us. We can go all the way back to Adam and Chava to fully understand this concept – they did not keep the command of Elohim instead they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and their death began that day. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Father’s commands bring life.
It seems like a complete contradiction when we read these first chapters of Vayikra (Leviticus) – these chapters seem to be about death, death of animals and much spilling of blood. On the contrary these korbanot are all about the life of the children of Israel and all those grafted in. They are not sacrifices to an unappeased god – these are pathways which connect us with our Heavenly Father where those in covenant with are called to cross over from death into life!
Each korbanot are a reminder of our sin but are put in place not to isolate us from HaShem but rather to draw us to Him for the fullness of life! The message is that we, who all have fallen short of His glory have a way to return to Him. (Romans 3:23) These korbanot are to show us that there is a way back to the garden, back into the loving embrace of our Elohim so that He can fill us with His Ruach and the wholeness that He intended for all of Creation to walk in.
As we celebrate Passover and move into the days of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits our focus is on the One, who took this all upon Himself. Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, who gave Himself up for the redemption and salvation of all mankind. No greater pathway has there been back to the embrace of our Father in Heaven, back to the garden and back to the fullness of Life.
Yeshua’s blood was shed as a gift for our salvation – just as the angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt because they had responded to the command to paint the door frames of their houses with the blood of the Passover lamb.
The command was to save life. The command was to redeem life. The command was about salvation and it still is today.
None of the commands in the Torah are intended as burdens for us to carry - all of them are about life.
Passover, the Sabbath and the moedim are all about life.
Father has called us to draw near to Him and because of the korbanot of His Son we have the freedom and we have been covered and accredited with His righteousness to come into His presence.
May the words of Vayikra become life to you as your read and study. May each of Father’s commands become life to you too and may you see His love, His kindness and generous heart in each of them for the abundance and fullness He desires for each of us.
Shalom blessings and Chag Pesach Sameag.