Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rosh Hashanah

"The first of the Jewish High Holy Days that were listed in Leviticus, Rosh Hashanah, commonly called the Jewish New Year, is a joyous time of celebration and at the same time a season of reflection and solemnity. The blast of the shofar (ram's horn) calls us to humble ourselves and recognize our need for God's grace. This is apparent in some of the traditions associated with the festival. We greet one another by saying, "La shanah tova tikatevu," which means, "May your name be inscribed for a good year." The "inscribing" refers to the Book of Life, which according to Jewish tradition, closes ten days later.

We Jews for Jesus know that our names have been forever inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life, written indelibly in his own blood. Nevertheless, we choose to look back and reflect and commemorate the closing of a year and the beginning of the next. We take part in traditions such as eating apples and honey for a "sweet new year."

But while some Jews believe in an annual day of accounting for one's actions, for us the blast of the shofar at Rosh Hashanah is not just a call to repentance, but a reminder of Jesus' return. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Messiah will rise first" (1Thessalonians 4:16)."

This day, Rosh Hashanah is also known as the day of "awe." We remember how powerful God is to have made everything out of nothing. It is the beginning of the Jewish year and the remembrance of the beginning of all life.

A big focus in the days to follow is how far we have fallen since the "first day." The question is often asked, where will be on the next big day, the last day, Judgment Day.

As Christians, we know that "our Redeemer lives." We have nothing to fear on the last day, because we have already been made clean by the blood of the Lamb.

This festival becomes a good time for us to contemplate all that Christ has done for us.

"You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money." After giving ourselves away to sin, death, and the devil, only the precious blood of Christ Jesus was enough to buy us back and preserve us on the first day, the last day, and every day in between.


If you're curious,
here's what a modern day
Jewish Rosh Hashanah schedule looks like.

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