While sitting under the sukkah, our group found itself deep in discussion as to whether there is some way, other than sitting in the sukkah, that we should completely observe sukkot. We read the scripture in Leviticus 23:36 about presenting an offering by fire to Yahweh. If you look at the Hebrew text, the word 'offering' is not in the original text. So in the Hebrew it reads "present fire" to Yah. Is this something we should pursue to try to please Him? After all, we want to please and obey our Father, and guard His commands to the utmost. It was asked, "should we somehow try to offer fire?"
That led into another discussion: How far do we go in trying to carry out commands in scripture without crossing the line as Nadab and Abihu did? Do we figure out some kind of non-corrupt way to bring fire? (This reminded me of the discussion last spring about killing a lamb for passover). What pleases the Father, and what crosses the line to become offensive to Him? What is applicable to us today without having a temple system? What part of the covenant are we responsible to keep today to be acceptable to Yah?
I wasn't sure why this discussion started to bother me so much. Then I began thinking about Yeshua, his sacrifice, and the work he accomplished through his death, resurrection, and the intercession he now performs for us before Yahweh. How he became the greater sacrifice for ALL sins; not only the unintentional sins, but for the first time, offered atonement for intentional sins. It is through his blood that the Father's covenant purpose has been accomplished. It's only through Yeshua that we become acceptable to Yahweh. It is only in coming to Yahweh through Yeshua that we are accepted by Him. It's Yeshua plus nothing! No other sacrifice, offering, or well-intended gesture can make us any more acceptable in the Father's eyes. We must come through Yeshua. Period.
So, where does that leave us as far as what we are to do as His people? We dare not undermine Yeshua's work. And we know we are to guard His commandments and His moedim. Scripture tells us what our current obligations are while we are waiting for the Kingdom to be fully established:
Oh Adonai, open my lips that my mouth may declare your praise. For you do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit; A broken
and contrite heart, oh Elohim, You will not despise. Psalm 51:15-17
But go and learn what this means: I desire compassion and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. Matt 9:13
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to Elohim; your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1
You, also, like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Yah through Messiah Yeshua. 1 Peter 2:5
We are not to walk in the temple ordinances or attempt to simulate sacrifices, but rather we are to walk in spirit and truth. Yes we keep Yah's commandments and moedim (those that don't require the temple system). But through Yeshua we have become a spiritual priesthood. Our sacrifices are now praises. Our offerings are obedience. Our incense is now prayer. Our gifts are loving the brethren. We are ascending to the heavenly New Jerusalem!