Have you wondered what is the exact middle of the Torah? Are middles significant? The tree of life was planted in the midst of the Garden, the word of God took on flesh and dwelt in the midst of men. In Zechariah 2, God says that he will dwell in the midst of Zion. The exact center of anything is the nucleus. The nucleus is the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth. The exact middle word of the entire Torah is Leviticus 10:16. It is commented on that all Torah revolves around questions and inquiries, because the heart of the Torah is Drosh, (he inquired) therefore we are encouraged to dig deep, inquire often and ask questions in order to discover the valuable secrets that the Torah has to offer us. when we ask questions we grow. Asking is the most important part of understanding. In the midst of the Torah we find the most curious of questions.
16 “Moses inquired insistently about the he-goat of the sin offering, for behold, it had been burned!” 17 “why did you not eat the sin-offering in a holy place, for it is most holy; and he gave it to you to gain forgiveness for the sin of the assembly and to atone for them before Hashem?”
If inquiry truly is the heart of Torah, then let us indeed inquire. What is Moses so insistently inquiring about and why? why is he enraged that the offering was not eaten. And how does the sin offering being eaten bring forgiveness of sins? what sin and evil is Moses so desperate to cover?
Moses had seen and known more about God’s plans than any man alive. He had been with God on multiple occasions for extended periods of time. His face glowed with the divine presence. He had seen the very back of Hashem’s own form, he had spoken with him face to face and reasoned with him the way a man reasons with a friend. Moses pleaded for the lives of Israel, again and again interceding and standing in the path of God’s judgement against their sin. God had promised punishment, for what they did with the gold calf, Moses knew “that in the day when I punish I will punish them for their sin, and whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of my book.” Exodus 32:33 Moses also knew that God planned to dwell in the midst of Israel, in the tabernacle, meeting with them at the offering. Exodus 29. Moses knew stuff.
It’s hard to say, with all the interactions Moses had with God, which of God’s words motivated his insistent inquiry regarding the he-goat for the sin offering. Was it a simple question of literal nature, why the he goat was burned and not eaten as God commanded? Perhaps Moses was inquiring as to the purpose of the he goat? Was Moses addressing Hashem with his questions or Aaron? did Moses himself look forward to a day when his role of intercessor would cease and the mediator of the renewed covenant would step in? Perhaps his question is to incite our own questions. The Rabbi’s say,” it is the heart of Torah to seek, ask, knock, inquire without tiring for the meaning behind each and every mystery” I would say, beginning with the sin offering. for the sin offering surely was in the beginning.
The Messiah said some hard things that incited many peoples to anger. “ I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread , he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. Truly, truly I say to you , unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me.” John 6 This is a hard saying and many disciples, when they heard this, turned aside from following him. but if we can hear John’s word which prepare the way:
“behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
“According to the Torah without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, the life is in the blood. Messiah has been manifested to put away sin. The sacrifice of himself … and after this comes judgement, so Christ having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.” Hebrews 10 Leviticus 17:14, Hebrews 9:22
For me there is no doubt that the central message of the Torah, is Messiah, since I believe that every prophecy prophesies of Messiah. Even Moses the most humble man, the most revered man in all Israel’s history, sets the example for us to inquire insistently of the He-goat, the spotless sin offering which made atonement and provided forgiveness of sins for the people. Every message points and leads to the messianic age and final redemption.
Hashem is giving all the details of the sacrificial system in Leviticus and within hide the mystery of Israel’s redemption. Was it not blood and a lamb slaughtered on the first Passover, which proceeded freedom. First comes the sin offering than comes judgment and redemption. the sin offering is provided in the middle of the judgement, so that we might withstand the wrath and be redeemed. It is written: “Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with his hand the remnant of his people, who will remain. and he we will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:11.
As the details for the tabernacle, rituals and inauguration of Aaron are unfolding it is time for Moses to pass the torch to his brother, the first sin eater, the first of a long line of High Priests who would daily bear the burden of the people and set the model for the final burden bearer.
Moses’ burned with anger at the negligence to eat the offering, the staff of life, which would eradicate sin, cover the people, protect the chosen ones, why did you not eat it? why did you not obey the command-as if this offering was the final offering. Sometimes God show something to his servant and the servant believes it will happen immediately, but just as a seed lies dormant until an oppurtune time, God’s revealed will often takes time to unfold. Moses knew something, something of the day of judgement, something of the day of redemption, something God had revealed to him on the mountain about the sin offering and the He-goat.
“behold the day of the Lord is coming , cruel with fury and burning anger to make the land a desolation; and he will exterminate its sinners from it, the sun will be dark when it rises the moon will not shed its light. Then I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will make mortal men scarcer than pure Gold. “Isaiah 13 but he also knew about this: “gather to me my devout ones, sealers of my covenant through sacrifice.” psalm 50.
Moses insists on knowing more , more about the he-goat, more about the offering for sin – why was it not eaten, why is this offering of such importance, when will redemption come?
to whom was Moses questions directed? Would this offering stay the hand of God’s final judgment, sparing the children of Israel as the blood on the doorways had? but they didn’t eat it!
Aaron, the first the sin eater responds:
“was it they, who this day, offered their sin offering before Hashem, were I to eat this day’s sin offering would Hashem approve?”
and Moses heard. Moses understood, this day, this offering was not the sin-offering which would usher in final redemption and judgment for the sins and eventual restoration of Israel. It wasn’t that day, it wasn’t those priests, not yet.
The sin offering is the central message of God’s Torah. The sin offering is not the end of the law, but the middle, the nucleaus, the heartbeat, the life and Spirit of Torah.
When Adam and Eve hid from the divine presence of Elohim, he asked them a question, Even Hashem inquired. “Adam, where are you?”
I suggest this question was in direct relationship to the tree of life. In the midst of the garden Hashem planted the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge. Where are you in relation to the tree of life? The word of God became flesh and dwelt in our midst. When Adam took from the tree in the midst of the garden He began to die. Therefore, in order to remedy this death, God placed the sin offering in the midst of the Torah, to reveal that when we eat of it , we can live. Is Torah the tree of life planted in the midst of the garden giving eternal life? what is in the midst of the tree of life which would give life? Is the offering for sin the He-goat, the life beat of Torah? When one eats of Yeshua’s flesh- the word of God – the lamb of God – you live.