L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!
Jews around the world greet one another with that greeting as Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish civil new year. Amazingly, it means, “May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year,” although orthodox Jews do not recognize salvation through Jesus the Messiah, which results in our names being inscribed in the Book of Life! They are wishing one another salvation!
Today (Sunday, 10/2/16) at sundown marks the beginning of the Jewish new year. Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year,” and is the first of several fall feasts and festivals celebrated by the Jewish people. While marking the civil new year, Rosh Hashanah also holds religious significance to the Jews. They celebrate it as the anniversary of creation, and as the eventual day of judgment. Rosh Hashanah is the first of Ten Days of Awe (ending with Yom Kippur), during which Jews reflect upon their actions over the past year and seek forgiveness for their transgressions in hopes of influencing God’s final judgment. Thus, the wishful greeting that each may be inscribed in the Book of Life!
It is customary for Jews to eat apples and honey, as well as round challah bread, which symbolizes the cycle of time. Some will take a walk to flowing water (river or stream) to recite prayers, reflect upon their sin over the past year, and “cast it off” into the river.
For Christians, we see a different picture of Rosh Hashanah. Scripture recognizes this time as the Feast of Trumpets. Consider these passages:
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.”
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp.”
For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
~1 Corinthians 14:8
We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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 shall be changed.
~1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Did you follow the progression? Check this out:
- God ordained the Feast of Trumpets in the seventh month, on the first day. It was not the head of the year! (Actually, God did not ordain a “head of the year” feast, festival or holiday!) That is why Rosh Hashanah is the civil new year, but not the spiritual new year! The day has a different purpose!
- God commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets to summon the congregation and break camp. Why two…and what is the significance? Could it be that God called Israel and the church as two silver trumpets to summon the world and warn of the “breaking of camp” as we know it on earth? (ie – the rapture is coming!)
- As Christians, are we making an uncertain sound that fails to prepare others for battle? Or are we sounding a clear message?
- The day is coming when the last trumpet will sound, and at that moment we (followers of Jesus Christ) will be changed forever!
So, rejoice with the Jews at the celebration of a new year, but understand that God has a very specific plan and purpose that He calls the Feast of Trumpets. Sound a clear sound, my friends!
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!