Thursday, January 30, 2020
Feasts of Israel - Redemption Celebrated Essay Example for Free
Feasts of Israel Redemption Celebrated Essay The Feasts of Israel written by Victor Buksbazen describes the reverent and celebratory tenets, which encompass the Jewish faith. A most interesting aspect of this book is how Buksbazen compares and contrasts Jewish feasts with Christianity. Not only does The Feasts of Israel describe the significance of each feast, it also proves the divinity of Christ in a plain comprehensible way. For example, in his introduction Mr. Bukzaben explains the logistical relationship between Christianity and Judaism in one sentence. When he said, Biblical Christianity is not a continuation of Judaism, but it is the logical outgrowth and consequence of adherence to Moses and the prophets (ii). Bukzabens first example of Christian / Judean reconciliation is apparent in his discussion of the Passover. Of course, many of us know what this feast symbolizes for the Jewish people, but how many of us realize the Christian aspect of it? To avoid the death angel, we know that the Israelites were told to prepare a lamb sacrifice, and then paint the doorposts and lentils with the blood. Those who followed this instruction are spared, their faith is proven, and they are worthy to be taken out from under the bondage of Egypt. Similarly, Christians are released from bondage and delivered to glory through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. And, as the Lamb of God, Jesus blood pays the debt for those who believe in Him. Moreover, Bukzaben says, The deliverance of Israel from Egypt is the central point in Jewish history and worship, even as Calvary is the central point in the Christian faith (2). I found the Feast of Weeks especially interesting in how it is identified by differing titles and too, how each title was derived. Until reading this book, I didnt realize the significance of the Greek word Pentecost or that it meant fifty. According to Bukzaben, It was so designated because it was observed on the fiftieth day after the Passover Sabbath (14). Again, Bukzaben makes clear the relationship of Judaism and Christianity with this feast. This feast is also called Pentecost, because it was observed fifty days after the Passover. As Christians, we too celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, although, we can celebrate ours every Sunday. Pentecost for Christians began 50 days after Jesus resurrection, when God stamped his Commandments in the heart of each Christian with the power of His Holy Spirit. Jewish Pentecost celebrates the reception of Gods Law, and Christian Pentecost celebrates the provisional gift of knowing Jesus Christ. In short, Pentecost is the official beginning of the Church of Christ (Act.2, Joel 2:28-32, Jer.31: 33-34, Heb.8: 8-12). Therefore, as Christians, we too celebrate Pentecost; as believers we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and it can speak to us directlyHe resides within us. Buksbazen makes further discovery of Pentecost in regard to the historical bond between Judaism and Christianity. With Ruth, he points out the ancestral connection she has to our Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, Buksbazen explains just how reverently the Jewish people consider Ruth to be. On the Day of Pentecost the Jews even until the present day read the book of Ruth (18). Likewise, Christians love Ruth, her example of kindness, compassion, and love is a model of how we hope to fashion our lives. This mutual aspect is yet another binding feature between Jews and Christians. According to Buksbazen, They look to the day when Jew and Gentile shall worship God together through the kinsman Redeemer, Christ, typified by Boaz, the friend and husband of Ruth, his Gentile bride (19). As Christians we maintain hope that someday all of Gods children will come together as one to worship Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The book of Ruth and the example she shows to both Jews and Christians gives us this hope. Probably the most familiar of all Jewish feasts is Hanukkah. I have been aware of this Jewish feast for most of my life; however, not until reading Mr. Buksbazens commentary did I realize the richness of this tradition. The story behind this feast fascinated me, and praise God that the Israelites overcame their Greek attackers. For example, the candelabrum burning continuously for eight days, which may be regarded as a miracle, evidences God. More importantly, had the Greeks been allowed to defeat the Israelites, there wouldnt have been Jewish Apostles to bring the good news of our Messiah to us, the Gentiles. For that matter, we might not even have a New Testament or Christianity in the purest biblical sense of the word. Sure, the blessed traditions of Hanukkah and Christmas brighten our winter, but the significance is much greater than that. For me this feast represents the difference between life and death. Appropriately, Mr. Baksbazen titles the final topic with a discussion of Sabbath The Queen. For Christians, and Jews alike the Sabbath is probably the most comprehensive of all feasts. According to Buksbazen, The Sabbath is exclusively Israels heritage, given under the law to the people of the law (79). Moreover, a weekly Sabbath of worship is vital for both religions. Not only is Sabbath necessary for spiritual renewal, but it also lends to the survival of each respective religion. Mr. Baksbazen makes clear the distinctions between the Jewish Sabbath and the Lords day. For Jews the Sabbath is a memorial of their Exodus from Egypt. In general, Baksbazen explains that for Jews the observance of the Sabbath is law, but the Genesis story (Genesis 2:1-3) and the fourth commandment by God Himself (Exodus 20:11) show us that the Sabbath is a memorial to creation. Baksbazen summarizes the difference between these two religious aspects nicely. He states, The Sabbath is the crowning day of the week which rewards man for his toil. The Lords Day emphasizes what God has done for man through His only begotten Son (92). This means, if I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior I most certainly would worship Him. However, just like accepting Him, worshiping Him is a choice I make voluntarily. In addressing the first Christians and the Sabbath question, Mr. Bukszaben explains what must have been heart wrenching for Jewish Christians back then. For that matter this situation exists even today. I see two tragedys occurring here, a split amongst one people, and a separation from God for non-believers. This is implied in Bukszabens introductory sentence, At first Jewish believers apparently continued for some time in the voluntary observance of the Sabbath, not because they felt their salvation rested upon this, but rather out of regard for the sensibilities of their own people (95). This practice during the early days of the church is evidenced in scripture (Acts 2:1; 3:1; 15:5; 21:20). I couldnt help but imagine the pain and sorrow new Jewish Christians must feel. Those who know the truth are torn between a steeped history of dogmatic law and worship toward the one true Lord. Mr. Bakszaben properly explains this situation, but it should be noted that Jesus himself did not break the Jewish Sabbath. Jesus activity may have broken Pharisaic rules, but not the law of God. Moreover, since Jesus was born under the law He lived under the old covenant requirements (Gal 4:4; Heb 4:15). In summary, the feasts are a representation of things to come, and Victor Buksbazens scriptural references provide the proof. I was enlightened, even surprised to see how the most important events in Jewish and Christian history commingled, and what the corresponding feast was originally a sign of. In addition, the way Buksbazen treated each topic (feast) with respect and contrasting each aspect with truth was refreshing. What I take away from this assignment is newfound knowledge and a better understanding of how Jewish people think. Finally, Buksbazen shows by example how we should be compassionate and loving toward nonbelievers. He treats each Jewish tradition with respect, but makes clear the true meaning of Salvation. We see this in the last few sentences of his book where Buksbazen writes, The Law of Moses has led us by the hand to Christ. Only one who has lived under the Law and has come to know the liberating power of grace, may sing (102).