Friday, September 18, 2009

A Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets – Rosh Hashanah

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’” Leviticus 23:24-25
This is the 5th of the 7 unique observances given by God to the Jewish people. It has been observed, off and on, throughout Jewish history for thousands of years! We, as believers in the Lord Jesus, should understand the significance of these observances as well, for they add firm foundation, more clarity, and deep richness to our faith.
In the 2nd century the rabbis adapted the title of “Rosh Hashanah”, meaning “Head of months”, to mark the civil New Year. It also marks the beginning of the Fall High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah, Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

Traditionally, it is believed that 3 books are opened in heaven – The book of the thoroughly Righteous, the book of the Intermediate or “semi-Righteous and the book of the thoroughly wicked. (Talmud Rosh Hashanah 16a, page 63 Soncino) Everyone hopes that their names are written in the first one – thoroughly Righteous. Revelation 20, in the Bible, talks about books being opened.
It is also believed that Satan goes before God to accuse the people of their sins, but the blowing of the shofar confuses him. (Talmud Rosh Hashanah 16b, page 61 Soncino) Believe me, we tried this… Peter blew the shofar in a crowded church foyer to get every ones attention and it worked like a charm!
Tashlish” (casting) is performed. This is a ritual of throwing bread crumbs containing yeast into a moving flow of water that flows into the sea, symbolizing that our sins are cast into the sea, never to be remembered again. This is a beautiful visual illustration of God’s love and forgiveness
“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19
Visiting gravesites of relatives and friends and leaving a memorial stone is also customary. This practice started in the 16th century. You can really see this in Israel. Many of the grave sites have little piles of rocks on them.
Today, candles are lit to start the Sabbath. Kiddush: the cup of Sanctification or “setting apart” is drunk, the people will eat Challah bread dipped in honey to start off the New Year sweet and fish to symbolize fertility and immortality.

In order to see how the Messiah fits in all this we must look closely at what was done in Biblical times. Back then, this day was viewed as a Sabbath day- a day of rest. The shofar (ram’s horn) was blown to warn the people of impending judgment for sin and also to call them to the temple for repentance. Sacrifices were offered in their behalf.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we have heard the shofar’s warning in God’s word, of the coming judgment for sin. This is just one of many:
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

But, God has also made provision to escape this judgment.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
The sacrifice has been made once for all. Jesus paid the debt that was owed, giving all, who accept it by faith, a true Sabbath rest for all eternity with God.
“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

Are you still excited about what God has done for you? I pray that during this season you will get a refreshment of enthusiasm for God’s love and salvation for us.

For those who still need to consider this…
Ask yourself:
Have I heard God’s warning…The wages of sin is death?
Have I accepted His provision for my sin… The gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord?
Do I have eternal peace now…by faith?

I pray that you will be able to answer “yes”.
If not… let me encourage you to…
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6
Read a more in-depth article about Rosh Hashanah at: