Today is Rosh Hashanah. It is the “Head of the Year,” the first day of the Jewish year.
“The festival of Rosh Hashanah—the name means “Head of the Year”—is observed for two days beginning on 1 Tishrei, the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world.
Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die . . . who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” But this is also the day we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe is dependent upon the renewal of the divine desire for a world when we accept G‑d’s kingship each year on Rosh Hashanah.
“The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. ”
While on a ministry assignment in Israel, I learned that during these days of repentance, people would seek out those they’d offended and ask forgiveness. It is a way to begin a new year with a clean slate, so to speak. It is also a time of introspection. In ten days these days of repentance culminate with Yom Kippur when sins are set aside, set on a scapegoat, and sent away. This is repeated annually.
And when he has made an end of atoning for The Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.
Leviticus 16:20-22 RSV
For those of us who have accepted Y’shuaJesus as Messiah, our sins have been set aside once and forevermore. Y’shuaJesus is the scapegoat that took our sins away. Wayne Blank, of Keyway.ca wrote: “The blood of the sacrificed goat was taken by the high priest Aaron and sprinkled on the atonement cover, or mercy seat, of The Ark Of The Covenant inside The Most Holy Place of The Tabernacle In The Wilderness once per year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:15-17). This depicts the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our “High Priest” (Hebrews 8:1) entering The Throne Room of God to make atonement for humanity once for all time (Hebrews 9:23-28).”
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .