SoulBreaths

Soul Arrow: Moses

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

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MOSES (MOSHE)
fugitive prince turned bride guardian—who almost missed his calling

©SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Before you begin—click this pop-up for a recap of the Soul Arrow series.

 

Ever since my younger years—later elementary school and decades forward—G-d has used Moses as a teacher and an example to awaken and stir my soul’s DNA (Judaic roots), guiding it into deeper understanding of G-d’s Word and His relationship with His people, His world.

 

Moses was a surrendered soul, truly in love with his G-d. But with all he was allowed to do under G-d’s hand, he was still a man.

 

Egypt proved a blessing for the 12 tribes of Israel during the famine years when Joseph held a high position. Then the shift emerged and Israel experienced over 400 years of oppressive enslavement.

 

But G-d, in precision timing, was on the move. He separated Moses from the common—his birth tribe and his adopted, privileged position in Egypt—for a series of deconstructing-reconstructing encounters with G-d to beat all others.

 

G-d’s lightning revelations flashed through the soul of Moses time and time again.
Moses was humbled at the burning bush,
silenced at the sight of G-d’s glory,
illuminated at G-d’s giving of the Torah.

 

It was a process of discovering who he was in G-d. Lightning cracked when Moses first encountered the Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. His response was a natural one. He brought down the Egyptian to help raise up that slave. Moses’ destiny burst forth for a moment, like a firefly flash . . . a hint of what was to come, what would be birthed . . . a foretaste of the servant redeemer that his soul was meant to be.

 

From that major lightning crack across the sky at the burning bush, his soul’s relationship with the living G-d rose to such a magnitude that the flashes of lightning became his new norm. He had more lit moments once his life was totally surrendered to G-d. Times on the mountain, glory times in the tent. It all was part and parcel of what it would mean—for him and us—to flow in G-d’s presence, spirit, and the prophetic.

 


If to feel, in the ink of the slough,

And the sink of the mire,

Veins of glory and fire

Run through and transpierce and transpire,

And a secret purpose of glory in every part,

And the answering glory of battle fill my heart;

—If This Were Faith, Robert Louis Stevenson


 

BUT MOSES ALMOST MISSED IT

 

Torah scholar/commentator/author Avivah Zornberg gave some insight about “The Transformation of Pharoah, Moses, and G-d,” during an interview she gave to OnBeing.com’s Krista Tippet.

 

Moses argued with G-d for seven days no less when he was first called to lead Israel. He had yet to learn that his neshama—higher part of the soul matrix, attached to G-d—needed to take the reins of his ruach (human spirit) and nefesh (life force/lowest soul part). His thinking was rooted in earthly standards, not the holy.

 


Hit pause—reminder and more about soul parts.
Dive deeper: Click for a quick look at the soul matrix.


 

It basically went like this . . .

 

“They won’t believe me. They won’t listen to what I say. They’ll say you didn’t appear to me.”
“What’s in your hand, Moses?”
“ A staff.”
“Throw it on the ground.” Moses did and it turned into a snake.
“Moses, put your hand out and take it by the tail.” Moses did as instructed and the snake turned back into a staff.
“See, that’s how they’ll believe that I, Adonai, G-d of their fathers, appeared to you.”
“But . . .”
“Now put your hand inside your coat.” Once again, Moses obeyed. His hand turned leprous.
“Put your hand back inside your coat.” Moses did and his hand was healthy again.
“If they won’t believe the first sign, they’ll be convinced by the second. And if they aren’t persuaded by either, take some water from the river and pour it on the ground—the water you took will turn into blood on the dry land.”
“Yeah . . . but I’m like a terrible speaker. Always have been. My words come slowly and my tongue moves slowly.”

 

Internal resistance was stirring in his soul.

 

Psychologically, Zornberg says, Moses, like Pharoah and the Hebrews, has an unwillingness to open himself up to an alternative reality. He blames it on his speech—in the Hebrew the wording is heavy (kaved, kah-vehd,כָּבֵד). Moses says he’s got a heavy/impeding mouth and heavy/impeding tongue: כְבַד-פֶּה וּכְבַד לָשׁוֹן.  Clearly, a negative connotation.

 

There’s another word association, per Zornberg. The Hebrew word for heavy (kaved) is the same word used to describe Pharoah’s hardness of heart during the ten plagues—with the negative connotation of being closed in/off, impervious, resistant. [Note: Kaved is not kavod—ka-vohd (כָּבוד) means glory or honor. Same shoresh/root, so there’s a link. Yet, as we’re seeing, kaved often reflects a negative usage; kavod, a positive one.]

 

Was the heavy (kaved) tongue of Moses also closed off, resistant to G-d?

 

Moses, per Zornberg, appears willing to forego the whole opportunity to redeem Israel, seeing himself as not the right person for the job. He does recognize, she posits, that an “operation” of sorts is needed—since Moses is like a babe in need of a circumcision and refers to himself as a man of uncircumcised lips.

 

However, this “heaviness,” an inability to open up to G-d and His word—psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise—appears to go well beyond Moses, Israel’s exodus years, and Pharoah.

 

The Cambridge Bible commentary states the “closed in” or “impervious to good impressions” wording in regards to a “heavy, uncircumcised heart” appears elsewhere in the Tanach: Leviticus 26:41, Jeremiah 9:25(26), and Ezekiel 44:7,9. The verbiage also is used similarly when speaking of the ear, in Jeremiah 6:10, revealing that the nation heard imperfectly.

 

I dare say this “heaviness” is a human condition. One that only a spiritual surgery in G-d’s wilderness venues can heal.

 


To thrill with the joy of girded men

To go on for ever and fail and go on again,

And be mauled to the earth and arise,

And contend for the shade of a word and a thing

not seen with the eyes:

—If This Were Faith, Robert Louis Stevenson


 

QUESTIONABLE BRIDE, REDEEMING BRIDE GUARDIAN

 

Fortunately for us, Moses surrendered to G-d’s soul deconstructing-reconstructing process and embraced his soul’s calling—as Israel’s leader, intercessor, shepherd, bride guardian. So much so that the Torah’s final words in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 34 say that “no prophet in Israel has since arose whom G-d knew face to face” and that Moses “evoked great terror before the eyes of all Israel.”

 

Rabbinic commentary says this great terror is none other than Moses’ shattering of the first set of tablets—which is linked to a midrash that goes something like this.

 

So there was a king, a bride-to-be, and her maidservants. The king heads out of town on some business, putting the maidservants in care of his bride. But their character was lacking, big time. They engaged in harlotry, consequently smudging the betrothed bride’s character.

 

Well, that pushed the king’s anger into overdrive. So much so that he wanted his betrothed killed and out of his life. Clean and tidy. But the bride’s guardian was quick on his feet. As soon as he learned of the king’s intentions, he swooped in and destroyed the marriage contract: “Even if she was found wanting, she wasn’t your wife yet. So . . .  all’s good. She’s not accountable to the contract.

 

Presto, there was no need to kill her. That appeased the king, which was a good thing because he later discovered his bride’s behavior really hadn’t been awry—just her maidservants’. At that, the bride’s guardian stepped in and suggested the king write a new marriage contract. The king agrees. “Fine. But since you tore up the first one, you provide the paper and I’ll write it in my own hand.”

 

Sound familiar? Israel is found wanting—though not all of them. Moses protects her covenant with G-d by destroying the first marriage agreement, the first set of tablets that G-d had carved and written on. Then when G-d is willing to redo the marriage contract, He has Moses co-labor with him by carving out the tablets that G-d will write on.

 

But the Ramban—Nachmanides, a Spanish Sephardic rabbi and noted medieval Jewish scholar—adds another component. He says Moses had a temper, i.e. killing the Egyptian and striking the rock incidents. So it wasn’t all about his acting as defender of the bride.

 

I tend to merge the two thoughts. When you have a critical position that has to be assigned to someone—maybe a person who will handle significant aspects of your business or oversee your health directive or your will—you need to choose someone who won’t be intimidated in making tough, wise decisions. Someone who can do that in a split moment, if needed.

 

That’s why I think G-d chose Moses. Yes, he had passion, a temper even. For Moses, when something was wrong, it was wrong. He acted on it. The excessive actions of the Egyptian, the excessive rebellion of Israel at the rock.

 

In his talmudic commentary Shabbat 87a, French medieval rabbi Rashi played with the reading of “ashur” (meaning “that” or “which”) for “ishur” (meaning “affirm” or “praise”) to basically suggest that when it comes to the shattered tablets, it’s as if G-d thanked or praised Moses for his actions.[1]

 

Was G-d saying this? “Thank you, bride guardian, for having the passion, wisdom, boldness, and courage to make the hard decision when needed to defend Israel and allow me to still make covenant with her via a new contract.”

 


With the half of a broken hope for a pillow at night

That somehow the right is the right

And the smooth shall bloom from the rough:

Lord, if that were enough!

—If This Were Faith, Robert Louis Stevenson


 

QUITE POSSIBLY

 

One thing remains for certain. Through all his soul’s wilderness travails with Israel and within himself, Moses humbly steadies the course at all costs—relinquishing any rights to a personal life or family legacy . . . G-d’s people became his legacy.

 

[1] Rashi’s comment per an article called “The Marriage Contract,” appearing on www.meaningfullife.com
Article created August 17, 2015.

Soul Arrow: Jeremiah

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

Jeremiah, G-d's prophet

JEREMIAH (YIRMEYAHU)

accidental prophet—cohen (priest) turned vessel of holy fire

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Before you begin—click this pop-up for a recap of the Soul Arrow series.

