Christianity & Judaism - A Parallel

God's personality and ways of dealing with His people have been very consistent throughout history, from the Jewish days to the Christian days. Here are some Biblical facts pointing to a parallel between the Jewish and Christian covenants.

 

The Initial State:

Jews: Several verses in Exodus and Deuteronomy clearly stated that the Jews were God's chosen people. Example, 

Exodus 19:5: Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine.

Christians: A parallel: Jesus purchased those who believed in Him with His blood. And they became His. 

Galatians 3:13: Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law.

The Old & New Redemption Plans:

Jews: When the Jewish people sinned, God's instructions were to present daily sacrifices to the Lord to atone for their sins. In other words, although sin separated them from God, in this case the Jewish people that sinned did not stop being God's chosen people. They remained God's chosen people as long as the daily sacrifices were presented as instructed (Exodus 29:38-39).

Christians: When the Christian believers sinned, Jesus having fulfilled the old-covenant, provided the perfect spiritual prayer for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke11:2-4). As long as this prayer is prayed daily as instructed by Jesus, a Christian remains in Jesus, and Jesus remains in him. And only then those Christians remain belonging to Jesus:

John 15:4

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Note, the big difference is the Jews performed works of the flesh as required in the old covenant. The Christians pray the Lord's Prayer in their hearts as Jesus commanded, which is not works of the flesh! It is a spiritual act.

In the old-covenant, the Jews had to execute many commandments, daily, for the forgiveness of their sins. The daily aspect in those days, also accomplished 2 objectives for God:

  1. Daily forgiveness of sins

  2. Keep the relationship with God daily.

The second objective remains God's requirement for all times.

The Sacrifice was Eaten by the Priests and their Families

Another parallel between Christianity and Judaism is the eating of the Sacrifice. 

Old Covenant Jews:

Most animal sacrifices and grain offerings were eaten by the priests and their families as instructed by God (see the last section at the bottom of this page). God's instructions to the Priests in Leviticus were to present part of the sacrifice as burnt offering to the Lord, and the majority remainder of it to be eaten by the Priests and their families that same day as atonement for sins. So the eating of sacrifices started back in those days. Then Jesus did the same by informing us He's the sacrificial bread we must eat for forgiveness of sins.

New Covenant Christians:

Jesus as the final sacrifice, said He was the bread we should eat for the forgiveness of sins. The Lord's Prayer provides the spiritual method of eating this bread, the bread of life that God gives. The old daily sacrifices became the sacrifice of Jesus in the form of spiritual bread that God gives daily to those who genuinely pray the Lord's Prayer.

John 6:32:  "Jesus: ...my Father gives you the true bread from heaven"

Luke 22:19: And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; ...”

How to Approach God

In the old-covenant, there was always a protocol for approaching God. Example, Moses had to remove his sandals when at the burning bush. The Jewish people when Moses was talking to God, had to stay a distance away from the foot of the mountain. And in the Jewish law only the high-priest could enter the inner room the Holy place with God's presence, and only after executing the requirements precisely. Today the death of Jesus on the cross gave us direct access to speak to God and call Him "our Father", but this does not mean that God is now your bestie. There is still a proper spiritual protocol to approaching God. Jesus' prayer shows us exactly how to do it. And note, God will hear you better if you pray this prayer on your knees in private. Kneeling is a symbol of humility, worship, and reverend to God. "Kneeling" was mentioned hundreds of times in the old-testament about the Jews "bending their knees" to other gods, which grieved God tremendously. This teaches us about God's personality, for example how much the act of "kneeling" means to Him; it is the perfect gesture for worshiping. Our relationship with God is, He is our God and we are His children, not His friends as in equal. Learning this, is part of the spiritual growing that God expects of us. Here's a covenant-comparison table:

 

 

The key takeaway from this table:

The Jews had a long list of strict commandments, detailed and sometimes difficult requirements, to execute twice a day, and all for what? Forgiveness of their sins! All this work, daily, for the forgiveness of sins, so they remain reconciled with God.

