Thursday, May 2, 2019

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: The Word IS God

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (John 1:1-2). Recently I had the privilege of being a part of a Torah writing ceremony.  It was so interesting.  It takes about a year to hand write a Torah.  In this case, families from the congregation were invited to participate in writing one letter.  The scribe explains the letter and then has the participants hold the feather of the pen as he fills in the letter.  Our letter was from "Vayikrah" known as the book of Leviticus. Our letter was from Leviticus 1:2. The letter was Beit  which pictograph is "house or dwelling" and it's numeric value is two. It was so interesting how much detail is in the writing of the Torah, which is the Word of God.

After the writing portion was over, we were then ushered into a room of celebration.  We signed a document that will be placed with the Torah as having been a part of the writing and we had the honor of signing the wimpel.  A wimpel is Yiddish from a German word meaning "cloth" derived from old German meaning to "cover up or conceal."  It is made of linen and it seals up the Torah when it is stored. As I was signing the wimpel, it was like the light turned on and it it all came to life for me.

In the Gospel of John, the author uses the metaphor as Jesus being the "Word."  In the Gospel of Luke 2:7, it says "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger..." Swaddling cloths were strips of linen used to wrap infants after birth.  In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, the authors write about the death of Jesus and how he was wrapped in clean linen and placed in the tomb. (Matthew 27:59-60, Mark 15:46, John 19:40). The Torah wrapped in linen is a picture of Jesus, whether he was lying in a manger or lying in the tomb, the bottom line, he IS the Word.  

This picture also goes along with a portion of the Sedar dinner at Passover. During dinner three Matzah bread are placed between three folds of a linen napkin and the middle piece is broken (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and is hidden somewhere. The Matzah is interesting as it has punctures and burn marks, which remind me of the "Bread of Life" being beaten for our transgression and bruised for our iniquities.  The fact that it was hidden away even represents Jesus being taken to the tomb. At the end of the dinner, the children are sent to find it.  Jesus said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16) The Matzah is reserved to the end as a dessert.  Much like the resurrection is sweet to mankind as Jesus conquered death and made a way for everlasting life.

The signs all point to Jesus.  Jesus said he is "the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I want to invite you today to recognize that he IS the Son of God.  That he came to make a way to the Father and give you eternal life.  Remember I mentioned earlier that we signed our names on the wimpel?  When Jesus went to the cross, he signed your name on his hands. The only marks of humanity that he still carries are the nail prints in his hands. Isaiah 49:16 says "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..." He's already paid the price and today you can have your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Revelation 21:27 says, "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life." The Word came in the flesh to give us eternal life.  "...but the "Word" of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

No comments: