Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Day 4 of counting the Omer
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר
Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu Al Sefirat Ha-Omer.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us about the counting of the Omer.  Today is no weeks and four days of the counting of the omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.


Victory Over Sin 3 – Romans, part 64

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who were immersed into Messiah Yeshua were immersed into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried together with Him through immersion into death—in order that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

In these two verses, Paul writes a beautiful picture of baptism.  Let’s get back to that in a minute.  What is a miracle?  Please stop for a moment to think about your answer.  Here are my thoughts.  A miracle is something that happens which can only be explained as an act of God.  Atheists have no miracles.  Instead of God our Father, they have a mother, Mother Nature is their God.  However; all intellectually honest scientists run out of “natural” explanations for phenomena.

I want to use the word “phenomena” (“phenomenon” in the singular) to compare and contrast different types of miracles.   A known phenomenon is any movement or action that can be perceived.  Sometimes we need scientific instruments to perceive phenomena that are beyond the grasp of our human senses.  At other times, things happen that are not phenomena at all, yet are quite phenomenal, and baptism is one of them.

We go into the waters of baptism in identification with the death of Messiah Yeshua.  Something supernatural happens while we’re under the surface of the water.  God imparts new life to us.  Only God is the Creator, everything and everyone else is an imitator.  We come out of the water looking just like we did when we went in, but wet.  Yet, something has changed.  The Creator has touched us and we know we’re not the same.

This happened to Yeshua, Who is the First among many brothers.  (Paul will make this point near the end of his treatise on living without sin in Romans 8:29.)  Yeshua’s baptism was supernatural.  Matthew 3:16 After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

And so it is with you and me.  God has performed a miracle and brought forth new life in each of us; a new and better way, as we follow His Son.  Dare we even try to act as if nothing has happened?  The Lord, God, of heaven and earth has poured out His love on us through His Son.  Galatians 4:6 Now because you are sons, God sent the Ruach of His Son into our hearts, who cries out, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son—and if a son, also an heir through God.

The waters of baptism are a picture of the death and future resurrection that awaits each of us.  Only our miracle-working God could give us such a gift.  Paul starts with the question, “Do you not know?”  Let’s give him our answer, “Yes, we do.”

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 4 of the Omer
Wed 12 April-2023 21st of Nisan, 5783 Pesach VII
Ex 13:17-15:26, Nu 28:19-25 2 Sa 22:1-51 Rom 6:1-11