Then Jesus came and fulfilled all this, and turned it into a simple spiritual prayer to be prayed daily. Notice, indeed Jesus fulfilled all the requirements, but we're still on the daily schedule with God!! You see, there is no blanket statement like "covered by the blood" and move on in life. God would never do it this way.

God's personality has always been the same - reconcile with Him on a daily basis. Thus the Lord's Prayer to accomplish this.

 

So trying to spread this explanation, I got on some so-called "Christian" forums on the internet. All I heard back was resistance and complaining:

"Jesus already paid for my sins; there is nothing else I should do." "No that's works; Paul said by faith alone". "Do I have to say it every day? That's repetitive." "Do I have to say it verbatim? I prefer to use my own words." "No the bread is not Jesus's body because He was alive when He taught them this prayer." 

I just want to cry! Christians today are so lost! In contrast, for people from the days of Jesus's disciples after His death, it was not necessary to explain all this. People already understood it this way! But then human-nature took over, and here we are 2,000 years later - not many see this clearly.

More on the Old-Covenant

God’s instructions to Moses in the Books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, hundreds of commandments, were given to the Jews in the desert. In those early days when the Jews learned the law from Moses, these commandments were precisely and perfectly performed daily by the Levites, designated by God to be the priestly tribe for executing God's commandments on behalf of the Jewish people. With the ceremonial law met, their sins were forgiven. As a result, God lived among them, in the form of smoke by day, and fire pillar by night:

Exodus 40:34-35 & 38

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.

 

God was only able to do this after their sins were forgiven. He would not have been able to otherwise. During that time, God’s blessings accompanied them in their travels, daily food provided in the desert, etc. Today, we know that that was God’s preparatory provision until the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. So in the same way today, in the new covenant, we become filled with the Holy Spirit when we pray the Lord's Prayer daily, when using the correct meaning of the "bread". Then God's blessings will pour out on us!

The main point here is, that the Jews actually carried-out all these difficult precise requirements and repeated them daily (example in Numbers 28:3-8), for the forgiveness of sins. But today, if you tell someone you have to pray the Lord’s Prayer daily to worship God and for the daily renewal and forgiveness of sins, they complain. “That's 'works', no that's not what it means, my sins are already forgiven, I'm covered by the blood, etc., and all the other hi-level statements churches use.” 

Churches made a significant error in their interpretations of all this. They missed the need for the daily aspect of worshiping God and asking for forgiveness of sins, which is evident in the Lord's prayer.

Here are some old-covenant references to the daily sacrifices of the Jews:

Note, these verses are only some examples; not showing the hundreds of specific daily requirements and preparations that led to each sacrifice.

Numbers 28:3

Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year-old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day.

Exodus 29:38-39

“This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight.

Exodus 29:42

“For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. There I will meet you and speak to you

Leviticus 4:31

...In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

2Chronicles 2:4

King Solomon said: Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.

More About Old-Covenant Jewish Sacrifices

After the Jews came out of the desert and arrived at the promised land. Eleven of the 12 tribes of Israel were given their land allotment in the promised land. But the 12th tribe, the tribe of Levi, were not given any land. Instead they were given a portion of the produce from the other 11 tribes. This way the tribe of Levi would not have to work the land for survival. And instead they would dedicate their time to serving God in the temple. In the old covenant God had hundreds of commandments to be performed on a regular basis. Serving God in the temple was demanding work; a full time job for all the Levites; they deserved the 10% tithes from the other tribes for their hard work. This is how God balanced the distribution equally among the 12 tribes. Note, today the protestants stress the need to tithe 10% of income based on this part of the old testament bible. They don't do any work, compared to their Levites counterparts; not saying they should do the Levites work, which today Jesus fulfilled. What I'm saying is Protestants should not stress the 10% tithe, instead they should go with Paul's word of "any gift is acceptable". See Time to Leave the Denominations.

Deuteronomy 18:1-5

The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.

This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. You are to give them the first-fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.

 

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