 

Personally, I love the 1998 Lux Vid film Jeremiah, directed/written by Harry Winer and starring Patrick Dempsey as the weeping prophet. It may weave in a non-Biblical plot line here and there—like a budding relationship with a never-to-be girlfriend—but it also breathes life into Jeremiah’s story. Not to mention that Dempsey’s easy-on-the-eyes looks and pithy performance give a whole new perspective on the mighty prophet. No wonder I watch it semi-frequently. If you’ve never seen it, check it out.

 

The real Jeremiah’s story begins with G-d’s voice awakening the soon-to-be prophet’s soul, pronouncing his destiny. There would be no discussion, no fiery bush, no staff-turned-snake demonstrations as Adonai had done with Moses. It would begin as it does for each of us—with G-d’s destiny calling known and voiced even before the womb.

 


Heaven and I wept together,

And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine.

—The Hound Of Heaven, Francis Thompson


 

Born in Anatot—a town given to the tribe of Benjamin, per Joshua 21, about three miles northeast of Jerusalem by way of the Mount of Olives—Jeremiah’s call-to-action probably occurred sometime before he was 25 or 30 . . . old enough to marry, but not yet beginning his rightful cohen (priestly) duties, as son of the High Priest, Hilkiah.

 

Then the L-rd reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
Today, I have placed you over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.”
—Jeremiah 1:9

 

A soul-focused interpretation of what G-d was saying?

 

There, Jeremiah. As counterintuitive as it seems to you, it’s done. What your soul will grow into and what it will do for Me are already accomplished in the spiritual realm . . . I have spoken and My words are quick to perform. With the breath of My word, all that is—and will be—has been brought forth. So now with you, it is accomplished in the interwoven crevices of your unseen soul . . . yet it will be manifested in the natural at My appointed time and place.

 

Jeremiah was going to be strategically placed in G-d’s archery bow with all kinds of tensions—dark moments taking him to near death—pulling him back so he could be launched higher, further for the sake of G-d’s mercy, love, covenant with His people.

 

In fact, G-d’s orchestrated deconstruction/reconstruction soul process in Jeremiah would mirror the work He eventually would do in the soul of the wayward Southern Kingdom of Judah—deconstruction (captivity) and reconstruction (redemption, restoration).

 

Jeremiah would be the prophetic voice of G-d to Judah . . . just as Jeremiah
(a cohen/priest), would also stand in for Judah before the L-rd,
the Hound of Heaven—whose relentless love would chase Judah into captivity
for a national deconstruction-reconstruction process.

 

Back story: Around 755 BCE, Amos and Hosea prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who had long meshed their Judaism with paganism. Israel ignored the warnings and landed in the middle of G-d’s divine discipline: Assyrian captivity, 721 BCE after a three-year seige. But Judah was not so quick to learn from the idolatrous falterings of its fellow tribesmen.

 

And so, along came G-d’s love call. Jeremiah.

 

For 20 years, Jeremiah sounded the alarm of the impending 70-year Babylonian captivity—gradual, in waves, beginning around 605 BCE, taking princes (like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah) for positions, then toward the end, deporting the poorest of the poor Judeans as slaves. He also encouraged them, prophesying about Judah’s restoration . . . and a new covenant in the future, where Torah would be written on our hearts.

 

LIKE MOSES, EXCUSES

 

Jeremiah’s calling was not going to be easy. He pretty much knew that going in. What was up ahead—a lonely soul experience with twists, turns, and chasmic drops—would break off any hardness and self-focus to uncover the soul’s holy hiddenness.

 

By G-d’s further command, there would be no wife. And no children. And no living his priestly heritage. No normality on any level. Only risks and danger—on the wings of a prophetic calling that would voice sorrow, pain, surrender, exile, and the promise of a future redemption for Judah, a nation whose “soul” was under the power of its earthbound, lower soul component (the nefesh) . . . unwilling, prideful, rebellious, delusional.

(SoulBreaths help note) Click this popup: Soul Matrix recap

 

But you [Jeremiah], dress for action, stand up, and tell them everything I order you to say. Don’t break down or I will break you down in front of them. For today, I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its cohanim [priests], and the people of the land.
They [Judah] will fight against you, but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
and will rescue you, declares the LORD.
—Jeremiah 1:17-19

 

Jeremiah’s knee-jerk reaction? Like Moses, he thought G-d should look elsewhere.  His “I’m only a young man” response—the word is na’ar (נַעַר) in the Hebrew—reveals Jeremiah’s take on his lack of abilities and readiness.

 

A na’ar is a young man, defined by age (teen through twenties) or of marriageable age, and sometimes, rabbinically defined as not yet ready to fulfill his duties/position. (As an aside, 17-year-old Joseph in Genesis 37:2 was called a na’ar.)

 

Based on Jeremiah’s writings regarding his prophetic calling spanning five kings, his birth is set around 655 BCE. His prophetic calling began in the thirteenth year of King Josiah’s reign—putting him around age 25 – 29, as mentioned earlier in this post.

 

Jeremiah 1:6-7

 וָאֹמַר, אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, הִנֵּה לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי, דַּבֵּר:  כִּי-נַעַר

אָנֹכִי. 

And I said, “You are my LORD, ADONAI, here I am (or alas/behold), I  don’t know a thing because I am a young man.

 

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי, אַל-תֹּאמַר נַעַר אָנֹכִי:  כִּי עַל-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר

שְׁלָחֲךָ, תֵּלֵךְ, וְאֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוְּךָ, תְּדַבֵּר.

And the LORD said to me, you shall not say I am a young man: because wherever I send you, you will go and all that I command you, you will say.

 

In the natural, I get why Jeremiah tried to excuse himself. To a young man who had yet to spread his wings, the call sounded well beyond the norm. You can almost hear him logically deduce it like this: At least a man trained in spiritual matters, matured, married, and long observant in his priestly duties would be far better suited to attempt the task.

 

Jeremiah may have studied Torah, but he had yet to swim in G-d’s deep, secret place.
He may have been a cohen, but he had yet to personally know the dunamis (power) of G-d.
It was never about Jeremiah’s strength, knowledge, bloodline, or abilities.
It was—and always is—about G-d and His strength, plan, power, abilities.

 

G-d never goes for the obvious. Or the best suited, smartest, most educated, strongest. Remember how G-d reduced Gideon’s army of 32,000 down to a mere 300—and then gave Israel a mighty victory over the Midianites?

 

G-d will do what He will do . . . will be what He will be. His name and character are one and the same.

 

He is the ineffable, holy name: יהוה

 

The real issue is the state of Jeremiah’s soul matrix, which was out of sync—his nefesh (lower part of the soul, tethered to this world) and ruach (human spirit) controlling things rather than his neshama (higher, holy part of the soul, attached to G-d, flooding the soul with His light, truth, ways).

 

That caused him to see his destiny call the way many of us do in confusing, fearful times—through the eyes of human viewpoint/human standards vs. G-d’s heavenly perspective and power.

 

But G-d was on the move—again. He used the soul deconstruction/reconstruction process to part the Red Sea, so to speak, inside Jeremiah’s soul. Peeling away the common—cultural mindsets, religiosities, human expectations, spiritual compromises—so Jeremiah could “lech l’cha” (לֶךְ-לְךָ) . . . go to yourself, for yourself, into yourself . . . and submerge into G-d’s secret place, His holy, murmuring deep. Truly seeing with G-d’s perspective of what is good and right.

 

Yet, this wasn’t a mission built for a single man. Besides working in Jeremiah’s soul for his own edification, G-d was working through Jeremiah’s soul—making him an instrument in His hands. An instrument that would see what G-d saw, feel what G-d felt, and experience in the physical what Judah was doing to G-d in the spiritual.

 

Two realms were clashing—with Jeremiah as both the scapegoat of Judah’s contempt for G-d’s ways and the conduit for G-d’s convictions, discipline, and hope.

 

Jeremiah had become G-d’s prophetic lightning rod.

 

He attracted the fiery anger of Judah . . . while being consumed by G-d’s righteous, fiery words. Within those blasts of light, Judah’s soul condition was exposed. There was no place to hide. No place to run. There was only surrender.

 

Ironically, it was a bit of a replay. Prior, G-d had commanded Hosea to marry a harlot—a portrayal of G-d’s relationship to the adulterous Northern Kingdom. In that deconstruction process, Hosea’s soul touched the holy, the uncommon, and lived out G-d’s experiences with his bride, Israel: betrayal, sorrow, longing, calling for her return to righteousness.

 

TWO SIDES OF SAME COIN

 

Moses led G-d’s nation out of captivity—toward a promise—and for 40 years dealt with their rebellion, grumblings, faithlessness, and near mutinies. And yet, he interceded for the people and pleaded with G-d to not take His presence from the nation.

 

Jeremiah prophesied for 40 years to Judah’s deaf ears and stoney hearts, nearly dying by their hands . . . beaten, put in stocks, flogged, mocked, imprisoned. And yet, he stood by them as they moved toward their destined 70-year Babylonian captivity—and waited in his encouragement of G-d’s promise of their return to Jerusalem and the Land.

 


I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—

My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.

My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,

Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.

—The Hound Of Heaven, Francis Thompson


 

And Jeremiah—like Moses in his soul-remodeling journey—underwent layers of G-d’s deconstruction/reconstruction process . . . slowly experiencing a holy, softening transformation where the sensitivities of the Father’s heart were infused into his own.

