Returning To Eden
It’s the time of year when we can celebrate a new year, according to the Hebrew Calendar. I have written previously on Rosh Hashanah as the ‘Head of the Year.’ It is a day of shouting and blowing the shofar. For more on this Holy Holiday, see Leviticus 23:23-25.
Each year many people associate the coming year with prophetic predictions. Often these are things that God is already doing or plans to do anyway, but we put a greater emphasis on them. But the Bible lists specific things associated with this special day. Further, Jewish scholars and rabbis associate many other celebratory activities besides blowing the shofar.
A New Year, A Clean Slate
We all associate a new year with such terms as turning a new leaf, a clean slate, or a fresh start. While that is true, we must understand that it is not just changing a date on a calendar. The Lord commanded this to be observed in the seventh month. Jews technically have two New Year’s, with Passover being the other one.
Passover occurs in the Spring and marks the occasion when the Israelites left Egypt and bondage under Pharaoh. 1 Nisan marks the beginning of the year and is considered the first month.
But, the civil and agricultural calendar begins on the first of Tishrei with Rosh Hashanah. The seven-year sabbatical calendar and the fifty-year Jubilee are marked by this date.
The Hebrew calendar marks creation as having occurred on this day, so it is a day of great joy and celebration. This was when God brought order from chaos and destruction, known by the Hebrew term ‘Tovu Vavohu.’ Thus, the sounding of the shofar reminds God that He alone is the creator and overcame the Tovu Vavohu by His spoken Word and, later, by the Holy Spirit hovering over the earth.
Creation marked the beginning of all things and is like ‘a clean slate.’ Imagine an artist starting to work with a black canvas. That sounds odd, but that is precisely what God did. Likewise, terms like null and void, darkness, and chaos describe the universe before He began to create.
That is how a New Year is, a blank canvas, but we usually see it as a clean white canvas. But, it may not be. So, just saying I’m getting a clean slate is never enough. God is the creator, and we partner with Him through the Holy Spirit. Repentance and receiving forgiveness are part of the package. Consider that the things of yesterday are placed in a black hole and forgotten. Now, that’s a clean slate.
Crowning The King
Since creation is associated with Rosh Hashanah and God is the ruler, it is only fitting that it is also a time for a coronation. Orthodox Jews see this day as symbolic of crowning God as king of the universe. But, as Christians, we know there is another king, Jesus Christ. Eventually, God, the Father, and Son will rule as co-regents over everything. Yes, they are ruling together now, but the enemy is still on the loose, and Jesus has not yet returned.
Since Jesus died and arose again at Passover and the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, many see that the next spiritual holy day to be spiritually fulfilled is Rosh Hashanah. So, it is believed that Jesus will return at or near this celebration. Then He will establish His kingdom on the earth for 1,000 years, and we will rule and reign with Him.
He will rule from the city of Jerusalem, and the nations will go back and forth worshipping Him. Then, as King, Jesus will be crowned. While we celebrate His victory over death, hell, the grave, and His rulership from heaven, we look to the future where He will physically rule on the earth.
The shofar reminds us that a king is coming, and the trumpet will sound, preparing His way. When the kings of Judah and Israel were crowned, it was a grand celebration with the blowing of the shofar and a feast. Jesus will marry His bride, the church following His coronation, and there will be a long-awaited feast. Is this not a reason to celebrate?
Returning To Eden
I mentioned that Rosh Hashanah is associated with creation and that man had lost his position in the paradise called Eden. Also, chaos and disorder again emerged on the scene, and man and everything on the earth fell under the control of the devil, fallen angels, and men who served them.
There were several rebellions on the earth, and in each one, humankind made poor choices that affected creation as a whole. Thus creation seemed to fall back into Tovu Vavohu. Finally, however, God planned to bring everything back into order and sent His unique Son, Jesus, to bring complete restoration.
He told us that He would make all things new. He took care of all the rebellions and made it possible for us to enjoy fellowship with the Father once again. Everything that He did is cause for celebration as the restoration of all things will soon be complete. This will be complete in the age to come.
Thus, Jesus’ works are a reversal of the curse, the fall, the rebellion, and everything that was not the result of His creation. Therefore, we should sound the shofar and rejoice and celebrate that we have a king who is restoring everything in heaven and earth and live the victorious kingdom life now.
Rosh Hashanah Everday?
While Rosh Hashanah may be celebrated once a year, Christians should see it as an opportunity to celebrate and rejoice every day. We are thankful that we are no longer outcasts with no hope of returning to the paradise God intended for us to live in eternally.
What I have described here is really the gospel. You may have never heard it that way or thought of it that way, but it is true. God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, are always restoring. When people are healed or miracles happen, it is a sign that God is still bringing everything back into the created order He intended. But, if you don’t know Jesus, you will never enjoy that and experience this restoration.
Don’t miss the future coronation of Jesus and the restoration of all things!