Shana Tova—Happy Rosh Hashanah
On September 17th, the shofars sounded the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Every year, the trumpets announce the beginning of the High Holy Days on the Jewish calendar, leading up to the Day of Atonement. The predominant theme of Rosh Hashanah is repentance; ten Days of Awe when pious Jews devote themselves to solemn introspection and self-evaluation. A good thing for Christian believers to do as well.
Sadly, this year the shofars are also sounding a warning—just as they did in Old Testament days to alert the people of danger and call them into battle. As Israelis celebrate the new year, they are also preparing for war. They desperately and urgently need our help and prayers right now; while the Middle East is on fire and Muslim protesters are burning USA and Israeli flags in cities around the world.
It is important for Christians to understand their Jewish roots. Our Hebrew roots are part of the church’s DNA. The believer’s relationship with the nation of Israel is deeper than showing compassion toward the Jewish people; or obeying scripture to bless Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
In John chapter 15, Yeshua explained that all believers are engrafted into the Vine of Israel. The root of the vine is unseen, as our life is hidden in Christ. Jesus Christ is the root of the vine and all believers are branches of this vine. The holy root bears the tree. (Romans 11:16-18)
So, how do we learn about our Jewish roots? The truth unfolds in Scripture. Observing Rosh Hashanah is just one example, and we can begin with the first ten days of the New Year:
The Hebrew calendar parallels with biblical events in the Word of God. The world adopts the Gregorian calendar, which is a modification of the earlier Julian calendar. Still, many Christian believers have adopted the Hebrew calendar, rejecting modifications from the original biblical celebrations in the early church.
The Hebrew calendar parallels with biblical events in the Word of God. For example, history indicates that Christ was born on September 11 on the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. Joseph had to return to his home town of Bethlehem for the Roman census, and Mary gave birth to Jesus as soon as they arrived. The Magi arrived in Bethlehem later on December 25, 2 BC, bearing gifts for the new Hebrew king. After the visit of the Magi, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt, after being warned by an angel in late December, 2BC. Study more….
The celebration of Christmas, or Christ’s mass, was initiated by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 5th year of Rome’s reign. By the early 4th Century, the Western Christian Church placed the birth of Christ on December 25, which was later adopted in the East.
We do not have time to explain all the celebrations here, but we encourage you to seek your Jewish roots without becoming “legalistic” under the Mosaic Law. The Apostle Paul warned against believer’s returning to this bondage. As we celebrate holy days in the modern Church, we should eliminate paganism like the Easter bunny and Santa Claus which are not biblical. In John’s Revelation, Yeshua censored several of the seven churches for mixing their faith with paganism and idolatry.
Christians should follow scripture and celebrate the Hebrew feasts because they parallel New Testament biblical events. For instance, Christ’s death on the cross occurred on Passover AD 31 during the time of the high sacrifice in the Temple. So, Passover becomes two celebrations that parallel. The deliverance of the Hebrew nation under Moses who escaped the last plague over Egypt, the death of the first born. Israel was set free from over 400 years of servitude in Egypt. For the Church, Passover celebrates the death and resurrection of the Son of God, the Messiah, who set them free from sin and eternal death. Study more……
The Feast of Pentecost was when the Holy Spirit came upon the New Testament believers with Christ’s promised Baptism of Fire in the upper room….. And, there are many more!!
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