 

At times, feeling sad, angered, appalled, or overcome with grace, mercy, and hope. But at other times, feeling abandoned by G-d, then empowered by His presence. Don’t know about you, but that flip-flop of emotions sounds oh so familiar.

 

I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me . . . so the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.—Jeremiah 20:7b, 8b

 

But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. —Jeremiah 20:11a

 

It’s always a matter of who’s on first—your neshama or your nefesh? Therein is the battle within the battle.

 

Jeremiah learned that. The wilderness journey and the battle humbled him. Knocked the wind out of him along the way. The timing. The disappointments. The rage. The angst. The depression.

 

Tensions rolled over him in every form, on every front. He once was among the privileged, a cohen. Then, he was an outcast.

 

But he couldn’t, wouldn’t stop. Why? Because he knew his calling. He surrendered to His king. He bore the weight of the Kingdom of G-d.

 

RUNNING WITH HORSES

 

Moses may have wanted to stop at times. But couldn’t. His relationship with ADONAI was too real, too intense, too passionate. Jeremiah got exhausted and wanted out. His soul couldn’t take any more. He was boxed in on all sides—sometimes, literally. And yet . . . he had no choice but to move forward.

 

If I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.—Jeremiah 20:9

 

G-d’s fiery voice in Jeremiah’s bones would not be silenced. It would flash within his soul matrix, permeating everywhere he was sent. Atmospheres were challenged by G-d’s words spoken through Jeremiah . . . but also by his mere presence. The prophetic burden on Jeremiah was heavy. The cost high. Extremely high.

 

If you’ve run with the footmen and they’ve exhausted you, then how will you compete against horses? You may feel secure in a land of peace, but how will you do in the Yarden’s thick brush?—Jeremiah 12:5

 

What was G-d conveying to Jeremiah? If you can’t keep up with the easier battle campaigns on the ground (footmen) when things aren’t that intense, how will you handle the thick of war? A slightly closer look with the Hebrew flushes out . . .

 

כִּי אֶת-רַגְלִים רַצְתָּה וַיַּלְאוּךָ,

If you’re running/as in “rushing” (רַצְתָּה) with soldiers/footmen and they’re tiring you out (וַיַּלְאוּךָ)

וְאֵיךְ תְּתַחֲרֶה אֶת-הַסּוּסִים;

then how will you vie for/rival against (תְּתַחֲרֶה) horses [symbolic of army strength, an animal used for war times]

וּבְאֶרֶץ שָׁלוֹם אַתָּה בוֹטֵחַ, וְאֵיךְ

and in the land of peace you confidently trust in (or feel secure in), then how

תַּעֲשֶׂה בִּגְאוֹן הַיַּרְדֵּן.

will you do in the thicket (or raging/swelling or magnificence) of the Jordan?

 

In its glory days, the Jordan—which means “descender”—had umpteen curves with varying widths, from 75 feet to 200 feet. Many rapids and falls were along its course, which usually had a rapid, strong current.*

 

Sounds similar to a soul wilderness journey to me.
Being called down into His murmuring deep, descending into a place with rugged terrain and raging waters . . . an uncommon place where G-d alone is your road map.

 

Along his destined journey, Jeremiah learned how to focus on what G-d was doing—not what He was removing during that soul wilderness process.

 

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? When G-d places any of us in a pressurized soul situation, we see what’s missing. What’s been taken away, diminished, lost. We mourn for what was—and wonder when, if ever, we will return to some state of our previous “normal.”

 

We long for release and hope for a new normal—the promise of something within that immerses us into His holiness and transforms us so we are not even a shadow of our former selves.

 

PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE

 

Life isn’t easy. And trials of any magnitude are disturbing. But the point is . . . are you first seeking G-d and believing His Word, following His leading, and getting covered in prayer from trusted believers in Him—or is your soul dial set for auto-tilt?

 

You know, nefesh at the wheel, ruach wavering, and neshama bound and gagged in the back seat? Basically, your spiritual compass hitting a “10” on the frustration richter scale.

 

Believe me, I’ve been there and can get there in no time, if I’m not staying in His flow.

 

That’s why Jeremiah 12:5 is special to me. G-d used it often to encourage me during one of my extremely difficult wilderness journeys.

 

When I didn’t think I could take another step, another hit, another disappointment—newly widowed, family issues, uncertainties on so many levels—He’d give me a vision . . . allowing me to see and hear the stampeding hooves of mighty horses.

 

Would I run with them or fall to the side? If these spiritual battles—in times of relative national peace with challenges common to humanity—would get me down, how will I ever finish the race against tougher enemies? And what will I do in times of more difficult hardships or even persecution?

 

My neshama knew the answer. It had to keep pushing forward in Him and with Him. But I had no strength on my own. Throughout that five-year process (and counting), I’ve had to take it step by step, soul breath by soul breath.

 

I’m in process, learning to rest on this truth in Jeremiah 20:11 . . .
G-d is with me like a mighty warrior.

 

*Stats on Jordan from biblehub.com

 

Article created July 28, 2015.

Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 1’s What God Revealed

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

Empty tomb, garden near Golgatha

It’s real . . . with sneak peeks throughout the Bible to prove it.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Emily Dickinson, 1861 poem.

 

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers—

Untouched by Morning

And untouched by Noon—

Lie the meek members of the Resurrection—

Rafter of Satin—and Roof of Stone!

 

Death. Is it a body decomposing into nothingness, trapped in a waiting-for-Godot moment as Dickinson depicts in her “Alabaster Chambers” poem . . . or is it a future transition of the body’s soul matrix into something far greater?

 

Need a SoulBreaths refresher? Click this popup: Soul Matrix recap

 

Judaic (orthodox), Messianic Judaic, and Christian teachings stand in agreement: 
Death isn’t the end. It’s another beginning. The soul is eternal. There’s a resurrection coming at the end of days—אחרית הימים—orchestrated by the hand of G-d.

Resurrection to everlasting life for the righteous . . . resurrection to judgment for the others, per Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28-29.

 

God said to Moses, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.Exodus 3:6

 

What was G-d saying?
I am the G-d of your father—not I was.
I am the G-d of the living . . . not the dead.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have long past from this world, 
and yet, they are alive.
I am their G-d.

The resurrection of the dead is so entrenched in biblical doctrine that it became the thirteenth principle of the Jewish faith, as defined by The Rambam—Moses ben Maimonides, a renowned, 12th-century rabbinic scholar and philosopher.

 

I believe with complete faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the time when it will be the will of the Creator, blessed be His name and exalted be His remembrance forever and ever.—Maimonides, his Mishnah commentary, tractate Sanhedrin 10:1

 

The resurrection of the dead is understood in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers)—a book containing the rabbinical, ethical/moral teachings from the Mishnaic 2nd century CE period when the oral teachings of Torah were transcribed into a six-part document with 63 tractates, covering various areas of Jewish law.

 

Rabbi Yaakov said:
This world is like a lobby before the World to Come;
prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.
—Pirkei Avot 4:21

 

Sound far-fetched? Then consider this.

 

There are many sneak peeks—real accounts of real people who were resurrected—throughout the Bible. Ten stories are given to nudge our faith toward the main event up ahead.

 

Those ten accounts—the sons of Jewish and gentile widows, a daughter of a synagogue leader, a dead Jewish man entombed for four days, and all the rest—are shared further down in this article.

 

THE DISPARITY AMONG US

 

Of course, not everyone takes resurrection at face value.

 

Exhibit A. Orthodox Judaism strongly adheres to the resurrection teaching. But other Jewish sects—Reform, Conservative, Reconstruction, Renewal, Humanistic—typically stray from that biblical core truth to one degree or another. Like the biblical understanding of a Messiah, each person is left to believe or not . . . mostly, not. Or greatly questioning it, at best.

 

Truth be told, even back in the Second Temple period—1st century CE—the two major sects of the day didn’t agree either. The Pharisees believed “every soul is imperishable” and only the righteous souls would have a bodily resurrection, while all others would enter eternal punishment. Their Judaic counterpart—the Sadducees—pooh-poohed the soul’s eternal existence, the resurrection, angels, and spirits, per Acts 23:8.

 

Exhibit B. It goes without saying that belief in a resurrection—G-d’s ability to resurrect, His word saying as much, and the examples of it in scripture, particularly of the Messiah, Jesus [Yeshua, his Hebrew name]—is the bedrock of Messianic Judaism and mainstream Christianity. Fringe spin-offs of Christianity, those who like to use the Christian label but not its biblically based belief system, think otherwise.

 

And then there’s Exhibit C. The rest of the masses who fall within the cracks of Exhibits A and B. Everyday people, artists, writers, thinkers, believers, agnostics, seekers, sojourners, and what-nots.

 

People like Shakespeare—with his presumably resurrected Hermione in A Winter’s Tale, explored in the Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 2’s What’s the Point of a Resurrected Body, Anyway.

 

Or the previously mentioned Emily Dickinson, the not-so-believing religious poet whose inner turmoil—paradoxical soul matters, resurrection doubts, and burgeoning transcendental views indicative of the 1800s—unleashed a divergence from her staunch, Calvinistic-Protestant upbringing.

 


Grand go the Years—in the Crescent—above them—
Worlds scoop their Arcs—
—Emily Dickinson, “Alabaster Chambers”


 

I appreciate Dickinson. Her editorial uniqueness. Her questioning. Her honesty for writing about those spiritual wanderings. And to a point, I agree. The arc of each life is a rise and an inevitable fall. The years, vanquished. Past glories, abdicated.

Yep, we’re all on a dust-to-dust journey.

