When our son, Matthew, turned one month old, we brought him to our church to be dedicated unto the Lord. Following is the message that Vinny shared before our pastor officiated a small ceremony.
Matthew’s Pidyon Haben
Exodus chapter 12 is the story of Passover where we are told to never forget that the Lord brought forth the Children of Israel out of bondage by a mighty hand.
In the next chapter, the Lord speaks unto Moses and says Sanctify unto me all the first born whatsoever open the womb among the children of Israel, both of man or beast , it is mine And in verse 13 we read: all the first born of man among thy sons shall thou redeem.
In the Old Testament, the Levites were priests unto the Lord, and Aaron was given power over them as the kohen gadol, or high priest. The Levites had to serve God from birth and were the only ones who could not be redeemed from service.
In Numbers chapter 3:11-12 The Lord has taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every first born that open the womb of the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. For all the first born are mine on the day i smote all the first born in the land of Egypt. Hallowed unto me all the first born in Israel both man and beast , mine they shall be . I am the the Lord.
A firstborn son of any tribe other than the Levites needs to be redeemed from service to God by paying five shekles of silver to the high priest.
In the New Testament we see that Mary and Joseph went and took Jesus eight days after he was born for his Brit Malah, or circumcision. When Jesus was 31 days old he was brought into the temple for his Pidyon Haben, also known as the Redeeming of the first born. We read in Luke chapter 2 &Every firstborn male that opens the womb shal be called holy to Adonai. So they offered a sacrifice according to what it said in the Torah.
It was at his Pidyon Haben that Simeon held Jesus in his hands, and as the holy spirit was talking to Simeon, he realized he was holding our Salvation in his hands.
God provided for us a more perfect sacrifice through offering up his own son, using his blood upon the Holy Altar. For it is by his shedding of blood that we are forgiven. Leviticus 17:11 tells us for without the shedding of blood there is not remisssion of sins.
Mary and Joseph had paid 5 shekels to have Jesus redeemed, and in return Jesus paid with his own blood for us to be redeemed from our sins.
In the ceremony today, Jewish fathers place the child on a silver platter, dressed in jewels to represent royalty. Garlic is placed around the child supposedly to ward off evil spirits. The child is presented to the rabbi and the father responds to ritual questions stating that this is the mother’s firstborn son and that he has come to redeem him as commanded in the Torah. The rabbi asks which the father would rather have, the child or the five silver coins.
Seeing how neither Caryn or myself have come from the tribe of Levi we can perform this Pidyon Haben ceremony. If Both Caryn and I were raised Jewish, this custom would relieve Matthew of his obligation to serve in the temple. But seeing how we are in a Messianic Ministry , and serve Jesus Messiah with all of our hearts, and follow in his ways and not our own, we shall pray for baby Matthew, along with all our kids, that they grow up to serve the Lord and be in service unto him.
In closing i would like to share this from 1st Peter 2: 9 says this But you are a chosen people a Royal priesthood, a Holy nation a people of God’s own possesion , so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his Marvelous light. So we believers who have recieved Jesus into our lives are now a part of God’s family. We are Royalty.