This season of the year is very important for Jews around the world. Tonight (Wednesday) at sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets. This time from tonight until sundown Friday traditionally according to Scripture was ordained by God in Leviticus 23 as the Jewish New Year and a time of repentance leading up to the Day of Atonement (10 days following when the high priest would offer the annual sacrifice before God in the Holy of Holies). Originally, God only required a one day observance (the first day of the new year). Time and added traditions have turned the festival into a two-day observance. The trumpets would blast throughout the land this day vividly reminding each Jew that the day of sacrifice soon approached and they stood in need of contemplation and repentance.
Additionally, this Jewish year marks the seventh year for the sabbath land requirement. Rosh Hashanah this year will mark this seventh year, where abiding Jews will cease their normal agricultural activity for 1 year. According to Exodus 23:10 and Deuteronomy 15:1-4 this seventh year provided needed food for the poor.
Day of Atonement (or Yom Kippur) occurs this year on the evening of October 3 for one day. The significance of this great day of Old Testament sacrifice of course has been fulfilled in Christ at the empty cross.
Following this day, the Jews’ Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles/Booths occurs from the evening of October 8 through October 15 again according to Leviticus 23. Tabernacles recalls God’s tabernacling among His people and His guidance/provision/protection of Israel in the wilderness journey to the promised land. The significance of this is enhanced when we learn of God’s presence departing the temple in Ezekiel’s day and then returning as Emmanuel, God with us, as Jesus comes to earth.
Tragically, many Jews today fail to see the fulfillment of these feasts in Jesus the Christ (Messiah)! Those of us who follow Jesus, may we study the Word diligently and be equipped to point others to the harmony of the Scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament to today and for the future!
Furthermore, there are Messianic Jews today who still choose to celebrate these Leviticus 23 feasts in light of Christ’s fulfillment. Whether you have ever participated in one of these Christ-centered celebration of these feasts or not, a study into their significance amplifies the richness of God’s Word and His glorious purpose for mankind! Maybe a familiarizing of their Scriptural significance would be fruitful for you?
Each time we hear of these feasts celebrated by Jews today, may we recall God’s faithful acts among His people in the past as well as His graceful and masterful act through Christ at the empty cross!
More thoughts on these Biblical feasts, end time events, and our responsibility in light of it all to come in the next post...