ROSH HOSHANAH/YOM KIPPUR, A MESSIANIC PERSPECTIVE, 06.09.18
The beginning of the Fall Feasts, the Jewish New Year, this year, falls on Sunday, September 9th, Erev Rosh Hashanah. Following Jewish tradition, the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown at the end of the evening prayer service. September 19th is the final day of the “High Holy Days,” the day of atonement.
Rosh Hoshanah begins ten Days of Repentance, ending with Yom Kippur on the last day (Sept.19), which comprises the Jewish High Holy Days. Known as the “Day of Atonement,” Yom Kippur is the most solemn holy day of the Jewish people. Yom means “day” and Kippur means “atonement” or “covering.” Atonement means the reconciliation of God and humankind. The ten days which include Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are known as the “days of repentance.” Yom Kippur is the final day of judgment when God judges the people, and this precludes that final day of judgment which we will all face.
Tuesday, September 18th, the Eve of Yom Kippur precedes that final “High Holy Day” of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In ancient times, of course, animal sacrifices were made by the High Priest to pay for his sins and the sins of the people. It was a time of fasting and prayer. When the high priest was finished with the atonement sacrifice, a goat was released into the wilderness. This “scapegoat” carried Israel’s sins away, never to return (Leviticus 16:8-10, 20-22, 29-34).
Since Messianic believers know that Jesus/Yeshua has fulfilled that requirement, atonement as such is not required, and we no longer require a scapegoat. It is, nevertheless, a time of repentance and forgiveness. It is a time when true followers of Messiah should want to assume a posture of humility, and walk in a spirit of forgiveness and repentance, to reverence this practice as the foretelling of what has been accomplished through Messiah and what is yet to come. Most importantly, the Feast of Trumpets calls us to ensure right standing before Almighty God.
Toby Janecki, First Fruits of Zion says of the Biblical Feasts: “While they were explicitly entrusted to the Jewish people, a universal component remains. Rosh HaShanah and the rest of the festivals hold significance for all God’s people both Jews and grafted-in Gentiles,” substantiating why Messianics celebrate these Feasts, and why all believers should also do. He goes on to explain: “Paul tells us the festivals are “a shadow of the things to come” (Colossians 2:17). This means that from Creation God has given mankind celebrations that are prophetic, pointing to the coming Messiah and Messianic Kingdom. According to the prophets, in that kingdom, with Messiah ruling and reigning in Jerusalem, all mankind both Jews and Gentiles will be celebrating God’s appointed times: “From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 66:23). In turn, the biblical calendar perfectly encompasses the past, present, and future for all humanity.” (Janecki, “Festivals in Genesis: Rosh Hoshanah,” 04.09.18, https://ffoz.org/). He summarizes the tie-in from ancient days to present, and future, giving us the prophetic picture of what these Feasts really represent.
Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat declares that “God’s voice is a trumpet; God is calling the nations and Israel to turn back to Messiah/Jesus,Yeshua Ha-Mashiach before it’s too late.” Porat goes on to state: “As believers in Jesus/Yeshua, we understand the Feast of Trumpets as prophetically pointing to the second coming of Jesus/Yeshua Ha-Messiah,” quoting 1 Cor.15:52: “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”
He pulls it all together when he says: “The Israelites missed Yeshua’s first coming so the nations can get salvation. Let’s pray they won’t miss this second coming, and hear the sound of the shofar, which is God’s voice. Now it’s time for the nations to bring the Gospel back to Jerusalem and go home.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQR9-Gc18Xk )
Celebration of these Feasts fuels a deeper appreciation of the cyclical nature of God’s prophetic Word. It highlights the intentionality of God’s plan and purposes, and how that His choice of a particular people group would be instrumental in pulling it all together. Since joining the Messianic Movement I can truly attest to a stronger connection to the real roots of my faith, as well as a greatly expanded perspective of how the Old Covenant undergirds the New, and how they join together in perfect harmony and unity. It is my prayer that this brief, but concise summary may be helpful in establishing new understandings, and appreciation of Adonai’s Feasts, culminating in an expanded view of OT/NT integration.
Lev.23:23-25; Num. 29:1; Neh.8:1-12
Lev.16:8-10,20-22,29-34; 23:26-32; Num.29:7
NOTE: The above passages have not all been quoted in this article, however, it is recommended they be referenced to obtain a full understanding of the Scriptural foundation for this summation.
Toby Janecki, “Festivals in Genesis: Rosh Hoshanah,” 04.09.18, https://ffoz.org/
© 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.