WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING
Torah Portion: Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilech
Shabbat: Sep. 9, 2023 | Elul 23, 5783
Prophets: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
New Covenant: Romans 10:1-18
TODAY’S PRAYER OF AGREEMENT
Jesus’ Prayer For All Believers
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me”.
Our Creator and King | Rosh Hashanah and King Messiah
Both the Torah of Moses and the New Testament attest that Yeshua is Elohim (אֱלהִים) -- the Creator of the cosmos: בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר / "in the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1,14). The Divine Word and Voice cannot be separated from God any more than the Spirit of God can be separated. Yeshua is the Source of all life in the universe: כָּל־הַמַּעֲשִׂים נִהְיוּ עַל־יָדוֹ / "All things were made by Him (John 1:3). The "Word made flesh" is the "image of the invisible God" and the "radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint (χαρακτήρ, 'character') of his nature" (Col. 1:15). All of creation is being constantly upheld by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3): "All things were created by Him (i.e., Yeshua), and for Him" and in Him all things consist (συνεστηκεν, lit. "stick together") (Col. 1:16-17). As our Creator and Master of the Universe, Yeshua is both our King and our Judge, and therefore Rosh Hashanah (i.e., Yom Teruah) centers on Him.
But in addition to God's power and sovereignty as our Creator, we note that the Scriptures begin and end with the redemptive love of God. Yeshua is the Center of Creation - it's beginning and end. As it is written: אָנכִי אָלֶף וְתָו רִאשׁוֹן וְאַחֲרוֹן ראשׁ וָסוֹף / "I am the 'A' and the 'Z,' the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Rev. 22:13). Indeed, Yeshua is מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים / Melech Malchei Hamelachim: The "King of kings of kings." He is LORD of all possible worlds -- from the highest of celestial glories to the very dust of death upon a cross... יְהִי שֵׁם יהוה מְברָךְ / yehi shem Adonai mevorakh: "Let the Name of the LORD be blessed" forever and ever (Psalm 113:2).
לְךָ יָאֶה אֲדנֵינוּ וֵאלהֵינוּ
לְקַבֵּל אֶת הַכָּבוֹד וְהַיְקָר וְהַגְּבוּרָה
כִּי אתָּא בָּרָאתָ הַכּל
וּבִרְצוֹנְךָ הָיוּ וְנִבְרְאוֹ
le·kha · ya·eh · a·do·nei'·noo · ve·lo·hei'·noo
le·ka·beil · et · ha'-ka·vod · ve-ha-ye·kar · ve-ha-ge'·voo·rah
kee · a·tah · ba·ra·ta · ha-kol
oo·veer·tzon·kha · ha·yoo · ve-neev·re·oo
"You are worthy, O Lord and our God,
to receive the glory and the honor and the power:
for You have created all things,
and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
The central point of all true Torah, then, is the redemptive love of God demonstrated in the "first and last" principle of sacrificial life. This was prefigured in the original paradise when Adam and Eve were clothed by the lamb sacrificed for their transgression (Gen. 3:21), and the theme continues throughout the Torah, for example, in the account of the sacrifice of Isaac (we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah to recall the Lamb of God given in his place), in the visions of Jacob, in the commissioning of Moses, in the redemption from death by the blood of the sacrificed lamb in Egypt, and by the climactic revelation of the altar given at Sinai (i.e., the Tabernacle). Just as the "korban tamid" of the Temple (i.e., the continual sacrifice of the lamb upon the altar) recalled the original Passover and foretold of the Lamb of God to come, so Yeshua, the "Living Torah," embodied the Sacrificial Life itself, the true Lamb of God that was offered upon the stigma of the cross, to demonstrate God's infinite condescension, mercy and love that redeems the world from sin and death. Just as there is no Passover apart from the Lamb, so there is no "Rosh Hashanah" or "Yom Kippur" apart from God's atoning love given in the Messiah... Now THAT is something for us to make a "teruah," or a "joyful noise" in praise to our God!
ye-hee shem' Adonai me-voh-rakh'
mei-a-tah' ve-ad oh-lahm'
"May the Name of the LORD be Praised
from this time forth and forevermore."
John J. Parsons