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Parasha Bereisheet (In the Beginning): Yeshua in the Creation Account

Bereisheet (In the Beginning)
Genesis 1:1–6:8; Isaiah 42:5–43:10; Revelation 22:6–21

Beresheet-Star-David-Hebrew

The Star of David is framing the Hebrew word Bereisheet, the very first word in the Bible.

In the traditional Jewish system of reading through the Torah, the reading cycle ended earlier in this week on Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah).  We now begin the cycle all over again with Genesis (Beresheet), which means ‘in the beginning’.

This beautiful custom reminds us that our study of the Word of God never comes to a conclusion, but is an ongoing cycle.

Week to week and year to year, reading the Word of God should never seem old to us, and every time we open it, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) can impart fresh insight as we prayerfully consider familiar passages.

Jewish-yeshiva-torah

An Orthodox Jewish yeshiva (seminary) student reads the Torah.

The Hebrew word Elohim, in the very first verse of the Bible indicates the plurality in the oneness of God.

“In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth….”  (Genesis 1:1)

While El is the singular form of God, the ‘im’ ending of Elohim indicates plurality.

Although this Hebrew word doesn’t mean that there are many Gods, it does indicate something about the nature of God, specifically about the oneness and unity of God.

The Hebrew verb barah (created) following the noun Elohim confirms this.  This verb is singular, which indicates that the subject (Elohim) is also singular, despite the plural ‘im’ ending.  If more than one person was involved in the act of creation, the verb would be plural—baroo and not barah.

Let’s look at two other Scriptures in this beginning Parasha that confirm the plurality of Elohim (God).

“Let us make man [Adam] in our image, after our likeness.”  (Genesis 1:26)

“The man has now become like one of us….”  (Genesis 3:22)

Here we see the use of the plural pronouns us and our in the Hebrew.  Notice it’s our image, not my image.

Praise-Worship

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.  Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”  (Psalm 90:1–2)

Yeshua in the Creation Account

If we look at this first chapter of the first book of the Bible, we see God (Elohim) as Creator, and we read of the Spirit (Ruach) of God hovering (breathing) over the waters.

But where is Yeshua (Jesus)?  We understand from the Gospel of John that He was present in the beginning.

“In the beginning [Beresheet] was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made, that was made…  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”  (John 1:1–3, 14)

The Book of Hebrews also describes Yeshua’s connection with God and creation.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.”  (Hebrews 1:3)

Furthermore, Yeshua said that He is the Bread that nourishes us.

Yeshua said:  “I am the bread of life…  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…”  (John 6:48)

The Hebrew for bread of life is lechem chayim.  Yeshua was even born in the house of bread (Beit lechem) usually called Beth-lehem in English.

challah-braided bread-Sabbath

This special braided bread called challah is eaten on the Sabbath (Shabbat) and holidays.  To commemorate the double portion of manna that fell the day before the Sabbath in the wilderness, traditionally, two loaves are on the Shabbat table.

As we begin to understand Yeshua (Jesus) in His Hebraic, Jewish cultural and Hebrew linguistic context, we not only understand the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) more fully, but we are better equipped to share the Word of God.

It’s so important, then, that we understand the Tanakh (Old Testament) in order to reveal Yeshua to His own Jewish people.

Although we can see in the first chapter of the Book of John that Yeshua was integral to the creation account, it’s important for Jewish people to see our own Jewish Messiah in the very Scriptures that He held in His hands and revealed Himself from, rather than relying on the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), which Jewish people do not accept.

This is why the Jewish people need a Bible that will help them see Yeshua in the Torah, as well as how He fulfilled the Messianic prophecies!

Only then will they understand that believing in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah is an authentic Jewish way of faith in the God of Israel.

Torah scrolls-Torah cases-tiks

These Torah scrolls are protected by beautifully crafted Torah cases.

The Power of the Spoken Word

“As it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.’  Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist.”  (Romans 4:17)

Perhaps you heard it said that you can’t make something out of nothing.  But God did just that in the creation account!  He created something out of nothing with His spoken word.  He spoke creation into existence!

We learn from this, then, that the spoken Word of God is extremely powerful.  But are the words we speak of any consequence?

Yeshiva-students-Israel-study

Two yeshiva students discuss the finer points of the Torah in the light of Jewish commentaries.

