Sundown today (September 24, 2014) marked the beginning of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, and Jews all over the world are celebrating the beginning of the year 5775. However, Rosh HaShanah (“the head of the year”) is purely a social holiday that doesn’t even celebrate the true beginning of the year! The Bible calls this celebration the Feast of Trumpets, and Leviticus 23:23-25 tells us it is the first day of the seventh month! (The original Hebrew calendar that God established, placed Passover as the first feast on the 14th day of the first month. There was no holiday or feast for the real “head of the year!”)
The Feast of Trumpets is loaded with Messianic significance, as are the other 6 feasts. Each is a prophetic picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. Three feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) happen in the spring, followed by one early-summer feast (Pentecost), and three in the fall (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles). But here’s the amazing thing: the spring and early-summer prophetic feasts have already been perfectly fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, while the fall festivals will be perfectly fulfilled by His second coming!
The Biblical name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom Teruah, and is the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance, culminating on Yom Kippur (or Atonement…the next feast). Yom Teruah is a picture of the “catching away” of the Bride of Christ…the rapture! And a trumpet will definitely be involved!
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel
and with the trumpet of God…
~1 Thessalonians 1:16
So, as a believer and follower of Mashiach Yeshua (Jesus the Messiah), what can I glean from this Jewish Feast of Trumpets?
- According to Jewish tradition, Adam and Eve were created on Rosh HaShanah. Thus, Rosh HaShanah represents the day God began to rule the universe. So, Rosh HaShanah is a reminder that God is the “head” of our lives. (Rosh = “head”)
- The Feast of Trumpets leads up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), which represents the future repentance of the nation of Israel. Soon after the trumpet blows and the rapture occurs, the tribulation will follow. At that time, the Bible tells us that Israel will repent and will recognize her Messiah. Yom Adonai (the day of the Lord) will arrive and all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:26) Thus, we definitely pray in the will of God as we pray for Israel to repent and come to recognize her Messiah!
- In Numbers 10:1-2, the Lord commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets to be used to summon the congregation and to direct movement of the camps during the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land. Some Bible scholars believe God is using Israel and the church (2 trumpets) to call the world’s attention to, and prepare repentant sinners for, our journey to the eternal Promised Land!
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet;
for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable,
and we will be changed.
~1 Corinthians 15:51-52