Torah Portion: Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1
HafTorah: I Kings 18:46-19:21
NT Reading: Romans 11:2-32
Tonight I want to start with a look at this section of Torah from a viewpoint of how we can spiritually relate it to Messiah. Here in Pinchas we see shadows of this spiritual connection with Messiah. First to define the Hebrew word Keenah in Numbers 25:11. Here it is translated as zeal. But it is usually translated as jealous. So Pinchas was jealous for G-d and was moved to act. Yeshua can clearly be called one who is jealous for G-d – to the point of laying down His own life for the salvation of Israel. As Pinchas turned away G-d’s wrath so does Yeshua take upon Himself the punishment or wrath of G-d for us by laying down His life for us. G-d grants Pinchas and his descendants a perpetual priesthood on this earth and Yeshua has taken His place in heaven as our eternal High Priest.
I also want us to look at Numbers 27:16-17 where G-d tells Moses he is about to die. Moses first thought about the people. He asked G-d to appoint a leader who will look after the congregation of Israel that they not be like sheep without a shepherd. In Matthew 9:36 Yeshua uses the same words as He looks out over the crowd.
Joshua fulfills this role of shepherd for a while but like all men he died. Yeshua the “Good Shepherd” lives eternally and sits at G-d’s right hand spiritually fulfilling this request of Moses. It might interest you to know that the name Joshua and Yeshua are almost identical in Hebrew. Both names come from the verb for salvation. So, without any stretch we can easily see Messiah in these verses which helps us understand Him better as the “one appointed by G-d.”
Much of the remainder of this section is a recounting of G-d’s cycle of sanctification. What does sanctification mean? It literally means to be set apart –to be holy. Spiritually it means we are to be different from the world. This cycle of time can help us practically and spiritually as well. As we follow this cycle it reorders our lives. These points along the cycle from daily to weekly to monthly to yearly are called “moadeen” or appointed times. The Tabernacle was called the Tent of Meeting or appointment. To go by G-d’s calendar is like entering into the Tabernacle to meet G-d.
We have been over these many times so I won’t go into detail here but I would like to give you a list beginning with the daily and ending with the yearly appointed times. Also read what Paul wrote in Romans 12:1. When Paul said to present your bodies as a living sacrifice the people of that time would have understood what bringing a sacrifice meant.
- Daily – morning and evening sacrifice. One lamb was sacrificed between daybreak and 9 in the morning, another in mid afternoon.
- Weekly – Sabbath sacrifice was doubled. It was doubly blessed. Yeshua says in Luke 6:5 that He is L-rd of the Sabbath.
- Monthly – First day of each Hebrew month. The next one is August 1st the month of Av. This sets the whole calendar really. Every other yearly holiday depends on when each month begins. The Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem offered a sacrifice at the beginning of each month.
- Yearly –Passover remembers the day Israel slaughtered the Passover lamb in Egypt. According to the Gospel of John it also is the day on which Yeshua was crucified. Unleavened Bread – The Seder Meal reminds us of the joy of salvation and freedom. Counting the Omer – All of Yeshua’s post crucifixion appearances happened during these days. Shavuot – teaches us we serve a new master. We were freed from sin to serve G-d. Feast of Trumpets – Coronation of a King – looking to that day when Yeshua reigns from Jerusalem as King. Yom Kippur – A day on which we remember what Yeshua did for us. He entered the Holy of Holies in heaven. We reflect on all he did for us. Sukkot – great joy. Yeshua is with us. The first harvest. So this cycle sanctifies us by helping us practically to remember our spiritual journey. There were specific sacrifices for each of this appointed times.
Now to Romans 11:2-36. I hope each of you read this passage. What can we learn from these verses? First, G-d brought a blindness on Israel so that we might have an opportunity to come to him (Romans 11:11-12)
What is to be our attitude? We should be humble, realizing what G-d did for us. (verse 20) G-d has not cast Israel away (verse 28)
We were grafted in to their olive tree not the other way around.