Shalom, B’Shem Yeshua
(Peace in Yeshua’s Name),
We recently read an article in The Shepherd’s Chapel about the alternate routes that the highways
of life offer us. There are routes (ways) that lead to life, and routes (ways) that lead to death. We
choose which routes to follow. God has given us a GPS—a God Positioning System. The roadways
that it is based upon are found in the Bible. The voice that guides and directs us is the Ruach
HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. This inspired us to search the Scriptures to see what the Lord says about
WAYS—His ways and our ways. We found much more than we anticipated. The word WAY occurs in
at least 600 verses in the Holy Scriptures, culminating in John 14:6, one of the most important verses
in the New Covenant, the Brit Hadasha.
God’s Way: Blood
“And the blood shall be to you for a token (sign, ot (oat), in Hebrew) upon the houses where you
are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you
when I strike the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13). As we celebrate Passover this year on April 10-11,
2017, we, as Messianic Jews, rejoice that death has passed over us because we have applied the
blood of God’s Eternal Passover Lamb, Yeshua, to the doorposts and lintels of our hearts.
The blood of the Passover lambs of the Exodus foreshadowed the final blood atonement of the
Lamb of God. Blood symbolizes life in the Holy Scriptures. No blood. No life. Where there is sin, there
is death, so blood must be present in order to go from death to life. God’s way. Always. Even in the
Garden of Eden, the Lord sacrificed animals (shed blood) in order to cover Adam and Eve (Genesis
3:21). From that point on, a scarlet thread is woven throughout the Holy Scriptures, culminating in the
final blood sacrifice of the Messiah.
Noah’s blood sacrifice, after the flood, of every clean animal, pleased God (Genesis 8:20-21).
When God cut a covenant with His friend Abram, there was the shedding of blood (Genesis 15). Blood
became God’s way of joining people to Himself. The sacrificial system later instituted at Mount Sinai
dramatically increased the flow of blood in God’s sacred, systematic plan of the ages. Leviticus 17:11
is a key verse concerning God’s way of forgiveness: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I
have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes
atonement for the soul.” The ultimate aim of the blood of the sacrifices in the Mosaic system was
restored communion with God. No blood. No life. No fellowship with God.
The Unleavened Way
The Passover is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) on April
11-18, 2017, during which God’s People are to eat only unleavened bread for seven days. Leaven
(chametz, pronounced KHA-metz in Hebrew) is a type of sin in the Bible, since it causes dough (and
people) to be “puffed up.” Once sin is dealt with through blood, a way is made to be “unleavened.” This
is the way in which God would have His children walk. Through the blood of our Passover Lamb we
have the power to leave our leaven in Egypt!
Unleavened Bread can be seen as a picture of the sanctification of the child of God who walks
out of spiritual Egypt on a narrow, holy way. “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be
called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. But the
redeemed shall walk there…” (Isaiah 35:8-9).
In Yeshua, we are unleavened. Rabbi Saul (Paul) makes this abundantly clear: “Therefore purge
out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah,
our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The “unleavened way” is spoken of throughout
the Bible in various verses such as the following: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
‘This is the way, walk in it…‘” (Isaiah 30:21); “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and
He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23); “In the way of righteousness is life…” (Proverbs 12:28); “The
highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul” (Proverbs
16:17); and “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name”
(Psalm 86:11). We can walk an unleavened walk because we follow an Unleavened Savior!
The Long, Wrong Way
Rebellion, disobedience, and unbelief can cause us to go a long, wrong way. The Israelites,
for example, could have made it to the Promised Land in 11 days. Instead, it took them 40 years
of wandering in the wilderness, until the generation that did not believe that their God was greater
than the giants of Canaan had all died (Deuteronomy 1:2-3). None of them were allowed to enter the
Promised Land because, in God’s eyes, they had rejected Him. (See Numbers 14:23.)
Unbelief is considered an evil way in the Bible. It leads to rebellion and disobedience and has serious
consequences. We, as Messianic believers, need to guard our own hearts against this evil. “Beware,
brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews
3:12). We want to go God’s way—walking by faith in His ability and availability! We would do well to
pray along with King David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxiety; and
see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
God’s Ways Higher than Our Ways
God makes a statement concerning His ways in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Passover is an
excellent example of this truth. God used the blood of lambs as the means of delivering His people from
Egyptian bondage. The symbol of Egypt was the serpent. The lamb defeated the serpent, contrary to
what the natural mind would expect. (Consider 1 Corinthians 1:27 in this context: “But God has chosen
the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of this world
to put to shame the things which are mighty.”) In the fullness of time, God used Yeshua, our Passover, to
defeat the serpent (the devil or Satan), through the shedding of His blood on the tree of sacrifice.
The Lord alludes to His higher ways in Jeremiah 6:16 when He says, “Stand in the ways and see,
and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.”
The Messiah Yeshua repeated this same promise of rest for the soul in Matthew 11:28-30 where He
encouraged His followers to take His yoke upon themselves. One would equate rest and freedom with
no yoke. But Yeshua had a better way. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, because being yoked
to Him is being yoked to Love. Yoked to Messiah, we don’t lose our way. We follow Him. His way, not
the way spoken of in two verses in Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is
the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25).
Man’s way is pride. God’s way is humility. Man’s way is independence. God’s way is dependence.
Man’s way is vengeance. God’s way is mercy. Man’s way is unforgiveness. God’s way is forgiveness.