 


 And Firmaments—row—

Diadems—drop—and Doges—surrender—

Soundless as dots—on a Disc of Snow
—Emily Dickinson, “Alabaster Chambers”


 

Her poetic musings are intellectually heady—and on a literary and editorial level, they are unconventionally daring for her time. But soul wise, they’re flat. They lack the rest of the story.

 

Maybe it’s because that’s what happens when we break faith. Turn our heads for a second and start chasing the waistcoated White Rabbit down, down, down the long, dark hole.

 

You know, when we make something else the main event. When we allow a single thing, anything, everything to eclipse, compromise, or reinvent what G-d faithfully has revealed to humanity throughout time about Himself and the raison d’être of our soul journey down here for what lies ahead.

 

When the altar of G-d is abandoned . . . replaced by the amalgamated altar of self-reliance, nature, self-mysticism, academia, intellect, philosophy, science, and just about anything else.

 

That’s not to say there’s something wrong with using our intellect, forging new science, appreciating nature, philosophizing about life, etc.

 

Far from it.
And it doesn’t mean we can’t question or doubt. 
Questioning is part of the faith-in-action process.

 

But when pride rises up and we fall in love with the sound of our voices and the reasonings/imaginations of our minds . . . that’s a horse of a totally different color. That’s when we brazenly deconstruct His truths, diminish His ways, reconstruct our golden calf, and collectively build our Tower of Babel.

 

Breaking faith—breaking that relationship with Him—robs the soul of its Source.

 

A broken faith flits about, like a butterfly hovering over the bloom of biblical truth but refusing to drink its robust nectar—G-d’s resurrection-empowering nectar that spiritually (and one day, physically) transforms dry bones.

 

Thank you, Ezekiel 37.
That’s where the L-rd says He’ll breathe new life into old bones.
And we’ve already seen Him perform that promise gloriously with Israel—in 1948 and 1967.

 

RESURRECTION: SNEAK PEEKS

 
G-d made resurrection pretty clear. These ten examples aren’t just hints. They are real stories about real people who breathed their last, mourned, entombed or on their way to that tomb—then were resurrected to demonstrate G-d’s power, compassion, and future promise. Their historic accounts are listed below. Of course, these resurrected people went on to live again . . . but eventually, had to die again and await the resurrection.

 

That is, all except one.

 

And now, ten real-life resurrection accounts. 

 

GENTILE WIDOW OF TZARFAT’S SON

1 Kings 17:10-24. Meager, drought-riddled times. The place was Tzarfat [Zarephath]—a Phoenician city between Sidon and Tyre in Lebanon. Read how G-d intervened for this widow.

 

JEWISH SHUNAMMITE’S SON
2 Kings 4:20-37. Opening scene: The village of Shunem, north of Jezreel in the Tribe of Issachar’s land. Elisha, anointed by G-d, honors this woman, saves her son.

 

ELISHA’S TOMB—JEWISH MAN RESURRECTED
2 Kings 13:20-21. The prophet Elisha fell sick and died, his body placed in a burial cave. Time passed. Then one day, some men came to bury another man. Amazing G-d power happens next.

 

JEWISH LAZARUS—FOUR DAYS ENTOMBED
John 11: 1-44. Lazarus of Bethany and his two sisters—Miriam and Martha—were Jewish followers of Jesus [Yeshua] and close friends of the famed rabbi. One day, Lazarus falls sick. His sisters send a message to Jesus to please come, knowing of his healing miracles. The rest of the story is jaw-dropping.

 

JEWISH SYNAGOGUE LEADER’S DAUGHTER
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43. Jesus [Yeshua] had been ministering to a crowd of people near the Sea of Galilee—casting out demons, healing the sick, etc. A Jewish synagogue official named Ya’ir fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading desperately. “My little daughter is at the point of death. Please! Come and lay your hands on her so she will get well and live!” Despite naysayers, Jesus moves . . .

 

JEWISH WIDOW OF NA’IM’S SON
Luke 7:11-16. Jesus, his twelve disciples, and a large crowd went to a lower-Galilee town called Na’im, just south of Mount Tabor within the boundaries of the Tribe of Issachar. As he approached the town gate, a dead Jewish man was being carried out for burial. Jesus took pity on the man’s widowed mother . . .

 

JESUS [YESHUA]

John 19, 20, 21. Egged on by Jewish authorities and decreed by Rome’s Pontius Pilate, Jesus was crucified at a place called Gulgotha, outside of Jerusalem, died (proven), then was prepped for burial and entombed. The event of all resurrection events was about to happen.

 

MANY JEWS RAISED SIMULTANEOUSLY 

Matthew 27:50-53. Right after Jesus breathed his last on the crucifixion stake, the earth shook, rocks split, and tombs were opened. What about the bodies in them? Read this.

 

TABITHA

Acts 9:36-41. The Messianic Jewish community was being built up in Judah, the Galilee, and Samaria. Their numbers, multiplying. A beloved woman named Tabitha—Dorcas in Greek—died. She was esteemed for her tireless charitable work making clothes for the poor, widows, and others. Then G-d stepped in.

 

EUTYCHUS

Acts 20:7-12. Pharisee Saul Paulus had a Damascene encounter with the ascended Jesus—and thereafter became a believer in Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah. Saul traveled extensively to spread the truth of the Messiah—often amid great persecution. Then one day as he was teaching . . .

 

GO DEEPER & READ MORE

Check out the next three segments of Resurrection Jewish Style—and the scriptures further down to encourage your faith and walk in the L-rd.

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3 
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

 

RESURRECTION: SCRIPTURE VERSES

 

The soul is immortal—Judaically and biblically speaking.

 

The bodily resurrection of the dead is the hope for the righteous in the coming Messianic Age. The Word of G-d says it best. Here are some examples.

 

Your dead will live, my corpses will rise;
awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust;
for your dew is like the morning dew,
and the earth will bring the ghosts to life.
—Isaiah 26:19

 

Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence.
—Daniel 12:2

 

Yeshua [Jesus] answered them, “And as for whether the dead are resurrected, haven’t you read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob?’ He is God not of the dead, but of the living!
—Yeshua speaking to the Sadducees, Gospel of Matthew 22: 31-32

 

Do not be surprised at this because the time is coming when all who are in the grave will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment.
—Gospel of John 5:28-29

 

I continue to believe everything that accords within the Torah and everything written in the Prophets. And I continue to have hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. Indeed, it is because of this that I make a point of always having a clear conscience in the sight of both God and man.
—Former Pharisee Saul Paulus (later called the Apostle Paul), presenting his defense before Caesarea’s Governor Felix, as well as the cohen hagadol (Jewish high priest) and Jewish elders, Acts 24:15

 

RELATED RESOURCES

 

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/107781/jewish/Ani-Maamin-I-Believe.htm

 

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-resurrection-of-the-dead/

 

McFarland, Philip (2004), Hawthorne in Concord, New York: Grove Press, p. 149, ISBN 0-8021-1776-7.

 

Royot, Daniel (2002), “Poe’s humor”, in Hayes, Kevin J, The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 61–2, ISBN 0-521-79727-6.

 

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13614-shulamite

 

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shunammite-midrash-and-aggadah

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Great-Woman-Shunem

 

Resurrection series created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 1’s Real-Life Accounts

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

Jerusalem's Eastern Gate
Israel

Three resurrection accounts set the spiritual ball in motion.

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Resurrection starts in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible)—and is followed by seven more accounts in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant/Testament). It’s a bridge-crossing event of epic proportions, regardless of what part of the bridge you’re on . . . Judaic, Messianic Judaic, or Christian.

 

Each time, G-d peels back a piece of the spiritual dimension so we can evidence His power and catch a glimpse of the resurrection promise to come. Yep, resurrection is real and it’s the main event up ahead.

 

Click this pop-up for a recap of the Resurrection series.

 

And now . . . here are the first resurrection accounts from the Hebrew Bible.

 

GENTILE WIDOW OF TZARFAT’S SON

1 Kings 17:10-24

 

Meager, drought-riddled times. The place was Tzarfat [Zarephath]—a Phoenician city between Sidon and Tyre in Lebanon.

 

The great prophet Elijah [Eliyahu] stood at the city gate, where he saw a gentile widow gathering sticks. Perhaps hesitantly, he asked for a little cup of water, then later, for some bread. But she only had enough flour and oil to make a last meal for her son and herself before they starve to death.

 

Eliyahu instructed her not to fear, but to bake him the bread—and then bake more for her and her son. The widow’s obedience was honored. The flour and oil never ran out during the drought. Time passed and the widow’s son became ill. Increasingly ill. The boy stopped breathing and died. The prior favor of the L-rd seemed to have vanished from the widow’s house, replaced with a potential future life of bitter judgment.

 

Eliyahu took the boy from the mother’s lap, carried him upstairs to the prophet’s upper room and laid the boy on the bed. Crying out to the L-rd, questioning why this misery was put upon the widow, the prophet Elijah made a faith move. He stretched himself out on the child three times and pleaded for Adonai to allow the child’s soul to be returned into the body.

 

G-d’s compassion prevailed. Eliyahu carried the now-revived child back to his mother and said, “See? Your son is alive.”

 * * * 

 

JEWISH SHUNAMMITE’S SON

2 Kings 4:20-37

Opening scene: The village of Shunem, north of Jezreel in the Tribe of Issachar’s land.

 

Elisha was a disciple and prophet-successor of the great prophet Elijah [Eliyahu]—as well as a frequent guest of a Jewish Shunammite, a woman of means and rank who prepared an upper room for his visits.

