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Making Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur a Time to Focus on Christ’s Return

Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are two of the holiest days on God’s calendar.  Christians are not obligated to observe these days.  (Col. 2:16.)  God only wants devotion out of love and not obligation.

These days, however, are still important because their details reveal Christ “shadow”.  (Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1.)  Studying these holy days can tell us more about Christ.

Rosh HaShanah:  Rosh Hashanah is New Year’s Eve on God’s calendar.  The focus of the day is threefold: (1) renewal, (2) forgiveness and (3) preparation.

Yom Kippur:  Yom Kippur is the national Day of Atonement.  This was a somber day for believers to fast, repent of their sins and pray for the nation’s sins.

The Days of Awe:  Exactly 10 days passed between these two holy days.  These days are called the days of “awe.”  It was a time to reflect on the Ten Commandments .  It is a time to repent and to give thanks for your salvation through Christ because no one can keep the Ten Commandments without breaking them.  (Rom. 3:20; 3:23; Ps. 14:1-3; Phil. 3:9; Gal. 3:11.)

Preparation: Christians should also use these days to focus with great hope and anticipation for Christ’s return  (Joel 2:1; Rev. 8-9.)  We know this because part of the ceremonies for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur involved the blowing of a ram’s horn, called a shofar.

In the New Testament, the blowing of the last shofar heralds the good news of the Church’s wedding to Christ.  Jesus tells us that the Rapture will also be preceded by the blowing of a loud trumpet heard only by God’s people.  (Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17.)  Paul also tells us that “[i]n the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  (1 Cor. 15:52; Eph. 5:14; same Ps. 47:5)

No one knows the day of Jesus’ return.  (Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:32).  If Jesus had told us the exact time of His return, we would put off our preparation.  Like Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, God wants us to always be prepared at all times for His return.  (Matt. 25:13.)

Paul tells us that we should “hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”  (Ro. 8:25.)  We are also told to be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!”  (2 Pet. 3:12.)

John Edson, San Diego, CA