If you know me then you know I am pretty heavily influenced (as I think followers of Jesus should be) by the textual pictures in the Hebrew Bible. After all this is the Bible Jesus taught from when he walked the planet. The Hebrew language is picturesque and God is even more so. He is always speaking in word pictures. Sometimes these pictures are prophetic.
If God is speaking in prophetic pictures when He commands His people to observe 7 feasts or holidays, annually, in very specific ways (Leviticus 23), then we can observe some things as Christians:
There are 4 spring feasts commanded in the Torah. In my view all have messianic, prophetic fulfillments.
- Passover – Christ crucified
- Unleavened bread – Christ buried
- First Fruits – Christ raised from the dead
- Shavuot (Pentecost) – Giving of the Holy Spirit
Give me some leeway to think aloud related to eschatology. If we are following the Feasts of the LORD as prophetic pictures, then we can expect the 3 fall feasts also have a prophetic, messianic fulfillment. Here’s my thought:
- Rosh Hashanah – (Festival of Trumpets) – 2nd Coming of Christ
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – Final Judgment
- Sukkot (Festival of booths/tabernacles) – New Jerusalem
Rosh Hashanah is “the head of the year.” The beginning of the Jewish new year. The holiday has other names. “The Day of Blowing” and “The Day of Remembrance by Blowing” all pointing to the significance of the trumpet blast. Biblically it is picturesque of a grand coronation of the King signified by the blowing of the shofar. It is also a call to repentance observed during the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
Consider these passages among others:
Joel 2:1 “Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the LORD himself will descend from heaven with the cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air, and so we will always be with the LORD. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
If we are following the pictures, Rosh Hashanah is the next feast to be prophetically fulfilled. The blowing of trumpets in Jerusalem. The coronation of the King. The people of God entering into repentance in anticipation of judgement and atonement. The pictures line up for me.
I can’t say I am 100% certain of this. Only the Father knows the day, the hour, the year, according to the Bible. Western biblical scholars will shred this theory like cheese, well, because they want systematic, theological bullet points. I’m just looking at the pictures.
This is why I pay attention to things leading up to Rosh Hashanah. This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at dusk, September 18, 2020. On the Sabbath. (Luke 6:5)