At Abundant Life Foursquare Church, we love teaching about the Jewish Roots of our Christian faith. As Believers in the Messiah, our understanding of the various Feasts and Festivals of the Lord (Leviticus 23) is critical to our spiritual understanding and health. Rejoice as Jewish People come to know Jesus as the Messiah of Israel because it means we are drawing closer to the Lord’s return. We must study, know, and understand the Old and New Testaments.
Romans 11:15 says, “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
Christians will experience a deeper and more intimate walk with the Lord Yeshua, who kept all these Feasts and Festivals during his lifetime on earth. In John 3, Jesus says, come and follow Me. I believe He wants us to understand the celebration of the Feasts and Festivals because they are prophetic pictures of His redemptive mission as Messiah and Savior of the world.
Understanding the Old and New Testaments allows us to see the complete message from God and His plan to redeem humanity from sin and death. We look at them because God says they’re a shadow of the Messiah.
Colossians 2:16-17, “Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Looking at the Feasts and Festivals through this “Messianic lens,” we see a picture of our Savior and soon coming King who was, who is, and who is to come. We will look at the picture of His return to gather His Bride to Himself, the first of the Fall Feasts, Rosh Hashanah, and the Jewish New Year.
Leviticus 23:24-25, ” Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.”
Rosh Hashanah (head of the year in Hebrew) is also known as Yom Teru’ah or the Day of Blowing in Hebrew. Rabbinic Judaism memorializes the creation of the world. Rosh Hashanah is also the beginning of the Jewish calendar, and the spirit of the day is much different than our January First New Year’s Day. On Rosh Hashanah, it’s customary for Jewish People not to work but to be in synagogue, worshipping the Lord. It marks the beginning of the holiest season of the Jewish year, a season of introspection and repentance called the Days of Awe, a 10-day period from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
One of the most important practices of Teru’ah is the blowing and hearing of the Shofar, the ram’s horn, blown as a call to repentance. On Rosh Hashanah, Genesis 22 is traditionally read in the synagogue. This is the story of Abraham’s obedience to God when asked to sacrifice Isaac. Interestingly, what the Rabbis have chosen as a key scripture passage teaches about substitutionary atonement, as God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead of his son, Isaac. Genesis 22 is the story of the Messiah as seen in Isaiah 53 and what He would accomplish for His people:
Isaiah 53:5-6 says, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
Rosh Hashanah (5783) 2023 is the year the church needs to listen and receive the call to re-gather. When we hear the Shofar blasts, we’re reminded of the victory of the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6:20); the assembly of the Israelites during the war (Judges 3:27, 2 Samuel 20:1); the watchmen who warned Jerusalem of impending danger (Amos 3:6; Jeremiah 6:1 and Ezekiel 33:6); the beginning of the Jubilee year—the great sabbatical release provided by God (Lev. 25:9); and the coming of our King, the Messiah (Zechariah 9:14.) With each blast of the Shofar, we remember the past, look forward to the future and recognize the spiritual application that God’s Word has for our lives today.
In the Jewish tradition, apples and date honey are eaten during this holiday to symbolize a desire for a sweet new year. As we wait with passionate expectation for our Bridegroom, the Messiah King who gave His very life so that we might have life and life abundantly (John 10:10), our lives are full of sweetness. As the Shofars blow, we will gather to LOVE GOD. LOVE PEOPLE. TOGETHER.
This coming Sunday, September 25, 2022, we will blow the Shofar and launch into our new series, The Amazing Promises of God. Rosh Hashanah is God’s Promise for a good year! Let’s worship together as we anticipate a “sweet new year” to follow.
Shana Tovah (a good year; a happy year)!