It’s like your whole life (before Google) you thought that chartreuse was a shade of purple. Then, one day out of nowhere, you realize it’s the most hideous shade of back-of-the-fridge yellow that you’ve ever seen. You’re shocked, embarrassed, and mostly mortified that such a color even exists. Your brain begins to rearrange each memory that has in any way contained the idea chartreuse. You now know that Grandma’s carpet was chartreuse. You find yourself correctly using the word chartreuse–simply because you can. In just a few days, the shock has worn off completely. Any memories of chartreuse as purple have all but been erased. You can move happily forward in your new-found knowledge; but barring head injury, you can never go back to chartreuse as purple–even though you might prefer it to be true.
I lived my entire life believing things that I no longer believe, and I’m happy with the beauty of new-found realities. I discovered that chartreuse wasn’t purple, and in the process I stumbled onto mauve. The paradigm shift was sudden, and it’s hard to remember why I believed the things that I used to. The Bible was a conglomeration of inconsistent truths held together by made-up seminary words and highbrow sounding phrases which are found precisely nowhere in the pages of Scripture and are meant to intimidate people like me. And that was okay…because everyone around me believed the same way I did. Until one day when it wasn’t okay, and I started asking “Why?”.
Why was Yeshua killed?
I mean, I know that He had to die for my sins, but why was He hated so? Why did they want to kill Him?
Why were they singing His praises on “Palm Sunday” just to kill Him four days later?
I’ll admit it. This one has always bothered me.
Why did they rest “according to the commandment” if we’re not supposed to honor the Shabbat today?
The women didn’t tend to Yeshua’s body until the third day because they were busy with the Feast and corresponding Shabbats. Why didn’t Yeshua warn them that He was coming to put a stop to such things?
How does a paid debt translate to an abolished law?
Isn’t it either one or the other? If the law is gone, what do I need to repent for? If the law exists, it’s our penalty that He has put under His blood.
It’s silly that these questions (and the answering of such questions) has been labeled as a “movement” within the church. This isn’t a movement as much as a backpedal. Sometimes it’s a sitting-and-pondering rest from all movement. This is not a new thing, but such an old, old thing that it appears as if it is new. This is a “What Would Yeshua Do?” tied as a sign upon our hands. And then a “Ooooh! Oooooh! Then I want to do that, too!”
See, I now understand that Yeshua was killed for teaching against the law. Not the Law (big “L”): the law (little “l”). They didn’t rightly differenciate between man’s law and God’s Law any better than we do today. We still read of Yeshua picking grain on the Sabbath and cry “Sabbath breaker!” like a Pharisee. We don’t even realize what we’re saying! For if our Passover Lamb were to break even the least of all of the commandments, then He would not have fulfilled the Law. He would not have been the perfect sacrifice. We would still be dead in our sins.
The Pharisees hated Yeshua for good reason…almost. Deuteronomy chapter thirteen commands Israel to reject any prophet that teaches against the Law–even a worker of miracles. In fact, they were commanded to kill such a teacher. The Pharisees did well to adhere to this warning; they simply couldn’t see the forest for the fences they had built around it. They were protecting their own laws. They weren’t protecting God’s.
Yeshua and His Father are of one mind. There is no rivalry between them. What is holy to the Father is holy to the Son. The Law of God is the Law of Christ. The Law of Christ is the Law of God. Yeshua is the Word of God made flesh (filled up, more fully revealed), so He had a vested interest in making sure it was being followed in the Spirit with which it was given.
Yeshua pick, pick, picked at these extra and burdensome commandments, and it was this picking that lead to His death. Though, in the end, those who accused Him knew they were killing an innocent man. They loved their traditions. The different sects Yeshua bantered with had differing sets of traditions, yet they often held their traditions as law–as equal to God’s Law. Yeshua continually questioned their interpretations when they added to the Law of God. They didn’t enjoy being questioned, so they bribed false witnesses to claim that Yeshua taught against the Torah. And as a false teacher–a Torah breaker, He had to be put to death. But He wasn’t a Torah breaker–hence the need for calculated lies [Matt. 26:59].
The day we call “Palm Sunday” is more accurately the 10th of Nissan. It’s the day the High Priest paraded through the city with the Passover lamb. The people would shout and cheer “Hosanna!” as the lamb passed by. But on this particular 10th of Nissan that we refer to as “Palm Sunday,” another Lamb also rode through. This one rode on a donkey. Many in the crowd must have made the connection, and their joy bubbled over in unimaginable praise. Their uncontainable joy made the Pharisees increasingly nervous, and this hastened His trial and conviction so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Yeshua had to be killed on Passover.
When Yeshua died, He died on a preparation day. He didn’t die on a typical preparation day, however (the day before the weekly Sabbath). Because the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (the day following Passover) is a commanded High Sabbath, Yeshua’s followers had two very solemn Shabbats before they were again face-to-face with their Lord. How badly they must have wanted to visit His tomb in the days between His death and resurrection! But they rested and feasted instead...according to the commandment. It seems walking and talking with Yeshua didn’t prepare one for the abolition of the Law. It seems ten years post Yeshua was not enough time for Peter to understand that a Christian could “eat all things” [Acts 10:14].
It’s seem likely that someone is confused. It seems less likely that someone is Peter.
The audience of the New Testament is primarily Jewish: Law-keeping, law-keeping Jews. The kept the Law for salvation. They kept the law for salvation. This was never the intent of the Law, and the law was never intended. When preaching to an audience such as this, one would rightly downplay the big “L” (and reject the little “l”) just to restore a proper understanding of the grace that had always saved them.
When I read these Scriptures now, they make sense! They make so much sense that I can barely remember when they seemed in any way strange or disconnected. I am truly free from the penalty of a life-time of breaking His commandments (both accidentally and on purpose)! Now I’ll live a life intended to please Him–not according to my heart, but as instructed by His. I’ll do this not to be adopted, but because He’s already given me His name. And now everything is mauve.