 

Rabbinic teachings speak highly of her hospitality, saying we all should bring a Torah scholar under our roofs, giving them nourishment and allowing them to partake of all that we possess. [Perek Zedakot 1]

 

To honor the Shunammite woman’s kindness, the L-rd told Elisha that the childless woman would bear a son, even though her husband was old. A year later, she indeed gave birth to a son. But when the child was a bit older, he died. A woman of resolute, bold faith, she laid her child on the prophet’s bed in the upper room, shut the door, and went out. She asked her husband to quickly send her a servant and a donkey so she could leave immediately to see the prophet Elisha.

 

Elisha wastes no time. He gives his staff to his servant Geichazi, ordering him to dress for action and go ahead to the woman’s house—but warns him not to stop or answer anyone and to lay his staff on the child’s face. The servant obeyed, but the child didn’t stir. No sound, no sign of life. Later Elisha arrives and goes to the room, shuts the door, and prays to Adonai. Then he stretched himself out on the child, putting his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, his hands on the child’s hands.

 

As Elisha performed that prophetic action, the child’s flesh began to grow warm. The prophet went back downstairs, walked around the house for a bit, then went back up and once again stretched himself out on the child. The child sneezed seven times—then opened his eyes.

 

The prophet called for the Shunammite woman. When she arrived, Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” She fell at his feet, prostrated herself on the floor, then picked up her son and went out.

 

The soul connection to those seven sneezes? In Genesis 2:7, G-d blew into Adam’s nostrils the soul of life. Some used to posit that sneezing meant the soul was exiting from that same place it entered. Who knows, maybe the seven sneezes were “death” exiting so the new, resurrected breath of G-d could enter and revive the child.

 

* * *

 

ELISHA’S TOMB—JEWISH MAN RESURRECTED

2 Kings 13:20-21

 

The prophet Elisha fell sick and died, his body placed in a burial cave. Time passed. Then one day, some men came to bury another man. But when they spotted their enemy—a Moab raiding party—coming near, they were so frightened, they just hurled the dead man’s body into Elisha’s burial cave. The moment the dead man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, it came to life . . . and the newly resurrected man stood on his feet.

 

So I’m thinking, if those guys were freaked out about the Moabites closing in, they probably totally lost it when that dead man was resurrected. Seriously.

 

GO DEEPER & READ MORE

Check out all the segments of Resurrection Jewish Style.
 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
what’s been revealed

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts cont’d

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3 
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

 

Resurrection series created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 1’s Real-Life Accounts cont’d

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

Jerusalem's Eastern Gate
Israel

Seven more resurrection accounts nudge the spiritual ball further—much, much further.

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Just in case we weren’t paying attention to G-d’s sneak-peek resurrections in the Tanakh—three accounts in the Hebrew Bible hinting at the end-of-days promise to come—He gave us seven more that take on even greater momentum for those willing to read the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant/Testament). 

 

Six of those seven New Testament accounts are in this post . . . the seventh account deserves its own post.

 

Click this pop-up for a recap of the Resurrection series.

 

Drum roll, please . . . six of the seven resurrection accounts found in the New Testament.

 

JEWISH LAZARUS—FOUR DAYS ENTOMBED

John 11: 1-44

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

 

Lazarus of Bethany and his two sisters—Miriam and Martha—were Jewish followers of Jesus [Yeshua] and close friends of the famed rabbi. One day, Lazarus falls sick. His sisters send a message to Jesus to please come, knowing of his healing miracles. But Jesus opts to stay two more days where he is and prophetically says, “This sickness will not end in death . . . it is for God’s glory.”

 

The days passed and Jesus tells his disciples that Lazarus is “asleep”—meaning died. “I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you will come to have faith. Let’s go to him.”

 

By the time they get there, Lazarus had been dead four days. That’s right—four days in the tomb. But Jesus nudges the sisters’ faith.

 

Jesus says to Martha, “Your brother will rise again.”
In true Jewish fashion, she answers, “I know that he’ll rise again at the Resurrection on the Last Day.”

 

But Jesus wasn’t referring to the end-of-days resurrection. He meant now. This is the part when it gets really, really good—and why this is one of the most dramatic resurrection accounts in the Bible. Adonai was about to reveal the resurrection-and-life power in Jesus as Messiah.

 

Jesus, the two Jewish sisters, the many Jewish mourners, and the Jewish disciples walk to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone lying in front of the entrance.

 

“Take the stone away!” Jesus says.

But Martha warns him, “By now his body must smell—it’s been four day since he died!”

Jesus answers, “Didn’t I tell you that if you keep trusting, you will see the glory of God?” 

 

So they remove the stone. Jesus looks upward and says, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know you always hear me, but I say this because of the crowd standing around, so that they may believe you have sent me.

 

Then Jesus called out. “Lazarus, come out!”
The man who had been dead came out.
His hands and fee wrapped in strips of linen and his face covered with a cloth.
Jesus said, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

 

Unlike the prophets Elijah and Elisha who had to continue to pray over a body and stretch out over it, etc. before the body was resurrected, Jesus merely commands life with the words and power of God—and it’s done.

 

Not surprisingly, many of the Judeans who had come to visit the sisters and seen what Jesus had done believed in him as Messiah. But not all. Nope, some ran to the Pharisees and told them about the resurrection. Well, you can imagine how that went over.

 

The head cohanim (priests) and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. They weren’t pleased—and began plotting to not only kill Jesus, but to do away with Lazarus as well since it was because of his resurrection that large numbers of Judeans were leaving their leaders and putting their faith in Jesus as Messiah. (John 12: 9-10)

* * *

 

JEWISH SYNAGOGUE LEADER’S DAUGHTER

Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

 

Jesus [Yeshua] had been ministering to a crowd of people near the Sea of Galilee—casting out demons, healing the sick, etc. A Jewish synagogue official named Ya’ir fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading desperately. “My little daughter is at the point of death. Please! Come and lay your hands on her so she will get well and live!”

 

Jesus agreed to go, the crowd of people pressing in on him on all sides. A woman touched the hem of his garment and was healed of her twelve-year bout of hemorrhaging. Then people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?”

 

Ignoring what they said, Jesus tells the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.”

 

Jesus let his disciples Peter, James, and John follow him to the man’s home. At the house, there was great commotion—understandably. Weeping and wailing. “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead, she’s just asleep!” Jesus said. The people jeered at him, so he put them all outside, then took the child’s parents and his three disciples with him to the child.

 

Jesus took the twelve-year-old child by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” At once, the girl got up and began walking around.

 

Everyone was amazed. Jesus told them to give her something to eat—and gave strict orders for them to say nothing about the event to anyone.

 

Yeah, I’m not so sure they obeyed that last request . . . especially since we’re still reading about it and telling the miraculous event 2,000 years later.

* * *

JEWISH WIDOW OF NA’IM’S SON

Luke 7:11-16

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

 

Jesus, his twelve disciples, and a large crowd went to a lower-Galilee town called Na’im, just south of Mount Tabor within the boundaries of the Tribe of Issachar. As he approached the town gate, a dead Jewish man was being carried out for burial. Surrounded by a sizable crowd, the man’s mother—a widow with no other children—wept and walked with the others. A bleak future lay before her.

 

When Jesus saw her, he felt compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” Then he came close and touched the coffin—the pallbearers stopped.

 

Jesus said,” Young man, I say to you, Get up!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him to his mother.

 

They were filled with awe and gave glory to God. The report about Jesus spread throughout all Judah and the surrounding countryside.

 

These accounts beg the question.

Since resurrection is an obvious Jewish teaching,
then why don’t people believe
the resurrection of yet another Jew?

* * *

 

MANY JEWS RAISED SIMULTANEOUSLY 

Matthew 27:50-53

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

Right after Jesus breathed his last on the crucifixion stake, the earth shook, rocks split, and tombs were opened. After Jesus was resurrected, many bodies of the righteous were raised and appeared in the Holy City to many. When the centurion and his fellow soldiers who had been guarding the tomb of Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly, this was the Son of G-d.”

 

* * *

 

TABITHA

Acts 9:36-41

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

 

This resurrected record happened well after Jesus had been crucified, buried, resurrected, and forty days later, ascended into heaven.

 

The Messianic community is being built up in Judah, the Galilee, and Samaria. Their numbers, multiplying. A beloved woman named Tabitha—Dorcas in Greek—lived in the Mediterranean port city Joppa, about 30 miles south of Caesarea. A believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, she was esteemed for her tireless charitable work making clothes for the poor, widows, and others.

 

In time, Tabitha grew ill and died. After washing her, they laid her in a room upstairs.

 

The Messianic believers heard that Peter—a well-known disciple of Jesus—was in nearby Lydda and sent for him to come without delay. When he arrived, all the widows were standing around Tabitha’s body, sobbing and showing Peter all the dresses and coats she had made for people.

 

Peter put them outside, knelt down and prayed.
As a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, he was indwelt with the power of the Holy Spirit and had learned how to step into that heaven-earth soul connection to hear G-d’s voice and know what He was doing, what He was saying, how He was leading.

 

In obedience to G-d’s voice, Peter turned to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.

 

He offered his hand and helped her to her feet, then called the believers and widows, presenting Tabitha to them alive. Many people put their trust in Jesus as Messiah because of what God had done for Tabitha.

 

* * *

 

EUTYCHUS

Acts 20:7-12

[Note: Bridge-Crossing Account Up Ahead]

 

Pharisee Saul Paulus had a Damascene encounter with the ascended Jesus—and thereafter became a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. He traveled extensively to spread the truth of the Messiah—often amid great persecution.

