I feel as though it’s been a while since I have written on my blog. I hope you had a great Christmas and I pray blessings on your new year.
This past Sunday I was talking to friends after church and one commented on my husband’s leather coat. She said it reminded her of the ’70s. I laughed and told her it was that old. My husband throws nothing away. But he has taken very good care of this coat so it does not look old at all.
Somehow our conversation drifted to Adam and Eve. My friend commented about God making clothes to cover Adam and Eve and the blood spilled to make those clothes.
According to Hebrew tradition[i], God did not just kill any animal to clothe the first couple, He killed the serpent who deceived them. It was this skin that’s believed to be the clothes Adam and Eve wore. This garment, passed down through generations, was eventually worn by John the Baptist.
God doesn’t make clothes that wear out.
Speaking of clothes, when the garments of the priests wore out, the priests tore them and used them for other things because they could throw none of them away. God made these clothes holy.
These pieces of cloth were used to wrap around the scrolls of the Torah, or Law to protect them from dirt and wear and tear.
The priests used other strips of the cloth for torch wicks within the Temple.
Yet, they used others for the sacrificial lambs. There was a group of shepherds known as Levitical shepherds who worked for the high priest. They lived in Bethlehem and raised sheep for the Temple sacrifices.
As new lambs were born, the shepherds swaddled them with cloth from the old priestly garments to protect them from cuts and bare spots in their wool.
They needed to be perfect.
The night Yeshua was born, it was these shepherds who the angels visited with the Good News. They were told there would be a sign, a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths….
Hebrew tradition shows that Mary would have wrapped Yeshua in the same priestly cloths as the sacrificial lambs. That was the sign these shepherds understood.
God gave another sign or clue way back in Genesis. This sign is easy for us to miss– but the Jewish people who heard the story of Abraham and Isaac didn’t miss it.
Abraham was told by God to take his only son Isaac and sacrifice him.
Genesis 22:1-2 ESV: After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
After getting everything ready for the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” Genesis 22:7-8 ESV.
But, did God provide a lamb? Genesis 22:13-14 tells us.
“And Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide.’”
Does it matter that God provided a ram instead of a lamb? Yes, it does.
The rabbis read these stories aloud to the Jewish people, so they recognized that God provided a ram instead of a lamb. Since God did not provide the lamb in this situation, the Jewish people waited for Him to provide the Lamb.
That is why in John 1:29, John’s announcement is very important!
“The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” ESV
Only John called Yeshua a Lamb. He was the expected Lamb and prophet the Jewish people were waiting for.
Let me know your thoughts.
1 I have learned much from a man named Rev. Aaron Eime, who
is Deacon and Director of Research and Education at Christ
Church, Jerusalem and studied at the Hebrew University. Originally
from Australia, he is a dedicated Bible teacher exploring the
Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith.
I believe he speaks and/or reads Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin. (You
can google his name and watch different videos recorded of his speaking
engagements here in the US and Canada.) I’ve seen him a few times when he’s come to the Cleveland area.
Most of what he teaches comes from the Jewish tradition, meaning some of
these facts and beliefs were recorded by Jewish scribes and historians in
sources other than the Bible.
While every New Testament is the same around the world, the Old
Testament is not. As the disciples of Yeshua spread the Gospel, they also left
some of their own writings where they served. As a result there are other books included in other country’s Bibles, some places have sixteen additional Old Testament books.