Sunday, September 4, 2011

Only two to go!

Looking back we started this journey in Leviticus chapter 23 and discovered that God had given the infant nation of Israel holidays that they were to celebrate or "rehearse" before the nations that God might be revealed to all men.  The King James called these "holy convocations".  The first was the Sabbath, a weekly remembrance but the other seven were annual festivals or feasts.

We have already looked at Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost, the four Spring Festivals.  We noted that while each pointed back and reminded Israel of something God had already done, each also was a picture of what the coming Messiah WOULD do and now has done.

Several days ago we looked at Rosh HaShanah, the first of the three fall festivals.  Also called the Festival of Trumpets, Rosh HaShanah was a call to individual and national repentance.  The Festival was announced with the blowing of the shofar horn and initiated a period of 10 days of seeking forgiveness, both from God and man.  This 10 day period is known as Yamin Norim or Days of Awe.  The last day of Yamin Norim ushers in Yom Kippur.

It is believed that on Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, God considers the repentance that has been made during Yamin Norim and makes final judgment on a man's life for the coming year.  His name will either be sealed in the "Book of Life" or the "Book of Death" until a new Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur the following year.

Just as Rosh HaShana or Festival of Trumpets is a picture of the time when Christ will return for his believers "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet..." Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement points forward to that time that we shall be judged, and that judgment will determine our eternity.  Fortunately, for the believer that judgment is not based on our sin, but instead on Christ's blood.  Our sin has been atoned for.  Our repentance and acceptance of Christ's death on the cross for our sins has made us righteous before a Holy God, and thus our eternity with Him is secured in Christ.

The Festival of Trumpets points forward to Christ's return for his church.  The Day of Atonement foreshadows our being judged...innocent by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ.  The seventh and final festival is the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles.  Now what do you suppose that is all about?

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