Since we are created in the image of God our Creator, we know that we are creative beings as He is.  We also, therefore, have the ability to “call forth those things which are not as if they are….”

When we speak faith-filled words into our problems and situations, we bring light and substance to the things that we desire.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1)

The alternative is also true.  If we call forth darkness by speaking evil, destructive words, we may bring into existence the very thing that we hate or fear.

“For the thing which I fear comes on me; That which I am afraid of comes to me.”  (Job 3:25) 

Jewish-praying-Wailing Wall

Jewish men pray earnestly at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.

Let There Be Light

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”  (Genesis 1:3)

We must begin to understand the power that God has given us in our mouths and take measures to align our speech with God’s word in order to bring light into our lives and those around us.

To speak evil, either towards ourselves or others is to curse.  Only Yeshua can break these curses and generational sins to set someone free.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  (John 8:36)

When we confess our sinful, faithless talk and ask Yeshua to set our minds free from negative, critical thinking, and redeem our mouths from unclean speech or idle words, He will help us as we cooperate with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) at work in us.

Dolphin-Reef-Eilat-Israel

At Dolphin Reef in Eilat, Israel, visitors can get up close to the dolphins, and the dolphins are free to choose whom they will approach.  While we marvel at God’s creation—it takes our breath away—it was much more beautiful in the beginning before sin marred its perfection.

This portion of Scripture, Beresheet, describes the beauty and perfection with which God created the world in the Garden of Eden.  He called everything He had created good (tov).  He called the creation of mankind very good (tov me’od).

The Parasha, however, goes on to describe how sin marred that magnificence.  Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, their children became slaves to sin, and sin and violence grew and took hold to such an extent that Cain killed Abel.

Israel’s mission has always been to rescue the world through knowledge of the Torah, God’s word, from its moral degeneracy.  Also, through the Jews came Yeshua the Messiah, the light of the world.  He alone has the power to transform us from within.

Jewish-reads-prayer-holy-book-Western-Wailing-Wall

An Orthodox Jewish man reads from the siddur (prayer book) at the Western (Wailing) Wall.

Yeshua (Jesus) came to set us free from the bondage to the sin nature that we have inherited from Adam and Chava (Eve).

He rescues us from the Kingdom of darkness and transfers us into the kingdom of Light.  He is a Light and a Covenant, not only for Jewish people, but for all nations.

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open the eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”  (Isaiah 42:6–7)

Yeshua accepted this as His mission and proclaimed Himself Messiah when He read this from the Prophets in the synagogue on the Shabbat, as was His custom (Luke 4:16–19).

Portrait of Yeshua-Scroll of Isaiah-Messiah

Portrait of Yeshua reading from the Scroll of Isaiah, when He proclaimed Himself the Messiah.

The Light of the World

“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.  The Lamb is its light.  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light….”  (Revelation 21:22–24)

In the creation account, we see something that seems to contradict the laws of nature: on the first day of creation, there is light even though God had not yet created the sun or moon or stars.  How could there be light without the sun?

To begin to understand this, we first of all must admit that, even when it comes to science, there is so much we don’t understand about the world we live in, let alone the universe.

What we do know from the Book of Revelation is that in the New Jerusalem, there will again be no need of sun, moon or stars for illumination; Yeshua will be its Light.

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  (Revelation 21:33; see also Revelation 22:5; Hebrews 1:3; Isaiah 60:19) 

Yeshua-Light of Jerusalem

In the days to come, Yeshua will be the Light of Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord will illuminate the city.

At the very beginning, Yeshua (Jesus) was with God, a light and a master craftsman at His side.

“Before the mountains were settled… when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.”  (Proverbs 8:22–31)

Today, Yeshua truly is the Light of the World, transforming the lives of all who come to Him.  In the future, He will be the Light of Jerusalem, transforming the entire nation of Israel (Ezekiel 48:35).

Through the covenant sealed with the blood of Messiah Yeshua, we can be restored to a right relationship with God, bringing us back into Gan Eden (Garden of Eden), a place of eternal life and peace.

We know that Jew and Gentile will walk together in the Light of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem.  At the end of time, Israel’s high vocation as God’s witnesses will be fulfilled in even greater measure  (Revelation 7:4).

“‘But you are My witnesses, O Israel!’  says the Lord.  ‘You are My servant.  You have been chosen to know Me, believe in Me, and understand that I alone am God.  There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be.’”  (Isaiah 43:10)

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