Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. |
In all things Yeshua was a ‘prophet’ like Moses. Before ascending the mountain where God would bury him, Moses blessed the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 33:1); he offers a personal blessing for each one of the tribes. In the same manner, before ascending to the Father Yeshua lifted up His hands and blessed His disciples. We do not know what He said but the language of the text gives a clue.
In the Book of Numbers God gives instructions on how His people should be blessed. Aaron and the Levites (Moses was also a Levite) were to lift their two hands up in the air in the form of the Hebrew letter ‘Shin’ to represent one of the Names of God: El Shaddai and they were to say, the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:23-26). In Mishnaic writings, this became known as the Aaronic blessing, but also, the blessing of the ‘lifting of the Hands’. So every time the Bible text mentions that the priests lifted up their hands to bless the people, we know what they did and said. It is therefore very likely that this is also the very blessing wherewith Yeshua blessed His disciples as He lifted up His hands before ascending to His Father.
We are used to mean ‘LORD’ as Yeshua, but in the Hebrew text, the word used is the tetragrammaton signifying the Name of God. Therefore when Yeshua prayed this prayer, He was praying for God to bless and keep us, for God to shine upon us, for God to be gracious unto us, to lift His countenance upon us, and give us peace. This is really the whole reason why Messiah came: to put us back in good standing with the Father through the agency of His righteousness. The Aaronic blessing therefore can only be fulfilled through the agency of Messiah. When we pray it on people we pray that they find Messiah.
As it is now, so it was then. From creation’s days, the Messiah has been the Father’s Executive Agent (John 1:1-3). Even before the days when He came ‘to tabernacle/ to sukkah’ with us (John 1:14) the Messiah was alive, well and active. It is He who appeared to Abram in the Plain of Mamre; He that spoke to Moses on the Mount; He who fought with Jacob; who appeared to many people and did mighty acts even before the time of His sojourn on earth. Forever and always, He has been the radiance of the glory of God and(H) the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).
As Messiah prays this blessing over us before ascending to His Father just as Moses did unto the Children of Israel before he left them, may we receive the imprint of Messiah; may we be formed and conformed according to His will by the work of His righteousness. May we be yielded clay that we may become like Him.
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Moses, Moshe, Jesus, Yeshua, Numbers, Aaaron, Aaronic blessing, Bible tanach, Torah, discipleship, Israel, Sinai,