Week 36 Past the Cross
By Terri C
December tenth marks nine months since I “officially” walked past the cross and stepped into a covenant relationship with The One True God, YHVH. In this amount of time, a baby is fully formed into a human being in the womb. That is exactly how I feel, like a brand new baby! I have been sojourning on the Narrow Path for eleven years, but I’d spent that time with a cross strapped to my back. The writings that call themselves the “new testament” lied about that cross not being heavy. It was more than heavy! It didn’t fit through the doorway of the “inner room”. It tainted every Torah teaching I read. It didn’t add up or make any sense, but I was told it didn’t have to. It was on me to take it “on faith”. “They” told me that the whole Tanakh (Old Testament) foreshadowed the birth, life and death of this guy named Jesus (Yeshua). The truth of the matter is kind of reversed from what “they” said. The truth of the matter is that Yeshua cast a shadow over the whole Tanakh! Torah is The Way (Psalm 119) The Truth (Psalm 119) and the Life (Proverbs 13). And yet, a demi-god was given these attributes. And it worked! Is there a place in Torah where it says one day the Torah will wear flesh? No, there is not! People worship Jesus, they pray in his name, and thank HIM for their blessings. Yesterday I saw a tee shirt on a fellow at the market that said “Jesus Saves”. Really? Because all over the Tanakh, we read that we are saved by One Name alone. I’ll leave the arguments on how to pronounce that Name to those who like to argue. I’m blessed to be able to call Him Father! How then, do you suppose, that the “new” testament touched on enough things from the Tanakh to be generally accepted?
I have never seen the movie “Star Wars”. I’ll give you a moment to be amazed and befuddled by that. Yep, never saw it. I did, however, watch “Back to the Future” more times than I can count. My kids loved that movie, and it was a guaranteed two hour window of peace and quiet in my house when they were growing up. To this day, we can all repeat the scenes verbatim. Why did I switch from talking about Torah to box-office hits? I have a point, I promise! If I were to sit down and write a sequel for “Back to the Future”, I’d nail it! I wouldn’t miss a nuance of the main characters, and I would peg the story line, I know it so well. It would be easy for others to see that it was, indeed, a sequel to an awesome movie! I might even be able to sell it. Can the same be said regarding the “new” and “old” testaments? Does the “new” nail the “old” or does it introduce new concepts, foreign to the Tanakh? The only way to find out is to search the original!
If I wrote a sequel to “Star Wars”, my lack of knowledge of the original would make my attempts futile. “Star Wars” buffs wouldn’t take me seriously at all. My efforts would be a huge flop! However, if I took my sequel to those with little or no knowledge of the original movie, my mistakes wouldn’t be so noticeable. I know a few of the character’s names, after all, and I know they fly on a spaceship! My writing might even be accepted by folks who’ve never seen the movie as “Star Wars” material. Perhaps those people would consider my version truth. Like so many people in the first century did with the new religion presented to them. I was taught that the “new” message about salvation (it wasn’t written yet) was given to the “common folk” like fishermen and shepherds so that it was assessable to all people, but is that the truth? Those common folks accepted it at face value, even dropped what they were doing to follow this man, Jesus. After all, that new religion did make lots of references to God! Even though most of them had never read the Torah with their own eyes, many believed this new religion was based on it because they were told it was. But what happened when those who were learned in the Original Writings were presented with this new religion? What did the ones who held the Torah sacred since the day their forefathers accepted it at the foot of mount Sinai do with this “new” message? They rejected it altogether! Why? Because they knew the Original! They did exactly what any movie producer would do with my attempt at a “Star Wars” sequel. REJECT IT.
Even if I managed to “sell” my sequel to those who had never seen the original, they might be inspired to buy a ticket and see “Star Wars” themselves, and my sequel would fall apart. My deception would be exposed! This is exactly what happens when we take the “sequel” for the Scriptures, and compare them to the Originals! The “new testament” comes unraveled. When we refuse to accept something “on faith” but instead search it out against the Words of God, a whole new light shines. If something doesn’t line up with Torah, then it won’t line up in our lives, either. If it doesn’t line up with Torah, it has to go!
But what about all the places in Torah that supposedly foreshadow Jesus? There is a list circulating on social media that says Jesus fulfilled three hundred prophecies. I took that list into Tanakh and studied each item in context. Guess what? NO MATCH at all! Some are prophecies that have already been fulfilled (in Tanakh). Some items on the list blatantly twist Scripture from Tanakh, and some are just places they just jammed Jesus into for no logical reason. Take the binding of Isaac for just one example: “They” say it points to Jesus. Was the story about atoning mankind’s sin? Has God EVER had ANYONE kill their child for any reason? To the contrary, God calls sacrificing children abomination! So God provided the offering, and Isaac remained alive. What did God provide? An ANIMAL. How could this ever be about Jesus? It’s not. It’s a story of obedience and of trust. If you noticed, before they went up that hill, Jacob told his servants he AND his son would be back. No foreshadowing there, just an illustration from God for us to behold.
Christianity says that we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe it in our hearts. Boom! Done deal. We’ll be on our way to Heaven. I ask, though, is God just or isn’t He? You and I both know He is. How then would a man who’d raped and killed little girls be treated in the same way as a little old woman, whose worst offense was gossip, by God? That’s preposterous, and an insult to His perfect justice! It is the “new testament” that teaches that if we break one law, we break them all. God is not daft! If we break one law, that is where our repentance needs to be, and the consequences of breaking that law will unfold in our lives. Tanakh teaches that we will reap what we sow. Does it even make sense that our little old lady would reap the same consequences as that child rapist? Hogwash! Do we think God will let that man escape consequences? Again, is God just, or isn’t He? I am not saying that a rapist or a murderer can’t repent and find their own salvation in God, but there is a whole lot more to it than confessing and believing! This “take it on faith” is dangerous stuff! Search it out in Scripture, instead. In the ORIGINAL Scriptures!
And so, here in my ninth month of not carrying that cross that cross around, I am searching Scriptures in a brand new way like a brand new baby. What I’m finding is that it is far easier without the cross! I can take Torah at face value, or I can dig as deeply into the meanings as I’m willing to go! I understand my own culpability, and my own responsibility to walk righteous before my God. I will admit that it was easier for me to believe that Jesus paid it all for me. I didn’t have to face my own shortcomings, only look to him. That was comforting to me. Having been an atheist, I acquired some pretty steep debts! But he didn’t pay for my debt, I am paying, and I will be accountable for the unpaid ones! Even if his whole crucifixion story was the truth, remember that he prayed to escape it. Was he praying to himself? Oh wait, that’s a whole other post altogether! I digress.
I have been forgiven for the sins I have confessed and repented of, but have not escaped their consequences. I am learning that when I do sin, there must be restoration on my part wherever possible. A repayment of some sort. Confess and believe on Jesus (or anyone) isn’t going to cut it on the day I stand before my Creator to give an account! Instead, I repent, confess and restore. Action IS required on my part, according to Tanakh. There will be a sequel to the Original Scripture’s story in the times to come, and it will be written on our heart! We’ll know when that time has come, there will be no guess work. A glance out our window will tell us if the “world to come” has, indeed, come. Until that day, any religion invented after the final pen-stroke of the Tanakh is exactly that… invented! A true sequel will always match the original’s baseline. The sequel to even a great movie will flop if it strays away from the concepts of the original. How do we know if it strays or not? We study the original! How much more then should we study the Original Scriptures? A lot more is at stake than a ten dollar ticket!
“See” you next week, friends and until then, keep your face on the Original!