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Old 07-08-2018, 11:24 PM   #1
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Arrow Daily Bible Portion (Sunday)

Daily Bible Portion – 1 of 7

(Weekly Reading>>Numbers 19:1 to 22:1, Judges 11:1-33, John 3:1-21; 4:3-30; 12:27-50)

The Red Heifer Sacrifice

The red heifer sacrifice has always been a great illustration in Scripture. To fully comprehend the importance of this study we go back to Exodus 24:3-11 where the Lord/Yahweh gives His Covenant (the Mosaic Covenant) to the people of Israel. Scripture says they all responded with one voice, “Everything Yahweh has said we will listen to do.” Then Moses wrote down everything the Yahweh taught him.

The season when this took place was the culmination of the counting 50 days to the Feast Pentecost. The occasion was the betrothal of Yahweh to His people Israel. This was the giving of the Marriage Covenant, called in Hebrew the ketubah (Yahweh’s teaching and instruction called the Good News or the Gospel), to His Bride.

Romans 10:4 “For Christ/Yeshua is the end/telos of the law for righteousness [teaching and instruction] to everyone who believes.”

As it is today, marriage is the goal or in Greek telos which means goal, result, purpose of betrothal. Does this mean marriage ends at the altar or is marriage the beginning of a new life and future with our husband? So it is with Christ. Yeshua which means "Yah" saves is the end or goal/telos of the Torah, the Law of Righteousness. Now that believers have received the goal (Jesus), they enter into His lifestyle. Jesus/Yeshua has graciously supplied all the information we need to follow His ways of righteousness. This is found only in His word, specifically the Torah. The pursuit of Torah (in Hebrew, is a archery term meaning, to instruct one to hit a point aimed at) is filled with all of His wisdom, understanding and knowledge, which produce a pure and holy life in Him and to everyone who believes.

Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Law/Torah [our Marriage Covenant] has become our tutor to lead us to Christ/Messiah [our Bridegroom], that we may be justified by faith.”

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law [Torah, the law of righteousness] or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”

The Hebrew phrase “Na’aseh v’nishma!” the people cried out in unison translates “Everything Yahweh has said [in His Gospel], we will listen to do.” This phrase teaches us the principle of freeing ourselves from the shackles of our own stubbornness and rebellion. The key to a successful and holy life is to whole-heartedly accept His word. There may be challenges and yes, the so-called burdens before us, but realize that the fuller depth of God’s truth may not yet be seen or grasped in our minds. The point is, to follow what He asks us to do.

“And he [Moses] rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to Yahweh. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read [it again] in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that Yahweh has said we will do, and be obedient.” And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which Yahweh has made with you according to all these words.” (Exodus 24:4-8)

In Hebrews 9:19 in the New Testament there is more detail of what occurred at this event.

“When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the Torah to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop [contained in the water from the red heifer sacrifice], and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.”

Luke 22:20 “Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new [re-newed/kianos] [Marriage] Covenant in My blood [predicting He would be the red heifer sacrifice], which is shed for you."

This cup is the red heifer ceremony and the background to our study this week.

The Red Heifer – The Mount of Olives
(Numbers 19:1-9)

The killing of the red heifer and keeping of its ashes are commandments for purification. God’s requirements were for the Children of Israel to present Eleazar the High Priest a red heifer without defect or blemish, which had never been under a yoke. After receiving it, he then removed it for slaughter outside the camp. Some of its blood was then to be sprinkled seven times in front of the tabernacle. This was to be a lasting ordinance for the children of Israel and those sojourning with them throughout their generations (Numbers 19:2, 9, 10, 21).

Under Eleazar the high priest’s supervision, the heifer was burned outside the camp in its entirely, with its hide, flesh, blood and offal, along with some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool. Later the high priest cleansed himself (had a baptism) and changed his high priest’s garments to priestly attire before returning to camp. The man who burned the red heifer also had a baptism and changed his clothes (status) before re-entering the camp. A man who was ceremonially clean gathered up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. He also changed his clothes and performed a baptism before returning to the camp.

The ashes were kept for the Israelite community as a whole, to be used in the water cleansing ceremony for purification from sin (sometimes called holy water Numbers 5:11-31). This was to be a lasting ordinance for both the Israelites and those sojourning among them. To date, there have been nine red heifer sacrifices in Israel’s history. Popular thought holds that Messiah was the one who would fulfill the requirements for the tenth red heifer.

The red heifer acceptable for sacrifice was to be a female cow not older than three years that had not yet had a calf. The heifer was a type and shadow of the Messiah. Jesus is the Word made flesh, born of a virgin, conceived by the Spirit of Yahweh who was without sin, meaning He had never been under the yoke of sin and death. Christ’s earthly ministry was three years (John 1:1, 14; Luke 1:26-27; Isaiah 7:14).

Different places have been labeled as the traditional site for the crucifixion of Christ. One is the church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, which would have placed the crucifixion/sacrifice inside the camp. Some say that Gordon’s Golgotha (meaning skull, head or poll) located just outside the Damascus Gate (also called the Shechem Gate) in the Old City of Jerusalem, a relatively new site in history, is the crucifixion site. The generally overlooked deeper Hebrew understanding of the word skull is that it is a reference to the top of a man’s head. The term ‘Calvary’ was an adaptation of the Latin calvaria, meaning bare or bald head. The term skull was also used to describe the top or summit of a mountain, especially a bare one.

According to Scripture, the red heifer was to be killed outside the camp in a clean or set-apart place. That clean place was historically and biblically understood to be on a separate mountain entirely than Mount Moriah where the Temple stood. The most authentic clean place outside the camp was on the Mount of Olives. This mountain opposite Jerusalem has historically been accepted as the Scripturally sound, set-apart place for the red heifer sacrifice. Also known as the Skull Mountain in Yeshua’s day, the Mount of Olives has long been recognized by the Israelites down through the generations as the place where Jesus died.

continues tomorrow...
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