Weekly Torah Tidbits

May 8, 2021- Iyar 26, 5781

Behar - Bechukotai : "On the Mount" / "In My Statues"


READINGS:

Torah: Leviticus 25:1-27:34

Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14

Brit Chadashah (New Testament): Matthew 21:33-46


Let Freedom Ring

     The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia has these words inscribed on it: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land," (Leviticus 25:10).  This comes from the instructions the L-rd gave to Israel regarding the Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee came every 50 years and served as a time of complete rest for the people and the land.  It was also a time when land reverted back to the original owner and slaves were set free.   

     In some ways the Year of Jubilee served as an appetizer for the Messianic Age; the rest and the liberation experienced during the Year of the Jubilee would be complete when Messiah would establish His kingdom here on earth. Isaiah looked forward to that time: "The Spirit of the L-rd G-d is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives...to proclaim the year of the L-rd's favor..." (Isaiah 61:1-2).

     Luke records that Yeshua came to His childhood synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:14-30). By that time He had become somewhat famous, so the "pulpit committee" invited Him to read from the scroll of the Prophets. It "just so happened" that the portion that He was given was the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2. Yeshua read the portion and then made a startling declaration: "Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!" His listeners did not grasp His meaning right away—Yeshua was saying that the Year of Jubilee, the Messianic Age, had begun because He was there.     

     For we who are believers, the Year of Jubilee has added meaning.  We sometimes feel that our salvation begins and ends the moment we come to know the L-rd. Yet, the writer of Hebrews challenges us to realize that "[Yeshua] is able to save to the uttermost [i.e. fully and completely]."  Are we willing to experience more of the liberty that the L-rd has for us?  Let’s press on...