Hamoed Pesach – The Appointed Time of Passover (Shabbat)

April 11, 2020

Exodus 33:12-34:26; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 8:1-7

Chag Matzot Sameach – Happy Unleavened Bread Holiday!

Pastor Richard provides us with a special teaching this week, as we are in the midst of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Celebrating this festival to Hashem is one of the commanded moedim (appointed times/seasons). Pastor Richard begins the teaching this week reminding us that the plan of Hashem was always to dwell among his people, thus the raising of the Tabernacle after the incident with the golden calf. As we see in scripture, the cloud would lead the way when it was time for the camp to move, and the lesson we can take away here is that we should never desire to move without Hashem taking the lead.

Our portion covers Exodus 33:12-34:26 and begins, “And Mosheh said to יהוה, ‘See, You are saying to me, “Bring up this people.” But You have not made known to me whom You would send with me, though You have said, “I know you by name, and you have also found favour in My eyes.” ‘ ”

Pastor Richard first focuses on Exodus 34:1, wherein Hashem tells Moshe to cut two stones like the first ones, which he broke. Pastor Richard points out that this entire chapter should not even exist. The people had just experienced their first seder, but then went and made the golden calf. Thanks to their disobedience here, Hashem had to adjust his plans.

Pastor Richard shows how the sages saw the tablets: the letters on the tablets were likened to the soul, while the tablets themselves are likened to the body. When the soul deserts the body, the body is then ready for burial. The sages say the letters on the tablet literally flew off, and the tablets became very heavy in the hands of Moshe, just as a dead man becomes heavy and difficult to carry. This is a great way of explaining why the Torah (law) without the Spirit is burdensome and brings death. Pastor Richard ties this understanding to 2 Corinthians 3:10-16 which discusses the veil over the eyes of those who read Torah without the Spirit of Hashem, who reveals Messiah in the Tanak. It is the Spirit which reveals and brings life to Torah, and brings the repentant sinner to life.

Pastor Richard ties together all the days’ teachings with the Haftorah from Ezekiel 37:1-14 and the New Testament E-drash out of Romans 8:1-7.

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