Month 3:08, Week 1:7 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5936:067AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 28 May 2012
Are You Happy? VII
The Finding of Authentic Peace
Continued from Part 6
The secret of the shalom (peace) that Yah'shua (Jesus) gave the first talmidim (disciples), and which He still gives to talmidim (disciples) today - the shalom (peace) which is "not as the world gives" (Jn.14:27) - is to be found in the 20th chapter of the Gospel of John.
On the evening of the resurrection the talmidim (disciples) were gathered together in a small room when suddenly Yah'shua (Jesus) was in their midst and greeting them with the words: "Shalom (peace) be with you" (Jn.20:19, NKJV). And then, before He bestows the post-resurrection Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) on them, He once again gives the greeting: "Shalom (peace) be with you". Finally, eight days later the brethren are again together, this time Thomas being with them as well, and Yah'shua (Jesus) is once more in their midst with the familiar greeting: "Shalom (peace) be with you".
Now you might thing that this threefold invocation is inconsequential. After all, 'shalom' was the usual way that people wished one another well, as common as our today saying 'Hello!' or 'Hi!' But what you have to realise that this salutation is nowhere else to be found in the Fourth Gospel, and here it is repeated three times in a short space - and so in this context it is no ordinary greeting, as in-depth students of the Gospel of John will know. In the mind of the author, John, these greetings clearly refer back to the shalom (peace) that was promised in John 14, and this shalom (peace) is explicity related to the resurrection:
The shalom (peace) of Messiah is intimately associated with His resurrection and therefore to the festival of Yom haBikkurim or Day of Firstfruits which also represents spiritual regeneration or being born again. Once you have received this spiritual regeneration, this shalom (peace) that comes from union with Yahweh the Father through the resurrected Messiah can never be destroyed! And when brethren who are likewise regenerated walk together in echad (onneness), in the manner prescribed, then that shalom (peace) suffuses the Messianic Community (Church) and can never be expunged save through sinning, the breaking of divine tavnith (pattern) and falling away out of the relationship.
"You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you'..." (John 14:28, NKJV).
I have to, at this juncture, remind believers - especially those who think they are a part of some exclusive denominational Gentile or Jewish club that alone entitles them to heaven - that the message of Yom haBikkurim is that regeneration is not a function of what you do but of Whom you trust in. Evangelicals all know what I mean here but this is something that a lot of messianics have a lot of difficulty trying to grasp because of the false dichotomy they have set-up of 'Israel vs. the Church'. Regeneration has nothing whatsoever to do with what church or messianic assembly you belong to, whether you are Torah-compliant or not, what theology you espouse. Indeed the regenerated are to be found in most of the myriad of churches, assemblies and organisations that are the unfortunate fruit of schism. A regenerated person possessing the shalom (peace) of Yah'shua (Jesus) is not defined by his theology because at this level we are dealing with spiritual infants who cannot possibly have a knowledge of more intellectual processes. Issues regarding Torah, Israel and the 'Church' come later - at Shavu'ot. At this stage it doesn't matter what your creed is provided you are trusting in the resurrected Messiah and have been spiritually regenerated in your lev (heart).
The shalom (peace) Yah'shua (Jesus) speaks is received by all who trust in His resurrection and cling onto it's emet (truth). It is to say, to borrow the words of D.H.Lawrence began his poem Pax (Peace) with, that:
From this comes shalom (peace) and pure happiness.
Continued in Part 8