“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.” Micah 7:18-20 (NIV)
Reflection and repentance
Tonight, Jews around the world will mark Rosh haShana, the Jewish New Year. Rosh haShana is one of the High Holidays in the Jewish calendar. As with all God’s festivals, Christians can learn a lot from Rosh haShana and how it points towards Jesus and his Second Coming.
In the Bible Rosh haShana is called Yom Teruah (Day of Repentance) or the Feast of the Trumpet (Leviticus 23). One tradition of Rosh haShana is that observing Jews will recite the above prayer from Micah 7:18-20. This prayer acknowledges our dependence on God’s mercy and forgiveness of sin. And the God of Heavens, the Holy One of Israel, loves to show mercy and forgive. What an awesome God we serve – there is none like Him!
Rosh haShana is followed by the ten “Days of Awe” which lead to Yom Kippur, or Atonement Day. The Days of Awe are a time of reflection of our shortcomings in life, but especially during the preceding twelve months. They are a season of repentance, turning back to God, realigning with His will and statutes.
The purpose of Rosh haShana, Yom Kippur and the Days of Awe ist to remind us of our life’s eternal perspective – and the impact our actions and choices have on where we will spend eternity.
Written in the Book of Life
According to Jewish tradition, it is during the Days of Awe when God opens the Book of Life and goes through the records of our life. He announces his judgment on Yom Kippur. As believers in Yeshua, we know that our names are already written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20). God has shown mercy on us and has cast our sin into the depth of the sea and remembers them no more (Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12).
Rosh HaShana is a picture for Christ’s Second Coming, when at the trumpet’s sound, God will gather his elect to Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). This day is followed by Judgement Day on which He, the Judge of All the Earth (Genesis 18:25) will open His books and judge those who have not accepted His offer of grace and forgiveness according to the record of their life.
Read more about biblical feasts and how they point to Jesus: