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What Would Jesus Do?

Hebraic Roots

Why was this night different from other nights?

By Marnus Schoeman, BFP Group & Guest Relations Manager

{image_1}This has been a question asked for centuries from generation to generation among the Jewish people during the Pesach (Passover) seder meal. You might wonder, why ask this question so long after Passover, which is celebrated in March–April? In August, The Land of the Bible Experience—an educational ministry of Bridges for Peace that provides Hebraic teaching through dramatic presentations—seized a wonderful opportunity to enact our Passover play to a  tour group of 585 Nigerian Christians!

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The Kingdom of God

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Today, Christian congregations sing songs about “preparing the way.” But are we clear about what we are preparing the way for and how we are to do it? John the Baptist, who appears in the New Testament to prepare the way for Yeshua (Jesus), is a fitting place to start in answering those questions. John’s message, as well as Yeshua’s, was “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2, 4:17). The kingdom of heaven was what they were preparing the people for. What exactly is the kingdom of heaven? If John prepared for it and Yeshua established it, what are we preparing for?

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A Fresh Look At The Priestly Blessing

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 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace”’” (Num. 6:23–26).

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Joseph A First-century Jewish Man Part 2

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As Christians, we believe the Bible has every answer for every situation we might encounter in our lives. It is a comprehensive handbook for living in relationship with God. But the writers of the Bible, Jewish men who lived millennia ago, often wrote in what we might call biblical shorthand. Much is left unsaid because it was common knowledge in the day in which the writers lived.

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Joseph A First-century Jewish Man Part 1

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Many of the characters mentioned in the Bible are shrouded in mystery. Although we recognise that God has placed them there to fulfil specific purposes, we often know little about who they really were. Joseph, the step-father of Yeshua (Jesus) is certainly one of those individuals. A search for information about him reveals little, and the most common phrases encountered are: “little is known” or “little can be known” about him. Truthfully, however, much can be known…if we know where to look to find the information. In this two-part teaching, we will dig into the Scriptures, history and Jewish tradition, examining his life on every level. In part 1, we will look at him as a first-century man and husband. In Part 2, we will discuss his role as a father. Through it all, Joseph will emerge from the shadows as a very real and vibrant man, and an example for us all.

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The Tabernacle—God’s Dwelling Place

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Nachmanides, 13th-century Jewish sage and scholar, calls Exodus “The Book of Redemption” because it begins with the Jewish people in slavery to the Egyptian, traces their remarkable deliverance, and comes to an end with the establishment of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Once Moses had completed this amazing structure, according to all that God had told him, the glory of the Lord filled it so that even Moses himself was not able to enter (Exod. 40:33–35). Further, the Scriptures tell us that the cloud covered the Tabernacle by day, and the fire was over it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel (vv. 36–38). What a glorious picture this creates of God Himself, hovering over His people, protecting and guiding them, leading them in and out “throughout all of their journeys.”

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Yeshua wore a Prayer Shawl

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Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Yeshua [Jesus], she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Yeshua, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’

But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”’ And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’” (Mark 5:25–34).

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The Blessing

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The Word of God is full of the idea of blessing. God blesses His people, people bless God, fathers bless their sons, God blesses things, and individuals bless others. Obviously, God the Creator knew what mental health professionals tell us today. One of the most basic needs of human beings is the need for affirmation or blessing.

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A Year in the Life of Israel—PART 2

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

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Last month, we began our look at Israel’s annual celebrations, some biblical, some traditional, and some secular. We started with Purim (Feast of Esther), which usually takes place in March, and ended with Shavuot (Pentecost). In this Teaching Letter, we will complete the year’s cycle of remembrances.

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A Year in the Life of Israel—PART 1

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As Bible-believing Christians living in Israel, my husband Tom and I have come to see Israel from a unique perspective. It is an amazing place, called in Scripture “the glory of all lands” (Ezek. 20:6, 15). An immense variety of plants and animal species are native to the Land. The cultural diversity of Jewish people from over 100 nations is charming and maddening in turn. An eclectic mix of ancient and modern assault the senses. Israel is my home and I love it dearly. Certainly life in Israel is never boring. But, if I were to pick the most wonderful experience to us, it would be the celebrations.

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