 

At one point in his travels, Saul Paulus spent five days in Troas, an ancient Greek city on the Aegean Sea, near Turkey’s northern tip. He taught and ministered to followers of the Messiah. On the first day of the week, he gathered with believers to break bread. Since he was going to leave the following day, he prolonged his message until midnight.

 

There were many oil lamps burning in the upstairs room where they were meeting. A young man named Eutychus was sitting on the window sill. As Saul Paulus continued teaching, the young man eventually grew sound asleep and fell from the third-story window.

 

When they picked him up from the ground, he was dead. But Saul went down, threw himself onto him, put his arms around him. His faith went into action. Saul said, “Don’t be upset, he’s alive!”

 

Then Paul went back upstairs, broke the bread and shared it with everyone. He continued teaching until daylight—with everyone greatly relieved the boy was brought back to life.

 

* * *

 

GO DEEPER & READ MORE

Check out all the segments of Resurrection Jewish Style.
 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
what’s been revealed

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts cont’d

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3 
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

 
Resurrection series created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 2’s Why A Bodily Resurrection?

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

picture from pinkpigart.co.uk

Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale revived: From the barrenness, brokenness, and blackened leaves of our wintry lives to the real latter rain that G-d promised—bodily resurrectionwhere our soul matrix becomes a wheel within a wheel.

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.
Picture: Tree archway in snow, Edinburgh (Source: pinkpigart.co.uk)

 

We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i’the sun,

And bleat the one at the other: what we changed

Was innocence for innocence; we knew not

The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream’d

That any did. Had we pursued that life. . .

—Polixenes, Act 1, Scene 2, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

 

Yes, Polixenes, if only we had.

 

In Shakespeare’s play, Polixenes—King of Bohemia—describes his childhood relationship with Sicily’s King Leontes as twins, buddy buddies, innocents. That is, until life happened and they were cast out of their Gan Eden-ish (Garden of Eden-ish), grace-like existence and into Leontes’ irrational rampage, where he goes all Othello on his wife, Hermiones, and longtime buddy, Polixenes.

 

For the sake of the plot—not entirely unlike our own life stories—the characters don’t choose the more innocent path . . . leaving Shakespeare to expose familiar elements of the soul’s journey—its rise, decline, fall, redemptive resurrection.

 


I am a feather for each wind that blows.
—Leontes, a deranged soul consumed with misjudgments
,
Act 2, Scene 3, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale


 

Shakespeare’s tale bulges with jealousies, accusations, misjudgments, malicious lies, for-the-better-good lies, over-the-top emotional reactions, bitterness, relationship splits, disloyalty, paranoia, tyranny, expulsions, broken hearts, death, presumed resurrection, some reuniting, and renewal.

 

The Bard of Avon even turns the physical tables of the atmosphere to mirror the inner soul rumblings of his characters‘ interactions—Sicily’s Mediterranean warmth and light are vanished, replaced by a wintry heart of darkness.

 

It’s the stuff of life.
More to the point, the stuff of a nefesh-driven life—the lower part of the soul matrix.
Self-focused. Earthly tethered.
And largely the reason why we need a bodily resurrection.

 

EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR

journeying between weight and responsibility

 

Okay, so you’re not exactly like Shakespeare’s Antigonus, the king’s advisor who was chased off stage by a bear. But “bears” and their presumed Shakespearean connotation—the word appearing about 12 times in the play, teetering between bearing the onus for your actions and their related guilt, with the fierce “bearish” beast appearing in the midst of it all—do have their place in your soul experience and its aftermath, your future resurrection.

 

Bearing your soul.
Bearing the weight of your actions—good and not so good.
Bearing the scrutiny of others and our internal self.
Bearing the hardships and testings along life’s journey.

Bearing the responsibility for what you’ve said, done, thought, written, shared, taught, imposed, desired, touched, took, gave, blessed, cursed, healed, harmed, lifted up, brought down.

Bearing the yoke of heaven.

Bearing the final outcome of it all—with your soul’s work salted by fire, tested by His Holiness/Purity and either reduced to ash and stubble or glorified in Him.

 

Think of it as your winter’s tale. Birth. Life. Death. Resurrection. The place where the physical and spiritual fuse, divide, then fuse again. It’s how your life begins—and how it unfolds on its way to a spring revival that will last eternally.

 

Your multi-layered soul—a matrix of sorts, made of your real essence—is stitched into your body (which is part of your soul matrix) while in the womb. Together, they embark on a journey and specific life work . . . a work that ignites your soul-body refinement, laying the foundation for your bodily resurrection.

 

SOUL MATRIX

 

Three Hebraic expressions are used interchangeably in scripture for “breath”and “soul”—neshama (highest of the three-part soul matrix), ruach (human spirit), nefesh (lowest soul part, includes the body).

 

Collectively, these elements reflect the soul’s life force, emotions, intellect, and umbilical-like connection to G-d.

 

Each soul part reveals aspects or dimensions of the soul matrix.
Each one, distinctive, yet interconnected and interdependent.
Each one, a gift from G-d.
Each one, having purpose, value, and needing care.
Each one, playing a part in your now and future bodily resurrection.

 

Indeed. The entire soul matrix belongs to the L-rd.

הַנְשָמָה לָך וְהַגוּף פְּעֳלָך
The soul is Yours, and the body is Your handiwork.

 


Need a reminder? Click this popup: Soul Matrix recap


 

NO SMOOTH SAILING

The nefesh makes a way for the higher soul parts—neshama and ruach—to join the body in a human experience in this worldly dimension.

 

For you and me, that’s often an issue. A big one. An inner battle that impacts not only this side of heaven . . . but what happens at the bodily resurrection.

 

Neshama focuses on pulling the soul matrix upward into the things of G-d—raising the level, glory to glory for a spiritually fruitful life.

 

Ruach can get swept upward—but also can be brought downward into the nefesh’s world-centered grasp.

 

Nefesh focuses on earthly desires, often pulling the soul matrix downward with greed, twists, turns, outer influences, etc.—yet its real mission is supposed to be surrendering to the will of G-d, referred to as the nefesh needing to “accept the yoke of heaven.”

 


A cause more promising than wild dedication of self to unpathed waters, undreamed shores.
—Camillo, Act 4, Scene 4, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale


 

Per Judaic thought—Maimonides, the renowned 12th century Jewish philosopher—whenever character traits get out of sync, they erect a veil that blocks the flow of divine light to the soul.

 

For those on the other side of the Judaic-Messianic bridge, a New Testament passage in Ephesians 4 explains it even further . . . teaching that when the soul is darkened, the heart is blinded and becomes callous, losing all sensitivity and indulging in every kind of impurity with greediness.

 

All that can contribute to a crisis of faith, causing the soul to feel removed from G-d—or worse, feel He has turned away.

 

We need a bodily resurrected state at the end of days
to reorder the soul matrix into a holy alliance.

 

The earthly tug-of-war shifting in your neshama-ruach-nefesh soul life may not be to the extent of Shakespearean drama or some seamy, edgy movie . . . it can be subtle. Far, far more subtle.

 


This news is mortal to the queen:
look down and see what death is doing.
—Paulina, Act 3, Scene 2, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale


 

How is death working in the soul? With subtle—and often culturally acceptable—movements. Look what death is doing.

murder by an unkind, thoughtless, or arrogant mouth

murder by critical thought

murder by facial expressions

murder by ignoring the widowed/fatherless/poor/needy

murder by apathy

murder by turning from G-d’s ways and thoughts

 

WINTER. RAIN. RESURRECTION.

real meaning of the latter glory being greater than the former

 

Rabbinically speaking, winter, rain, and resurrection are linked. But it’s how the neshama-ruach-nefesh tango plays out vs. the giver-receiver nature of G-d that creates the substance of your individual bodily resurrection tale.

 

Think of G-d.
Creator.
Essence of Love.
Essence of Goodness, Holiness, Truth, Wisdom, Pure Purpose.
Loving Father.
Releaser of His Goodness and Love to His creation.
Receiver of creation’s praise and love.
Circular funnel of Love, Goodness—desiring to flow out from Him to you, soaking through you, pouring over you, and back to Him, so on and on and on it goes.

 

Now think of the nefesh (with the body).
Earth-focused.
Compelled by this world.
Self-focused.
Receptor.
Will to receive for self—not give.
Not surrendered to the yoke of heaven.
Separated from neshama, enticing the ruach to be pulled downward.
One-way street.

 

And therein is the reason behind the soul matrix battle—and the need for a resurrection. You weren’t created to stay locked in this war-torn state forever. This present leg of the journey is meant to help your soul matrix become something more. Something greater. You are to emerge and walk in your heavenly reality—how you already exist in His heart, in His mind, in Him.

 

With a bodily resurrection . . . the war is over.
The receiver-driven nefesh body is dead, corrupted, disintegrated.

 

The King has conquered death.

 

The seasoned soul matrix has been tested, tried, hopefully having been submerged and empowered by His Truth, Life, Way, Word.

If so . . .

A glorified body awaits you—clothed in G-d’s righteousness, revealed and released through your neshama and ruach.

Nefesh is no longer tethered to earthly realm.
Neshama floods the newly glorified vessel with G-d’s Goodness, Holiness, Love.
Nefesh works in holy harmony with the neshama and ruach—in alignment with G-d.
Nefesh is transformed into a vessel that gives and receives in a sanctified way, without self-gratification/self-adoration—raised in the image of G-d, mirroring His circular, love-funnel nature, a complete circle of His flow.

