How Judaism Faced Change

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXVI

He who sits on the throne (Jesus) said, “Behold, I am making all things new,” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

How do you transition from and old structure to a new when so much change is required? As a Jew! In just 60 years after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, he would witness the crumbling of his religious systems and structures because ”the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Can you imagine how difficult it is to believer in a system and structure built around a physical building, the Temple, whose worship featured animal and grain sacrifices, headed by a Levitical priesthood, and see it physically crumble and be destroyed right before your eyes? Jews, being versatile, know how to adjust. They held on to their Torah, oral history, and ingrained traditions for strength, yet their prophet, Jeremiah, wrote, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:33)

This new covenant would require drastic changes: It would take them from meeting in a building, a Temple, to not needing a building at all because their bodies would become the temple. The versatile Jew would meet in a synagogue, while Christians would become “Temple-less”, not having a designated building. The Ark of The Covenant would become legendary, only for Indiana Jones to find. Those mindset changes were drastic.

Without a Temple, animal sacrifices vanished. Jesus, God’s Son, would be the sacrificial lamb dying on the Cross as the ultimate sacrifice. The old “order of worship” would become archaic and scrapped. Judaism would adjust: The reading of the Torah, the sharing of oral history, and the following of traditions would be the backbone of their new “order ow worship.” Another drastic mindset change!

With no Temple and no sacrifices, Judaism faced yet another dilemma: What to do with its hierarchal Levitical priesthood structure. It too vanished, being replaced by a rabbinical system of teachers with diverse opinions and the creation of the Talmud. Yet another drastic mindset that was required!

The versatile, traditional Jew has adjusted by meeting in synagogues, taught through the Torah and Talmud by rabbis for almost 2,000 years now. What was once new adjustments have become old, familiar traditions; that is how established systems and structures work over time.