Man’s way is rejection. God’s way is acceptance. Man’s way is cursing. God’s way is blessing. (See
Matthew 5 for the higher ways of the Kingdom of God).
Yeshua: THE WAY to God
The idea of there being one way to God is not totally a New Covenant concept. When the army
of the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem in 586 BC, God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah,
expressing future hope for a city and the people who were about to suffer the wrath of God because of
their abominations, rebellion, and total disregard for Him: “They shall be My people, and I will be their
God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them
and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn
away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me”
“One heart and one way” in Jeremiah 32:39 is lev echad v’derek echad (lev- eh-KHAD veh DEHwreck
eh-KHAD). One way—which includes an “everlasting covenant,” and a heart transformation. It
should not seem radical, then, that Yeshua, right before leaving this earth to return to His Father, made
the statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” “I am the way” in Hebrew is Ani haderek (ah-
KNEE ha-DEH-wreck). To put this in context—Yeshua had just told His talmidim, His followers, that He
was leaving them to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. He would return for them to bring
them there as well. “Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we
know the way?’ Yeshua said to him, ”I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me‘” (John 14:5-6). One Way.
Yeshua is the only Way to God the Father. A narrow way? Yes, but Yeshua, who does not lie, said
so Himself. The Bible also mentions the narrow way in the Gospel of Matthew: “Enter by the narrow
gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go
in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who
find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Yeshua is The Way. People often ask us, “Do you pray to God the Father or to Yeshua?” Here is
our answer: If there is a way, there must be a destination. The destination is God the Father. The way
to Him is through His Son, Yeshua. We pray to the Father, through the Son (the Way). The Messiah
Himself taught us to pray, “Our Father…” (Avinu Shebashamayim, Ah-VEE-new sheh-BAH-sha-
MAHYEEM). Our relationship with Abba, Father, began the day we received Yeshua as our Savior,
Lord, Messiah, and King. We experience the truth of John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to
them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Followers of “The Way”
The first believers in Yeshua as the Messiah were known as The Way (HaDerek, ha-DEH-wreck).
The Way was a Messianic term taken from texts such as Isaiah 40:3, “…Prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
The Apostle Paul (Rabbi Saul) in his defense before the Roman Governor Felix said, “But this I
confess to you, that according to The Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers,
believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” (Acts 24:14). This is the same
man who had viciously persecuted the followers of The Way, “Then Saul, still breathing threats and
murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the
synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of The Way, whether man or woman, he
might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2).
Rabbi Saul became another man after finding the way to The Way! This sect within Judaism—for
all the first believers were either Jewish by birth or by conversion—were also known as the Nazarenes,
since they followed Yeshua of Nazareth. The term “Minim” (mih-NEEM), meaning “heretics” in Hebrew,
was also used by some in the Jewish community referring to followers of The Way.
Members of The Way flourished despite persecutions. They met each day in their homes and
every Motzei Shabbat (Saturday evening, MOAT-zey Shah-BAHT) as a congregation. These first
Jewish believers in Yeshua had their home base on Mount Zion and Jerusalem and were established
as an Orthodox Nazarene Jewish entity between 30 A.D. and 135 A.D., after which The Way was
widely dispersed. At this time, The Way was exposed and influenced by pagan beliefs and practices
from all sides. Nevertheless, The Way survived, in spite of persecution in the Diaspora, until the end of
the fifth century.
The Way left us a priceless legacy: a deep sense of community or family (mishpacha, meesh-pah-
KHA), the sharing of money and possessions, performing signs and wonders in the Name of Yeshua,
a hunger for souls, great faith, a love for Torah, unity, daily worship, and simplicity of heart. (See Acts
Commenting on The Way in The Ways of the Way, Raymond Robert Fischer says, “Even so,
despite this [changing the biblical Sabbath from Shabbat to Sunday], and all the many other pagan
perversions that followed over the centuries, the very Jewish foundational underpinnings of the body of
Yeshua, His bride, the church, endure even today as the anointed legacy of its Jewish progenitor, the
Nazarenes of The Way, a relatively miniscule gathering of those who first met in the Upper Room on
Mt. Zion on the very day our Lord ascended into heaven (Acts 1:12).”
Finding Our Way Today
Sometimes we feel as if we have lost our way. Our Heavenly Father stands ready and willing to
find us and redirect us. He has a promise for each of us this month: “I will instruct you and teach you in
the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8). Go God’s way! It is the good way,
the perfect way, the safe way, the peaceful way, the joyful way, the way of blessing. Repent, and ask
for forgiveness if sin has derailed you from the good way. Then you can boldly proclaim, “It is God who
arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).
Following The Way of Love,
A 2-BOOK WITNESSING BUNDLE: A Way in the Wilderness contains
essays in Messianic Jewish thought—perfect for an intellectual, Jewish pre-believer. Thought-provoking,
well-written, with topics such as “Did the Jews kill Christ?” and “Is the New Testament anti-Semitic?”
Highly recommended. I Have A Friend Who’s Jewish…Do You? An excellent little book with a big
message. A Jewish Jewels favorite! It proves scientifically, mathematically, historically, and prophetically
that God is real, and that He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. Every Tribe is Joshua Aaron’s
new, chart-topping CD featuring Mike Weaver (Big Daddy Weave), John Schlitt (Petra) and Chief
Joseph Riverwind. A Lawyer’s Case for His Faith book by Jim Jacob. As he would do in a courtroom, Jim
anticipates and systematically refutes the arguments against the Bible’s validity and Yeshua as Messiah.
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