With the bodily resurrection,
the neshama-ruach-nefesh matrix
finally can operate in
holy, giving-receiving state,
in sync with G-d . . .
a wheel within a wheel.

 

Something that can’t be done solely in our
earthly, winter journey.

 

SO BRING ON THE RAIN

G-d says you and I are like trees—Psalm 1:3, Psalm 92:13, Psalm 52:10. Read those scriptures here.

 

A tree is vibrant, flourishes, bears fruit, stretches its roots and branches. But in winter, it’s dormant, still, laid bare.

 

Rain comes after the barrenness, brokenness, and blackened leaves of winter.

 

The rain heralds in the spring, hope, vegetation, new beginnings. The Talmud calls the time of the resurrection the “rainy season.” The resurrection will usher in a spring, a hope, a lasting fruitfulness.

Hosea 6:2-3. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence. And let us know, let us strive to know the LORD: like the dawn whose going forth is sure, and He will come to us like the rain, like the latter rain  which satisfies the earth.

 

The latter rain is the greatest glory.
The latter rain is bodily resurrection.

 

So we all need to take heed during this earthly “winter tale” journey to live and walk wisely.

 

What plays into your soul’s future resurrection? Your relationship with the real G-d—the only one, the one of the Bible, not some version of “god” or what religion may/may not say about Him—and your life choices.

 

The question for any of us is this: Will it be a bodily resurrection to everlasting life . . . or a resurrection to judgment?
(Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28-29)

 
 

GO DEEPER & READ MORE

Check out all the segments of Resurrection Jewish Style.
 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
what’s been revealed

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts cont’d

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3 
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

 

RELATED RESOURCES

http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/1913cr.htm
In the shadow of the ladder, Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/281644/jewish/The-Resurrection-of-the-Dead.htm

http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380651/jewish/Levels-of-Soul-Consciousness.htm

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Path-of-the-Soul-1-Discovering-Mussar.html (Maimonides character traits)

R.. Sproul:
http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/dark-night-soul/

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2002-02-28/features/0202280319_1_bear-center-stage-shakespeare

Resurrection series created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

Resurrection Jewish Style: Part 3’s Rabbi-Jewish Scholars Defend Jesus’ Resurrection

By SoulBreaths Author [ 3 years ago ]

Rolled stone from tomb

The resurrection event that changed everything—on both sides of the Judaic-Messianic bridge. What an orthodox rabbi and Jewish scholars have to say about the resurrection of Jesus (Yeshua).

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

The world’s history has long encompassed extremes—light, darkness, goodness, evil, sagacity, folly, hope, discouragement . . . and the ultimate dichotomy, death and resurrection.

 

It’s the stuff authors love to write about, carefully mirroring this up-down, soul-matrix existence in their art, which sometimes winds up reflected back into life. Remember the seesaw duality of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities?

 


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .


 

Thankfully, G-d doesn’t leave us out to dry in our fractured state of humanity. We will rise from the abyss of death. He not only made a way for us to know Him and have a genuine relationship with Him—He’s also pulled back the veil several times to give evidence of the hope that is on the horizon: the bodily resurrection at the end of days—acharit hayamim [אחרית הימים].

 


I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss.
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities


 

And, yeah, as shared in Resurrection Jewish Style-Part 1, it’s good news/bad news. There will be a resurrection to everlasting life for the righteous . . . resurrection to judgment for the others. (Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28-29.)

 

But G-d gave us ten resurrection accounts—seriously, count them—to encourage us. Three in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and seven in the New Testament (Brit Chadashah). Resurrection is the bedrock of traditional Judaism and Messianic Judaism/Christianity.

 

And yet, all those resurrection accounts beg the question.

Since resurrection is an obvious Jewish teaching,
then why do some people give
an acknowledging nod
to many of those accounts . . .

but discount 
one resurrection in particular?
Namely, the historical resurrection of 
Jesus.

Well, one modern-day orthodox rabbi didn’t.
Nor did some other Jewish biblical scholars and rabbis.

 

MEET RABBI PINCHAS LAPIDE
author, Jewish scholar, theologian specializing in the New Testament

 

Clearly a non-messianic, Lapide had a real bridge-crossing view. He even wrote a book in 1979 about it: The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish PerspectiveIt made quite a stir back then, even garnering attention in Time magazine’s religion section.

 

Lapide (1922-1997) and his scholarly process were all about rediscovering the Jewish aspects of early Christianity. After all, Jesus (Yeshua) and his followers were Jews.

 

Now I don’t agree with his inference that Jesus (Yeshua) is only the messiah for the Goyim/Gentiles—although there was a time I danced around that tune, but 300 fulfilled prophecies can’t be ignored. Yet, Lapide’s convincing arguments in favor of Jesus’ resurrection as a historic event are worth noting.

 

Per Lapide, the “Hebrew Bible knows of the translation of Enoch (Genesis 5:24), a transfiguration (Saul: I Samuel 10:6), an ascension (Elijah: 2 Kings 2:11) and three resurrections [which G-d] carried out through the hands of His prophets.” Namely: I Kings 7: 17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-21, 32-37; 2 Kings 13:20-21.

 

Not a single case was met with unbelief in Israel, per Lapide.
Nope, not one.

 

The hope and belief in resurrection were so ingrained in Judaic thinking, it became part of the daily prayer from Moses ben Maimonides’ Thirteen Articles of Faith: “I believe with full conviction that there will be a resurrection of the dead at a time which will please the creator.” (Maimonides—aka The Rambam—was a renowned, 12th-century rabbinic scholar and philosopher.)

 

Lapide also commented that postbiblical literature gives reports of several miraculous healings, multiplication of bread, diversion of a flood, victory over demons, rainfall after prayer, etc.

 

So the historic resurrection of Jesus
wasn’t a bizarre, non-Jewish event.
And it wasn’t so-called magic or a scheme.
It was real.
From the hand of Adonai, G-d Himself.
In fact, over the 40-day period following his resurrection,
Jesus appeared to his disciples, others, and over 500 people at once.

 

In addition to Lapide’s scientific analysis of Jesus’ resurrection—which includes support for the genuineness of Saul Paulus’ Damascene experience—he mentioned two other points as further support: (1) G-d permitted the women to be the first to witness and give testimony of that resurrection—when they held no value in the culture; (2) many  Jewish believers were willing to die defending their belief in Jesus’ resurrection.

 

He also addresses the hotly debated three-days-in-the-tomb issue. Even Christians battle out the calculations. But Lapide gives a smart Judaic response: It’s not a literal expression in the Hebrew Bible.

 

Lapide says, for those with ears biblically educated, that three-days-in-the-tomb expression refers to the clear evidence of G-d’s mercy and grace that is revealed after two days of affliction and death by way of redemption.

 

  • Genesis 22:4. On the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes . . . [before the Akedah, the binding of Isaac]
  • Exodus 19: 16. On the morning of the third day, there was thunder . . . [before G-d’s Sinai appearance]
  • Genesis 42:18. On the third day, Joseph said to them . . . [before releasing his brothers—except one—to return to Canaan]
  • Jonah 1:17. Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days . . . [before he was saved]
  • Esther 5:1. On the third day, Esther put on her royal robes . . . [Israel saved after bitter affliction]
  • Hosea 6:2. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up . . . [before He comes like the spring rain to water their souls ]

 

JESUS  & JEWISH BIBLICAL SCHOLARS 

 

Per Lapide, the Pentecost testimony of the apostles—claiming the crucified Jesus had risen—proved a big pain you know where for the Sadducees. But for the Pharisees or the majority of Jews, it was a “problem seriously to be investigated.” They knew a resurrection was “entirely in the realm of the possible (Sanhedrin 90b).”

 

And also per Lapide’s book (pages 137-138, 142), the spiritual heirs of those Pharisees—today’s Jewish rabbis and biblical scholars—have commented on the matter from different angles.

 

  • Maimonides—renowned rabbinic authority. “All these matters which refer to Jesus of Nazareth . . . only served to make the way free for the King Messiah and to prepare the whole world for the worship of G-d with a united heart, as it is written: Yea, at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord (Zeph. 3:9). In this way, the messianic hope, the Torah, and the commandments have become a widespread heritage of faith—among the inhabitants of the far islands and among many nations, uncircumcised in heart and flesh.”
  • Rabbi Samuel Hirsch—pioneer of the Jewish Reform movement. “In order that Jesus’ power of hope and greatness of soul should not end with his death, G-d has raised in the group of his disciples the idea that he rose from death and continues living. Indeed, He continues living in all those who want to be true Jews.”
  • Rabbi Leo Baeck—author of The Essence of Judaism. “They [disciples of Jesus] were seeking the Messiah, the son of David, the promised one, and they found and beheld him in Jesus. His disciples in Israel believed in him even beyond his death so that it became to them an existential certainty that he—as the prophet foretold—had risen from the dead on the third day.”
  • Rabbi Samuel Sandmel—prolific author, theologian, an authority on Jewish-Christian relations. “Only a Jew whose unique combination of qualities was extraordinary could have been thought by other Jews to have been accorded a special resurrection.”
  • J. Carmel—Israeli teacher/author, who says he regrets the Gospels aren’t at home in the framework of Jewish literature. “If the prophet Elijah has ridden a fiery chariot into heaven, why should not Jesus rise and go to heaven?”

