The Holy One of God

All of the commandments of Torah, in some aspect or another, reveal the holiness of Messiah.

An unrolled Torah Scroll (Image © Bigstock)

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Regular Shabbat Readings

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Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

  • Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (אחרי מות/קדושים | After the death/Holy)
  • Torah: Leviticus 16:1-20:27
  • Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19
  • Gospel: John 7:1-52/John 7:53-10:21

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Leviticus 16:1 | The Day of Atonement
    • Leviticus 17:1 | The Slaughtering of Animals
    • Leviticus 17:10 | Eating Blood Prohibited
    • Leviticus 18:1 | Sexual Relations
    • Leviticus 19:1 | Ritual and Moral Holiness
    • Leviticus 20:1 | Penalties for Violations of Holiness
  • Prophets
    • Eze 22:1 | The Bloody City

Portion Summary

Acharei Mot

The twenty-ninth reading from the Torah and sixth reading from Leviticus is named Acharei Mot (אחרי מות), two words that mean "after the death." The title comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which say, "Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron" (Leviticus 16:1). Leviticus 16 describes the Tabernacle ceremony for the holy festival of the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 17 establishes general rules for sacrifice and sanctuary. Leviticus 18 lays down specific laws about permitted and forbidden sexual relationships.

Kedoshim

The thirtieth reading from the Torah and seventh reading from Leviticus is named Kedoshim (קדושים), which mean "holy." The title comes from the words in Leviticus 19:2, which says, "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy." Leviticus 19 describes the holy community through a series of specific commandments. Leviticus 20 warns against the snares of sexual immorality and idolatry, mandating a death penalty for certain sins. Except in biblical leap years, Kedoshim is read on the same Sabbath as the previous reading, Acharei Mot.


The commandment “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2) has no upper limit, but the holiness of the Messiah exceeds that of any person. The holiness of the Messiah exceeds even that of Moses. In this way, the words “you shall be holy” apply uniquely to the Messiah. He directly shares in the holiness of God. This explains why the New Testament refers to the Messiah as “the Holy One of God.” The disciples applied that title to Yeshua. Even the demons recognized Him as the Holy One of God.

In regard to His concealed, divine person, Yeshua is called the Holy One of God because His holiness originates with God. He is holy by virtue of His divine nature as the eternal Word of God. In regard to His physical person, the holiness of Yeshua results from His conception and birth. No other man has been born of a virgin. In regard to His spiritual power, His holiness flows from the anointing of the Holy Spirit that rests upon Him without measure. In regard to His ethical conduct, the Master derived His holiness from His imitation of the Father and obedience to the commandments. Inasmuch as the commandments are the definitions of holiness, Messiah is likewise defined by the commandments because He kept them. Therefore, He is uniquely able to fulfill the commandment “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).

The commandments of God define holy conduct. All of the commandments of Torah, in some aspect or another, reveal Messiah. They each reveal some essential element of His person or character. The commandments are the will and wisdom of God. Yeshua says, “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42), and He says, “I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me” (John 8:28). Again, “I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).

These passages emphasize a direct relationship between the commandments and the person of Messiah, because the commandments are a direct revelation from God. They reveal godliness, as Yeshua said, “He who has seen me, has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

The Master compared himself to a son apprenticed by his father: “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). A son who learns by apprenticeship acquires the skills of the trade by watching his father’s work and carefully imitating it. He learns the tricks of his father’s craftsmanship and is one day able to do the same work that he has learned from his father. Likewise, Yeshua learned His trade from observation of the Father. In that way, He attained holiness from imitation of the Father, as it is written, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”

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