Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chayei HaMetim, The Living Dead

How can we understand Paul’s statement that chasidei Yeshua are not “under the Torah?”

Every Jew is born under the Torah. It’s the blueprint of the world and a guide for every man alive. From the outside, the idea that the followers of Mashiach are somehow no longer living under the Torah is a difficult concept, in fact, it’s incomprehensible.

The dead:

What from the surface appears apostasy proves itself deep Torah when understood. At death one of the tzitzit is torn from the tallit worn by the deceased rendering the garment invalid and revealing a deep truth. It says in Tehilim “the dead cannot praise HaShem” (Ps. 115:7). We tear the tzitzit of the dead knowing that after death a Jew is no longer bound by the law he spent his life in service to. In death it is neither possible to keep mitzvot nor transgress Torah Law. While the living are under the Torah the dead are no longer held by this holy rule. This is the idea underlying so much of our apostolic text.

That You Might Live:

When Moshe Rabeinu put the Torah before Yisrael he called it “a blessing and a curse.” He said I put before you “life and death.” (Deu. 30:19) The quality of our interaction with the Torah is entirely conditional. Moses pleaded with his people “chose life that you might live!” Our Sheliach to the nations lamented that all have been found under the Torah’s curse for “there is none righteous, no not one.” (Rom. 3:10) True gospel is this, the knowledge that while the whole of a nation and an entire world has been found lacking, we have in our midst a champion. Having humbled himself even unto death, The Tzaddik Yeshua was faithful to Torah having conquered every temptation and independent desire. Although he was deserving of life, Mashiach was obedient unto death saying “not my will but Yours be done.” (Lk. 22:42) Ultimately, it was in this state of death in which Mashiach was found in a position to receive the blessing of Torah, the life spoken of by Moses. Long after His body had been packed in 100 pounds of spice and had grown cold in the grave Mashiach opened his eyes. The Tzaddik, our King-Mashiach was proven the divine son through His resurrection which was the reception of Torah blessing. (Rom. 1:4) You see, Yeshua was given life because he kept the Torah.

Attachment to the Tzaddik:

Confronted with the reality of our own transgression we are called to make a cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of the soul. Aware of the Torah’s high calling we are left standing before our Creator with the realization that we do not deserve this life. A true Chasid of Mashiach is one whom has already judged himself unworthy turning over his own life; accepting the wages of his transgression he dies unto himself. Knowing that the dead cannot perform mitzvot, chasidei Yeshua relinquish any merit derived through the performance of the commandments and recognize any good works as truly not their own but belonging to and a manifestation of the risen Mashiach alive within them. As Paul says “It is no longer I who live but Mashiach in me.” (Gal. 2:20) The process of dieing to the self is a nullification of ones sense of independence from the Tzaddik which is ultimately understood as oneness with the divine essence; as it is written “We are one; I in them and You in Me." (Jn. 17:23) Inasmuch as He is the rightful recipient, it is through our attachment to the Tzaddik that we now know and experience the Torah’s blessing, which is life everlasting. So then, the followers of Mashiach are no longer under the law in the sense that we are called "dead." However, because the Tzaddik is now living in us our lives should express his own. (Rom. 6:1)This is a delicate concept and should be learned carefully.


Pastor Steven said...

That sheds a lot of light on the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:18-21. Great teaching!



Tim Layne said...

I re-posted this because its the most important insight I have to share.

Angelique said...

Dear Bro,

That was so well put!!! Baruch HaShem!!! Okay so I am going to go with the idea that you are a very busy young man? I really enjoy your post they are to the point and the words of Torah that you share, Honey!!The Torah's words are sweet and life. B'zrat HaShem your schedule would allow for more posting!!!LOL

But now let me ask you, what is your library like???? LOL Have any recommendations???

Would I have your permission to copy and post "as is" your post on my blog?

Tim Layne said...

Its hard to say what I would recommend as each person has different needs, but some of my favorite books are...

Jewish Spiritual Practices by Yitzhak Buxbaum, This author is so impressive

The Life and Teaching of Hillel The Elder also by Yitzhak Buxbaum, to know Hillel HaZaken is to understand Paul.

The Thinking Jewish Teenager's Guide to Life by R' Akiva Tatz, this book is incredible and a great read for not only a teen but a learning adult as well.

Tim Layne said...

and yes feel free to re-post on your blog.

Sherry said...

I love your blog.