500 years of ghetto... are we out yet?
At the time of Haman, many Jewish people were living in Shushan in Persia. At the time of the captivity of the northern 10 tribes (not really 'lost') into Assyria, our experience was anything but freedom. 140 years later, the Babylonians captured the two southern tribes, and took us away. Release came later, but for a while we all were in about one spot. In the first century, many Jewish people were living in what we call Israel today, but not all of us. At the time of Rashi, many Jewish people were living in France and throughout Europe. But in 1516, the Jewish people, who had already been kicked out of Spain (1492) and the entire Iberian peninsula in the late 15th century, were now being pushed to another limitation. Ghetto might be a kind of music or culture today, but then it was simply a culture of prevention.
We were prevented from choosing our own lodging. We were prevented from travel. We were prevented access to universities and certain professions. Our buildings had limitations. The Christian leadership throughout Europe had a serious negative impression and interaction with Jewish people in those days. And many Jewish people despised those who dominated us. No collegiality. No relationship.
Prevention is not welcome to any group or society. Freedom to express ourselves, freedom to enjoy sunshine or beaches, freedom to join other groups or movements-- that's welcome. But prevention? Not at all. Who wants that?
Now to be fair, we are not without freedoms here in Australia, or in Israel or in the US. But the real freedom that God wants us to have, each of us, is the freedom on the inside. I mean, a jailed person really can be free. A jailer or any person outside of prison can still be 'in prison' in a way. They can be full of bitterness or lack forgiveness. Their hatred can be a prison itself. What then allows a person real freedom?
I believe real freedom comes from knowing the Prince of Life, whose execution nailed non-forgiveness for eternity. When Yeshua died on the Roman cross, his murder accomplished what no human martyrdom could ever attain. He died for the sins of the world. He died to give everyone freedom on the inside. He was the one who said what has adorned libraries and churches and halls of learning for centuries, "You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."
What is the difference between a gated senior community and a ghetto? Answer: Who holds the keys. If you have the keys, you can come and go at will. If others have the keys, then you do as they require.
So what will get us out of the ghetto? The One who died for our sins and rose from the dead. Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah died to set us free. No matter where we live. With whom we live. In or out of jail. We can live. You can live. Be free today on your hospital bed, in the detention centre, in Patmos, Bora Bora, Sydney or Perth. How? Receive Yeshua as your Lord and Saviour. Be born again. You will know freedom then. Passover or any day.
Are we out yet?