Guest Blog by PJ Meadows
Tomorrow September 18, 2020, at sundown, we are entering a season set up thousands of years ago, calling people to examine their lives and turn (or return) to God.
Is God at the core of your thoughts, actions, behaviors, and desires?
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 18th this year. God-fearing individuals around the world will pause and turn their full attention in seeking God’s face and favor. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are bookends to this season of repentance. (Numbers 29 & Ezekiel 40) According to Biblical tradition, a trumpet (shofar) will be blown 100 times within Rosh Hashanah and once more at the end of Yom Kippur. This alarm represents a “wake up” call to God’s people that judgment day is near; it is an alarm to “pay attention!”; a warning to the people to turn from their evil ways and return to God. It’s a call to repentance! A plea to “turn away from” self-seeking desires, sin, and worldly temptations, and a loving call to “turn to” God with wholehearted devotion. A time to humbly allow God to search your heart and examine your mind and motives. A time to change by allowing the Holy Spirit to realign your will with His. Tomorrow at sundown, will you join the many Christians and Jews on this renewal and new life journey?
According to the Biblical lunar calendar, Yom Kippur (begins sundown September 27th) is a time of grafting in the new year. God-fearing Jews recognize this calendar still, and their new year is a time of solemn reflection, repentance, and celebration for the ones whose names are written in the “book of life.” (Revelation 3:5; 13:8; and more) Yom Kippur represents the holiest of days. A day in which fates are made for the following year, and when the last trumpet blows, it is finished with no more chances to return to God.
Many scholars believe that the “Feasts of the Lord” outlined in scripture, were put there as rehearsals for the Messiah’s coming. All of these festivals ordained by God were “shadows of things to come.” (Col. 2:17)
In the first coming of Christ, we see Jesus miraculously walk through fulfilling each of the four spring feasts.
Jesus is the Passover Lamb and sacrificed his life on the cross at the very hour that the Jewish lamb was sacrificed on Passover at the temple.
- The Unleavened BreadLeaven represents sin. (Luke 12:1) During the first Passover, bread was made in a hurry without leaven (yeast) and symbolized who God brought the Hebrews out of Egypt in haste. Jesus represents the unleavened bread as He is the sinless Savior who was
pierced for our sins, and by His stripes, we are delivered.
- First Fruits
On the feast, Jesus Resurrected from the dead; He is the first fruit to the new Kingdom creation.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit of God to comfort, guide, and guard His people. (John 1:12) Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem as He would send the helper. Many had traveled to Jerusalem for this original festival and experienced the amazing power of the coming Holy Spirit. (Acts 2) The Church era was instituted at this time.
God-fearing Christ-followers recognize that Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts in His first coming. Many are looking to Christ to fulfill the fall feasts with His second coming. The three fall feast points to and provides a sort of preparation and rehearsal for what some refer to as “the end times” These fall festivals point to judgment day – the final trumpet blast described throughout the scripture and in detail in Revelation. In the Bible book of Acts, Peter quotes the book of Joel, acknowledging that we have entered the last days. (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28—32) Our view of time and God’s view of time are very different. But we can know that we are living in the last era of his master plan. This time may be decades or centuries, but it is the last awakening and grafting in of His children to His eternal kingdom.
Today is the day of salvation, as it says! (2 Cor. 6:2)
Yom Kippur alludes to this as the book of life is symbolically opened and examined. All whose names are in the book of life will enter God’s kingdom, and all those names who are not in the book of life will spend eternity apart from God. Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement,” representing the holiest of days (the day the high priests would enter the temple), is a solemn celebration of repentance. Jesus is the eternal High Priest who died on the cross and made a final atonement of sin. (Hebrews 9:11-28)
The third fall feast, the feast of Tabernacle’s (this year Oct. 2-8), points to the time that God will dwell perfectly with his people once again, coming full circle from the garden of Eden.
Today….Hear the Shofar sound calling God’s children around the world to repentance and abundant life (John 10:10)
TURN and TAKE HEED to what the Spirit of God is whispering to those willing to listen!
Will YOU stop what you are doing to take the time these next ten days to listen intently? Will you humbly examine your life and ways before the face of God?
Do your thoughts, behaviors, and pursuits line up with the Word and heart of God?
Are you going through legalistic motions on the outside while your heart is hard and bitter on the inside? Do you fear God (seeking his approval and praise) or man?
Do you tend to abuse God’s grace and mercy by living a self-sufficient life indulging in whatever pleasures you please?
Finally, who are you becoming versus who do you desire to be in Christ? Are you in captivity, either to addiction, materialism, or people-pleasing? Are you in a relationship that honors God or in one that is oppressive and unhealthy, robbing you and your children of God’s peace, love, and joyful life?
Only YOU can make this choice for your life.
We are living in the end days. Will you be faithful to the gifts, resources, and calling that God has on your life before it’s too late? Join us in turning all of our affections to the Most High and Holy God, who is worthy of ALL Praise.
“And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:24)