Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Wednesday night is the beginning of the Passover holiday.  Read all of Exodus 12.  It provides a great overview of the Passover commandments that God says are a perpetual ordinance.  Exodus 12:14 “This day is to be a memorial for you. You are to keep it as a feast to Adonai. Throughout your generations you are to keep it as an eternal ordinance.”  Lest you be tempted to relegate that to something in the Old Testament that doesn’t apply any longer, pay attention to what Paul said to the Corinthians.  1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth.  Happy Passover everyone.

On The Other Hand – Romans, part 59

Romans 5:16 Moreover, the gift is not like what happened through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment from one violation resulted in condemnation; but on the other hand, the gracious gift following many transgressions resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s transgression, death reigned through the one, how much more shall those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Messiah Yeshua.

“How much more…” (from Romans 5:17) ranks right up there with other great biblical phrases like, “But God…” (from Ephesians 2:4), “But thanks be to God…” (from 1 Corinthians 15:57)  and “He is faithful and just to forgive us,…” (from 1 John 1:9).  The point, both here and throughout the Bible, is that God has a plan, through His Son, to deliver us from the curse.

Which would you rather have, “judgment… resulting in condemnation,” or (on the other hand) the gift of grace resulting in justification?  How long should we pray over such a choice?  There is a point here, and it’s typically missed during the Passover Seder.  On the Seder plate we have (among other items) bitter herb and sweet charoset.  There is an intentional contrast between bitter and sweet.  Don’t miss it.

When we partake of them (always separately) a question arises.  It is a question typically missed in the traditional order of the Seder.  “How would you like to spend eternity…”  (Every individual must answer for him/herself.)  “…in bitterness of slavery to sin, or in the sweetness of being one with God?”  Of course, the obvious answer is Paul’s “on the other hand” choice.  But the choice of goodness and joy is only possible “through the One, Messiah Yeshua,” as he says at the end of our subject verses.

One other note before we close this for today.  I’ve heard pastors teach that it is useless to resist sin since we can never have that victory in the flesh.  Their’s is a teaching which confuses flesh with spirit and disastrously ignores the power of the spirit.  They are right, we can never have victory over sin in the flesh.  Victory over sin is a spiritual victory only, available through surrendered faith in Yeshua, Who gives us the victory.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! 58 Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday) and Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 5 April 2023 14th of Nisan, 5783
Erev Pesach Ta’anit Bechorot (fast of the first born, during the day)
Ex 34:1-3 Isa 53 Ps 22 Mk 15, 1 Co 5:6-8
Ex 32:11-14; 34:1-10; Isa 55:6-56:8