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Pashat, Drash, Remez and Sod (1 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 5 of 10
The Talmud tells the other part of the story. The Talmud says that when this happened to Abraham, he was so moved with the compassion of God, he immediately went home, and he took an axe and a stick, and he destroyed all the idols in his house except one. He left the biggest one standing, and he put the axe in its hand. So the next morning, Abraham's father comes in, and says: Abraham! What happened here? Abraham says: isn't it obvious? There was a fight amongst the gods, and that one obviously won! His father said: that's impossible because I made them with my own hands; to which Abraham said: then why do you worship them?

Let me ask you a question. How long was it, between God talking to Abraham the first time, and Abraham destroying the idols? 20-25 years? A long time, so God journeyed with Abraham for 25 years, and it took 25 years of Abraham journeying with God for Abraham to get the guts to destroy his idols.

God was patient enough to allow it. Why? Because God's not insecure. God's infinitely more secure than the average Christian. He's not threatened with other people's journeys. Do you realise how humble Abraham had to be, to journey with God? Can you imagine if Abraham would have said: nope, this is what I know to be true about God - gods are takers, not givers. I'm killing my son anyway!

Do you realise that these people journeyed until the Book of Leviticus was written. In Leviticus, which is the book we call the law, it's like the harshest book in the whole Bible; it says: Leviticus was the most gracious book ever written up to that time. Why? Because it was the first time in the history of God, that a God said: this is exactly what you have to do, to be close to Me. Up to that time they were guessing, so they were offering more and more and more and more and more.

In Leviticus it says: for the forgiveness of sins, once a year on Yum Kippur, each family must bring a spotless lamb. So in Leviticus it says: to have your sins forgiven, this is what it takes: one sacrifice, per family, per year. Do you understand that there would have been people there going: there's no way God's that nice! There's no way God is that kind! There's no way God wants us to be with Him so bad, that He's willing to make it that easy. There's no way it can possibly be that simple - one sacrifice per family per year? Unbelievable!

It's not that easy - so here's what they did. This group of people created an oral tradition. There were 613 commands in Leviticus. These people made an oral traditional that added 3,000 commands to the 613 given by God. Why? Because they needed God to be harder than that!

Jesus comes along and begins to wreck everybody. Jesus comes along and He says: no, no, we're not going to do that. One sacrifice per family, per year, that's too hard. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to do one sacrifice, for the whole world, for all time - and people couldn't handle it.

No, no! That's impossible! That doesn't match what we know about God, so they killed Him - which is actually what provided the sacrifice, because Jesus showed up and he wrecked their ideas of unclean and clean. He wrecked their ideas of who was in and who was out. As a matter of fact, Jesus said to one group of people: at My banqueting table, many will come to Me from the north, east, south and west - but you who actually think you're in, will be the ones shut out!

So Jesus seems to indicate, that at the end of the age, the dangerous place to be, is the one who thinks they're in. Whoa! He comes in, and He wrecks their ideas of clean and unclean. He comes up to prostitutes and goes: oh, your heart's okay, you're clean. They're going: what! You can't call a prostitute clean! Oh yeah, I can see her heart, she's okay. She's okay. Her faith has forgiven all her sins, it's alright. They're going crazy!