I came across a ninety year old preacher last week who was teaching a bible study at an Assisted Living complex for seniors. He has been leading this bible study for 6 years. He is now in the book of Revelation. He is going to quit when he finishes Revelation because he has spent those 6 years teaching through the whole Bible. Wow, what dedication. Many of you like me follow the Bible apps on your note pads and smart phones with electronic “read the Bible through in one year.” In our Jewish roots of Christianity there is the same principle. It is called the Torah Reading. Along with the reading of the Torah there is the Haftarah reading, which is the Prophets of the Old Testament. In this week’s Haftarah, Jeremiah 1, God ask Moses what does he see? He said, “I see an Almond Tree.” What is significant about an Almond Tree?
The almond tree has special significance for “almond” is shakeid, which comes from a root that means to “watch” or “wake” (i.e., shakad: שָׁקַד). The almond tree is the among the first trees to “awaken” from its winter sleep. In the Scriptures there is a play on words regarding the use of “almond” and God’s “watchfulness” (i.e., faithfulness): “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see an almond branch.’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it'” (Jer. 1:11-12).
The blooming branch of an almond tree is breathtakingly beautiful – so much so that the LORD decorated the Menorah with oil cups in the shape of almond blossoms (Exod. 25:33-34; 37:19-20). Indeed, the Menorah itself is a symbol of the “Tree of Life.”
Aaron’s rod which was used to perform mighty signs and wonders was taken from an Almond tree. When Korah rebelled against Moses in Numbers 17, Aaron’s rod budded with beautiful Almond blossoms which is symbolic of the Ressurection of our high Priest, Yeshuah.
Finally, Just as God exclusively chose Aaron to minister before Him,
1. so Yeshua was the exclusively chosen to be the greater High Priest of the New Covenant. Regarding His priesthood “after the order of Malki-Tzedek,” the author of Book of Hebrews wrote: “No one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was” (Heb. 5:4).
2. And just as Aaron’s lifeless rod miraculously brought forth life, Yeshua’s cross — likewise made of wood — also “budded and produced blossoms” after His resurrection from the dead. Yeshua went into the sanctuary made without hands and there offered his blood to procure for us an everlasting atonement.
3. His sacrifice as our High Priest gives us life from the dead! Under the terms of the Sinai covenant, “Aaron’s rod” was a picture of God’s authority and judgment, just the Messiah’s cross and resurrection vindicates God’s exclusive choice of Yeshua as our Mediator before God. Those who reject His choice will ultimately share the same fate as those who partook of Korach’s rebellion (Jude 1:11).
Yeshua (alone) is Adonai Tzidkenu, “the LORD our Righteousness” and Tzemach Tzaddik, God’s “Righteous Branch.” Praise His Name forever.