Why Rosh Hashanah is important to you

By the time you read this, Rosh Hashanah will be completed. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is also very significant for followers of Christ. On Rosh Hashanah, according to Jewish tradition, the destiny of the righteous are written in the “Book of Life.”  The wicked, are written in the “Book of Death,” most that are not inscribed into either book have ten days (until Yom Kippur) to repent before their names are sealed in one of the books for another year. We as believers in the Messiah are sealed already through the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ for our sins as is written in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He (God) has made him to be sin for us…that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year,” and began Friday at sundown through sundown Saturday. According to tradition, the holiday commemorates the creation of mankind by God. The Talmud (the link between scripture and Jewish practice) refers to Rosh Hashanah as the “Day of Judgement” since all of creation owes the Creator accountability and allegiance. The name for God, Elohim, is used in Genesis 1:1, and reveals God as the Creator and Judge of creation, “In the beginning Elohim (God) created the heaven and the earth.” John 1:1-3 clarifies even further, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

In Jewish Tradition on Rosh Hashanah, or better, Yom Teruah (the blowing of the shofar), we stand before our personal Creator and Judge of the universe. The shofar is sounded on this day as a coronation of the Creator/King. Many Messianic believers see this to be a type of the last trump, or time of the rapture of the followers of Christ. Once again, this theme of “standing” is woven into the context of scripture. It is important that we know how to stand—not only for righteousness here on earth, but also in humility and accountability before God Almighty. In this, only Christ is our advocate. We will be judged on our own merits, not because we follow some teacher, preacher or priest.

Although our names are sealed in heaven, we remain accountable for our actions here in this life. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.”  And 1 Corinthians 3:13 says, “Every man’s work will be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will try every man’s work of what sort it is.”  As long as we are sealed in His Name, and build our lives on the firm foundation of Christ, our works will stand on that Day! Rosh Hashanah, therefore, has prophetic significance for each of us as it commemorates the creation of mankind and the gathering together of the new creation of believers with the sound of the heavenly shofar at the End of Days.

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Bill Wilson

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