Five years ago this Passover the Lord started me on a journey of understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity. Space doesn’t permit me to retell the story here but I will say that understanding the Jewish roots and learning to understand the Bible from a Hebrew perspective has absolutely deepened my relationship with Jesus.
The story of Purim is a story of turnaround, deliverance and favor for the Jewish people. Yet this story is not just about the Jews but us as well.
Esther 2:26-27 NASB “Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.”
And for all those who allied themselves with them. Replacement theology is not the truth. The Church has not replaced Israel, we have been grafted in to Israel.
Romans 11:16-18 NASB “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”
Galatians 3:6-14 NASB “Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ” ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. ” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ” THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ” HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
As Christians are root is Jewish and our way of thinking is not of this world (Greek thinking) but to think as God does, Hebraically. In Esther it says all those who allied themselves with the Jews celebrated. To be allied with the Jews doesn’t just mean to support their right to exist and to stand for Israel as their homeland and a undivided Jerusalem, all though those things are important. From a Christian perspective it is deeper than that. We recognize Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and that Paul never offended the law (Acts 25:8).
To be allied with the Jews is to understand that we are one new man. The feasts of the Old Testament are God’s feasts and they are appointed times with Him to be celebrated by Jews and Christians. If you think I am stepping into legalism here, let me say, you are free not to celebrate, but you are missing out on a BLESSING.
Zechariah 8:23 NASB “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew (the corners of the prayer shawl), saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”
When we stand for the nation of Israel, we are standing for the Word of God. When we embrace our Jewish roots we are walking in the fullness of the Word’s truth.
THE BLESSING is THE BLESSING of Abraham. Part of that BLESSING is I will BLESS those that BLESS you and I will curse those who curse you. Some may say, in Jesus we are not cursed and that is true. Yet, when the Church separated from its Jewish root that is when the doctrine of poverty and lack came in. When we separated from our root the idea that God gives sickness to teach us came in. When we read Deuteronomy twenty eight, we see a clear picture of what THE BLESSING is and what the curse is. Sin, sickness, poverty, strained relationships, disease, debt and everything bad is a curse. Many may be saved but they aren’t living in the reality of THE BLESSING. Much of that took root when the Church divorced itself from the root of Judaism.
I’m not saying Christians have to become Jewish, we are one new man in Jesus. What I am saying is there is BLESSING when we BLESS Israel and there is thirty, sixty, one hundred fold harvest when we give during the appointed feast times.
THE BLESSING is not a legalistic thing, it’s all about relationship. The Amplified Bible in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.]”
Connecting with our Jewish roots is all about our relationship with Jesus. Tithing and giving is all about love and relationship. Purim and Chanukah allow us to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and celebrate with them. Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles allow us and are appointed for us to go from faith to faith and glory to glory.
As you read the book of Esther, as you pray through it, ask Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of the Jewish roots and a love for Israel. Take some time and read other teaching on the blog about Jewish roots and check out the recommended reading page to learn more.