Rosh Hashanah | Reflection and Repentance
Is Rosh Hashanah Relevant
Did you know Jesus celebrated Rosh Hashanah – the Feast of Trumpets every year of His life? If we look at traditions He engaged in, we’ll gain a clearer understanding of who He is.
What is Rosh Hashanah?
- Also called Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets.
- Signifies the head of the year and is a time to celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness.
- It falls on the first of the 1st month of the year (this year it is sundown Sept 18th) of the Jewish calendar.
- Rosh Hashanah is a day of rest; a holy convocation; a memorial or remembrance beginning with the tĕrūʽāh – a shout or battle cry, or the sound of joy or jubilee – from the verb rūaʽ, to raise a shout and to give a blast of the shofar or ram’s horn.
- Begins the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance, 10 days of personal reflection and repentance, that end on Yom Kippur.
“The LORD spoke to Moshe, saying,”Speak to the children of Yisra’el, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.”
(Lev 23:23-25 HNV).
What’s Important About the Shofar?
The shofar has many sounds:
- To warn
- Announces a celebration
- Signaled information in war.
- A broken, moaning sound is the call to repentance.
- It announced God would fight for Israel.
“In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.” (Neh 4:20).
During Rosh HashanaH We Repent
The shofar announced the day of the LORD, a time of judgment. Joel wrote a frightening description of the consequences that would result, for the wickedness of the people was great.
Though just, God is compassionate and longs for His people to repent.
But then the Lord said, “Yet even now, turn to me with all your heart, And with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Tear your heart, and not your garments, And turn to the LORD, your God; For he is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, And relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:12-13).
Today, wickedness also rules over our land. Evil and injustice abounds. The word of the Lord to us is:
“Turn to Me with your whole heart – the place where your spirit dwells. Allow yourself to lament for the evil that is happening; grieve over your sins and the sins of your ancestors. Tear your heart, not your garment.”
Israel had become professional at fasting and weeping; they engaged in external physical acts not grounded in truth or love.
Is not the Church doing the same today? Repentance is easy when focused on Self, making a great noise, and avoiding responsibility. But God is not interested in the sound and fury of emotional drama.
His call is, “Come”. Take responsibility for your own sin and lack of love.
Rosh Hashanah is the time to meet Him in your spirit. Just you and the Lord. No audience to applaud or say how great you are for repenting. It is only in the secret place, your heart is broken with grief and you agree with the Holy Spirit about your sin. It is in His presence you lament.
Transformation begins at the foot of the Cross as your spirit meets with the Holy Spirit. Come before Him in spirit and in truth. There, true repentance takes place. There you will experience cleansing and reconciliation. There, you are changed and you worship the LORD, not yourself.
During Rosh Hashanah We Look For the Coming King
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory And He will send His angels with a great sound of a shofar, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat 24:30-31).
Daniel prophesied of this sign.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” (Dan 7:13).
In his vision, Daniel saw God give the Son of Man an eternal kingdom.
“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Dan 7:14).
The Apostle Paul wrote the shofar will be blown by angels as the Son of Man comes on the clouds.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thes 4:16-18).
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar: for the shofar shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”
(1 Co 15:51-52).
Are you ready for His return?
Dear friend, during Rosh Hashanah, please take time to be in God’s presence.
There is no longer a temple and no sacrifice for sin. Yet, we still need forgiveness of sins. There is an offering – the Lamb of God was slain at Calvary; His blood takes away the sins of the world and brings us peace with God.
Let us reflect and repent for our sins and the sins of our ancestors. Let us turn from anger and seek reconciliation.
Christ is our atonement. One glorious day the shofar will sound to announce His return. Are you ready to meet the King of whom Daniel prophesied?
Let us lift up our eyes, for our redemption draws nigh.