 


Without the Sinai experience—no Judaism.
Without the Easter [Passover/Crucifixion/Resurrection] experience—no Christianity.
Both were Jewish faith experiences whose radiating power . . .
were meant for the world of nations.
For inscrutable reasons, the resurrection faith of Golgotha [crucifixion location]
was necessary to carry the message of Sinai into the world.
Rabbi Pinchas Lapide


 

RESURRECTION: JESUS

John 19, 20, 21

 

[Head’s up: Bridge-Crossing Account]

 

Egged on by Jewish authorities and decreed by Rome’s Pontius Pilate, Jesus was crucified at a place called Gulgotha, outside of Jerusalem. Pilate had a sign posted on the cross in three languages, Hebrew, Latin, Greek: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

 

Two criminals were crucified that day as well, one on either side of Jesus.

 

It was Friday, a day of preparation for the Shabbat [Sabbath]—a special one because it was Passover week. The Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, so they asked Pilate to hasten the deaths of the three men by breaking their legs. The soldiers broke the legs of the men on either side of Jesus, but when they came to him, they saw he was already dead.

 

One soldier took his sword and pierced Jesus’ side. Immediately, blood and water poured out. He died without one of his bones broken, fulfilling Psalm 34.

 

Joseph of Arimathea—a Jew, a man of means, a respected member of the council, and a follower of Jesus—asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Pilate granted permission.

 

Joseph and another Jew, Nicodemus—a Pharisee, member of the Sanhedrin, and follower of Jesus (John 3)—took the body, wrapped it in linen sheets with the myrrh-and-aloes spices, in accordance with Judean burial practice, and placed the body in a new tomb (previously purchased by Joseph of Arimathea for himself), located in a nearby garden. Shabbat was nearing and they had to work fast.

 

A huge stone locked the entrance—and Pilate had soldiers guard the tomb, worried about the stories of Jesus’ promised resurrection.

 

Early on the first day of the week—Sunday—when it was still dark, Miriam from Magdala along with Miriam (the mother of James), and Salome went to the tomb in hopes of someone to roll the stone away so they could anoint the body with spices. [Mark 16]

 

But the stone was already rolled away.

 

Miriam Magdala ran to tell the disciples Peter and John, who immediately went to the tomb and saw that it was empty. Not understanding, they returned home, perplexed. Miriam stood outside the tomb crying, then bent down to peer in the tomb. Two angels sat where the body of Jesus had been—one at the head and one at the feet. 
[Reminds me of the two angels facing one another on top of the Arc of the Covenant.]

“Why are you crying?” the angels asked Miriam.

“They took my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him,” she cried.

Just then, she turned and saw Jesus standing there.

 

In the evening of the same day—the first day of the week—the disciples were gathered behind a locked door, fearful of the Judeans.

 

Jesus appeared, stood in the middle, and said, “Shalom aleikhem!”
He showed them his hands and his pierced side.

 

Throughout the next forty days, he appeared to many people, per convincing proofs, and spoke of things regarding the Kingdom of G-d. He appeared to  . . .

 

(1) several women immediately afterward (Miriam Magdala, Miriam, Salome, Joanna)

(2) Simon Peter

(3) his disciples at various times (e.g. in an upper room and at the Sea of Galilee and on a mountain in the Galil)

(4) two disciples on the Emmaus Road

(5) his half-brother, James

(6) over 500 people at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:6)

 

Unlike the other resurrected people mentioned in the Bible, Jesus didn’t have to die a second time. He’d conquered death. He ascended into heaven, witnessed by his disciples: Simon (Kefa/Peter), Andrew, John, Ya’akov ben Zavdi (James, son of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael, Bar-Talmai), T’oma (Thomas), Mattityahu (Matthew), Ya’akov bar-Halfai (James, son of Alphaeus), Simon the Zealot, and Taddai (Thaddeus, also known as Judas—not Iscariot, but the son of James).

While he was blessing the disciples, Jesus ascended into heaven, returning back to the Father. His followers evidenced him being taken up into a cloud (Acts 1). Right afterward . . .

 

Two men clad in white robes said to his followers:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will so come back just as you saw Him go into heaven.”

 

* * *

 

GO DEEPER & READ MORE

Check out all the segments of Resurrection Jewish Style.

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
what’s been revealed

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts cont’d

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?

 

RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3 
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

 

Resurrection series created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

Soul Stilling: Three Hours Of Silence

By SoulBreaths Author [ 4 years ago ]

Under your tallit, Adonai, I will find refuge.

Come up to the mountain and stay there.” (Exodus 24:12)

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.
[Expanded from a 2009 post about Feasting within the Fast; revised January 2015.]

 

Soul whispering . . . that’s what I desire. Swimming in G-d’s murmuring deep. Speaking soul to soul. Listening for His stilled, small voice.

 

That means going higher to go deeper—not pitching my tent in the lower mountain places. A change in the physical moves the spiritual . . . and a shift in the spiritual births breakthrough in the physical. One vehicle for that: fasting.

 

But that’s fasting as He leads. That way it’s not about struggling, striving, wavering.

 

It can be done on many levels, many ways. A step away from food or certain foods, from daily living activities, from passions or distractions—replaced by time with Him, acts of mercy, prophetic intercession in the heavens that will set the captive free.

 

The deeper you press into heaven and His presence, the more the things bound to this natural realm dissipate. Revelation and movement within the heaven-and-earth connection during a fast often eclipses physical hunger. Your “food” is now spiritual . . . satisfying . . . energizing. Not of this world, yet co-existing within your physical world.

 

Fasting also helps realign your soul matrix. Your nefesh—the lower part of your soul that naturally gravitates to the things of this world—takes a back seat. The neshama, higher component of your soul’s matrix attached to G-d, is widened. It becomes a funnel for His whispers, His illuminations of the Word, and His revelations.

 

Your soul awakens and is released from nefesh’s gravitational pull . . . then ushered into His dark cloud of Glory. Everything around you may feel surreal. But in actuality, it was never more real. You are “seeing” with spiritual eyes and “hearing” with spiritual ears.

 

It’s there that you can enter the King’s realm . . . where His royal authority, unmeasurable majesty, untouchable holiness and unseen power are high, lifted up. You fall to your knees, overcome by His glory. Your soul trembles under the weight of His power . . . His love . . . His kingship.

 

Obedience seems to be no longer an option, but a soul-throbbing, unquenchable desire.
Earthly food and thoughts fade. During a deep-work fast,
you taste the real manna from heaven, the bread of the Almighty.

 

DIVINE ACCESS

 

I cherish the works and teachings G-d is instilling in my soul these days. But I also honor works He did in the past because they form the roots of what is happening within my soul today. Like this story . . .

 

The L-rd took three of my girlfriends and me on a joint spiritual journey back in 2009—a year filled with “bridging” lessons that, personally speaking, catapulted my walk into new directions on many levels.

 

It all started by hanging out at His well with these three friends who desired to go deeper. We each came from slightly different spiritual backgrounds and approaches, but honored G-d and His Word. Judaic/messianic thought was respected. 

 

We agreed to meet regularly via phone for prayer and subsequent G-d-called fasts. The actual parameters of each fast differed and intensified per the individual intercessor—but the leading of the “when” and the “how long” always fell in absolute unison.

 

The L-rd had impressed on me that the various things He had me fasting from would last more than an appointed number of days . . . it would become my way of life going forward.

 

Throughout that first year, we ascended from group prayer time to a higher level of intercession and onto prophetic intercession, visions or words given, hearing His voice of what to say or do (or not) as we spiritually swam in His murmuring deep.

 

The bottom line lesson—obedience is birthed out of love for Him.

 

OBEDIENCE: THREE HOURS OF SILENCE

 

G-d kept fine tuning our ears and heart. On May 25, 2009, we entered our regular time for intercession via phone. But there was nothing “regular” about this special G-d encounter.

 

Simultaneously while on the phone—without any of us discussing it or sharing what we were experiencing—we each entered a stillness. No words. His Spirit fell over us to silence us and command us not to speak. We had learned from prior group experiences to hear and heed. And now we were taking the test. Would we obey . . . even if it made no sense in the natural?

 

Yep, with His grace, we would.

 

Three to three-and-a half hours later . . . He lifted the silence.
Amazing. We had sat in absolute silence on the phone in obedience.
None of us knowing what the other intercessory partners were thinking or doing.
All we had was our personal command for silence before Him.

 

THE MOSES MOUNTAIN

 

We also had to learn how to come up to the mountain and stay there  so we could walk in His healing and power—and not pitch our tents in the “low” places, walking in the damage of our souls. Love was rising and we had to make a conscious effort to choose love actions—toward our G-d, our King of Glory, our family, friends and those we encounter.

 

Adonai said to Moses (Moshe), “Come up to me on the mountain, and stay there. I will give you the stone tablets with the Torah and the mitzvot I have written on them, so that you can teach them. Moses (Moshe) got up, also Joshua( Y’hoshua) his assistant; and Moshe went up onto the mountain of God.  To the leaders he said, “Stay here for us, until we come back to you.”—Exodus 24:12-14*

 

BRIDGING SCRIPTURES & UNDERSTANDING

 

G-d’s take-away love lesson? Be still. Wait. He is King. Yes, we have access to His Holy throne room—but understand the seriousness of His Lordship. He is King and—as in ancient days of earthly kingships—we can speak when He, the King, directs. And in that time  of silently waiting for His “nod” to speak, we must rest attentively to hear His voice within our souls.

 

Psalm 62:6*. My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.

 

Judges 3:19*. The king commanded silence, and all his attendants withdrew.

 

Luke 11:28. But Yeshua said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of G-d and obey it!”

 

* Hebrew Bible reference numbers.

NOTE: Expanded from a 2009 post about Feasting within the Fast; revised January 2015.

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