In the fall, the Jewish people keep three feasts or High Holy Days that God instituted in the Old Testament following the deliverance of the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. It includes the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23: 23-25; Numbers 29:1-6), the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:1-34; 23:26-32; Numbers 29:7-11); and the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot (Leviticus 23:33-44; Numbers 29: 12-38). Each appointed feast in Leviticus 23 points to Jesus and looks forward to His first and second comings!
Rosh Hashanah, or literally “head of the year,” celebrates the Jewish new year on the first two days of the month of Tishrei, also known as the Feast of Trumpets (September 18, 2020). In Jewish tradition, there are several new years (i.e., Passover in the spring – Exodus 12:2). The month of Tishrei signifies creation. Thus the calendar moves ahead on this day (Hebrew Year 5781). The Feast of Trumpets involves the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn), a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation, and sabbath-rest. It is a wake-up call of what God is about to do; preparedness and transition, a call to repentance. It is a celebration of crowning God as King.
The next ten days are the Days of Awe, focusing on introspection and repentance for sin leading up to the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur on the fifteenth day of Tishrei, embracing God through repentance (September 27, 2020). Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would offer a sin offering to the LORD for himself and the assembly of Israel. He entered the Holy of Holies to offer incense and sprinkle blood on and before the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, where the LORD met him in the cloud of incense. The sins of the people were confessed over a scapegoat and then released into the wilderness, symbolically removing Israel’s sin. There is no tabernacle or high priest in modern-day Israel, so the focus is on asking for God’s forgiveness, and fasting and praying.
When Jesus walked on the earth, He was not recognized by the Jews as their Messiah, and they had Him crucified on a cross (Acts 2:22-24). Because of this, now everyone has the opportunity of receiving Jesus as their Savior (Romans 11:11; Galatians 3:10-14; 22, 29; John 3:16). Jesus came to make atonement (reparation for a wrong or injury) and reconciliation or peace with God (2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:19-20). His sacrifice and death on the cross provided atonement for sin once for all; for all humankind and for all time (Hebrews 10:10).
His sacrifice didn’t have to be repeated daily and annually according to the Old Testament law (Hebrews 10:1-18). It wasn’t possible the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). He did not need to daily offer up sacrifices as the previous high priests, first for His sins and then for the people’s because He was sinless and offered Himself once for all (Hebrews 7:27). The blood of Jesus continues to make atonement to this day!
As our High Priest, Jesus sprinkled His blood on the real mercy seat in heaven, the throne of grace (Hebrews 9:23-26). When we receive Jesus as our Savior, God doesn’t see our sins but the blood of Jesus on the mercy seat (Hebrews 8:12). When Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Yom Kippur is a reminder of our salvation and the ultimate salvation that will also come to the Jewish people (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26).
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, He entered the most holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:11 – 15 (NKJV)
And according to the law, almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)
The final fall feast is the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, which begins on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (October 3, 2020), with seven days of sacrifice and rejoicing. It comes after harvest and vintage (Deuteronomy 16:13-15). On the eighth day, there was no work (October 10, 2020). It was a time of thanksgiving for completing the agricultural year (Feast of Ingathering – Exodus 23:16).
Sukkot means “booths,” which are temporary shelters built to commemorate life in the wilderness for the 40 years of God’s faithfulness (i.e., His provision, protection, and deliverance). The booths had three covered sides with a partially open roof made from cut branches and leaves placed to give a view of the stars and allowed the rain inside.
The priest drew water from the pool of Siloam and carried it to the temple to pour into a silver basin beside the altar. He also prayed to the LORD to provide water in the form of rain for their supply. Also, the people looked forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah reached its height during this festival.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37 – 39 (NKJV)
Sukkot looked forward to the time that God would dwell among His people (John 1:14). But many did not receive Jesus as their Messiah. We look forward to the return of Jesus and the establishment of God’s kingdom. In modern-day Israel, some will still sleep in the temporary dwelling or others eat one meal within it. Since Sukkot is a harvest celebration, foods eaten include fresh fruits and vegetables. Others celebrate it as a wedding feast under a chuppah or huppah, a wedding canopy with oil-filled lamps, and proclamation of the coming of the bridegroom!
As believers during these Days of Awe leading up to the Day of Atonement, we can ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything in our lives that needs to change or any sin we need to ask for forgiveness and repent. This time is an opportunity to prepare us for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and revival that is coming. Remember, personal repentance is essential as well as corporate repentance of the church to usher in revival. (See the previous blog at https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/07/22/are-you-ready-for-revival/)
The first step towards revival is sincere repentance, humility, and turning from sin. These are heart issues. We must allow God to reveal what is in our hearts that is not pleasing in His sight, and that is harmful to us and our relationship with Him. Repentance means changing your mind by turning from following your way and turning to God, asking Him to forgive you, and forsaking your sin. It is with a repentant heart that we change our minds about God and sin when we believe and ask Jesus Christ to forgive us and to come into our hearts as our Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
Ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light on your heart. Ask the Lord to baptize you again with the Holy Spirit and fire to consume all that is not pleasing to Him. Ask the Lord to forgive you and to cleanse you from all sin and unrighteousness and secret or presumptuous sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). We may need to forgive others as well and also allow the Lord to bring healing to the wounds in our souls. After we repent and turn from our sin, surrendering to Him is the next step. We surrender our lives to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords!
If you have never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you can experience the love of God and have peace with Him through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by praying this suggested prayer out loud right now. You can also pray in your own words. Remember, it is not words or prayer alone that will save you. Prayer is a way to reach out to the Lord and must be done in faith (completely trusting in Him alone to save you). He even gives us His faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 12:3; Hebrews 12:2). Christ will save you when you ask Him, believing that He will. Faith is not a feeling but merely believing God by taking Him at His Word, which allows you to receive His gift of salvation.
Your Word says that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I ask You to forgive me for my sins. I repent and turn from them and turn to You. I am calling on You and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for me. I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and Your healing power in my life. I now belong to You. Help me to live for You and obey You all the days of my life.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you just received Jesus as your Savior, then I welcome you into the Family of God! For more about how to grow in Christ, see: https://alexiscarucci.com/welcome-to-gods-family/
If anyone that has received Jesus as your Savior needs deliverance (i.e., from repeated cycles of failure and addictions, anger, infirmity, bitterness, pride, etc. or from any tormenting, evil, or unclean spirits), you can pray this prayer right now if you would like to be set free. This prayer comes from the ministry of Dr. Derek Prince.
Lord Jesus Christ,
I believe You died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. You redeemed me by your blood, and I belong to You, and I want to live for You. I confess all my sins – known and unknown – I’m sorry for them all. I renounce them all. I forgive all others as I want You to forgive me. Forgive me now and cleanse me with Your blood. I thank You for the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses me now from all sin. And I come to You now as my deliverer. You know my special needs – the thing that binds, that torments, that defiles, that evil spirit, that unclean spirit – I claim the promise of your Word, “Whoever that calls on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” I call upon You now. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, deliver me and set me free. Satan, I renounce you and all your works. I loose myself from you in the name of Jesus, and I command you to leave me right now, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Next week we will look at how God speaks prophetically from the calendar for the New Hebrew Year 5781 which began on Rosh Hashanah, September 18, 2020.