Jesus Died So We Can Eat Pork.
Doesn’t that title just strike you as incredibly petty? The idea that Yeshua went through all that pain and agony just so a bunch of people who already ate pork could continue to eat pork and attain salvation is pretty offensive.
Since the Muslims don’t eat pork and get offended at the sight of it, many Christians have taken to being incredibly bold about their diet of pork as a means of trying to stick a finger in the eye of those of the Muslim faith. Well folks, Muslims don’t eat dogs either but we don’t see anyone grilling Fido, do we? And how Christian is it to do something purposely to offend? How many converts is this behavior going to win?
From an early age we are taught to be Christians and we are taught this means to be Christ-like. Many of us have matured to understand that “Christian” is a transliteration of the word Messiah and now we know that we are to be like Messiah if He is in us. And the Messiah, Yeshua (or Jesus Christ) ate according to the rules He gave to Moses. Yeshua lived a perfect, sinless life and we are supposed to emulate Him if we have accepted Him as our Savior. Part of this emulation is to eat the way He ate.
He did not eat “kosher”, however. This is a common and easy line to blur. The Rabbis have the authority to declare a food “kosher” which is an addition to the requirements in Leviticus 11. For instance, to observe the Feast of Unleavened bread, we eat bread made without leavening. The Rabbis have a specific recipe for unleavened bread replete with specific temperatures for the oven and timing for how long the unleavened dough can remain outside of an oven. These rules are not found in Torah and are very likely impossible to achieve using ancient cooking methods. Simply baking our own unleavened bread suffices to fulfill the commandment to eat unleavened bread for seven days and is actually more fulfilling spiritually to eat bread made in one’s own house.
For proof that Yeshua did not eat according to rabbinic tradition we look to the scriptures, specifically Matthew 15 . In this exchange, the Pharisees, who are the theological ancestors of today’s Rabbis, accuse Yeshua of breaking the tradition they created of washing hands in a specific way prior to eating. Granted, they accused Yeshua’s disciples and not Him specifically, but His disciples would not have broken that tradition without consent of their Teacher, especially in their presence. Yesua’s rebuke of the Pharisees leaves no doubt about how He felt of their traditions.
Some Christians will say that Peter’s vision in Acts 10 now allows for believers to eat unclean food. What this passage proves is the opposite, however, because if Peter was told by Yeshua years prior that following Leviticus 11 did not matter, why wouldn’t Peter have cooked up some snake and had a snack when the sheet of unclean animals was spread before him? Since Peter had never eaten anything unclean, the vision made no sense to him until he met the Gentiles whom Yahweh had called out.
Act 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
The purpose of that vision was to show Peter that salvation was not limited just to those of the royal blood line. Peter was no longer allowed to call men unclean or unholy. The unclean animals were used to shake Peter, who was known to be obstinate, and get his attention. For the vision to have been about eating dogs, cats, and snakes would be a pretty petty use of a vision, wouldn’t it?
The further theological significance of Yeshua being perfectly clean to make atonement for those who will accept Him is a direct parallel to how the High Priest made atonement for the people on Yom Kippur. That priest had to achieve a very high level of chodesh, or holiness/cleanness, in order to make atonement for the people. His being clean that one day a year made atonement for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. Yeshua’s being perfectly chodesh and dying an innocent death on behalf of our uncleanness must not be taken in vain. If anything, it should make us want to be more clean and more holy as each day goes by… (By Chris DeWeese).
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