Feast of Trumpets: The Beginner’s Guide
You might call them the Jewish feasts, but I call them the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23:2), the Lord Jesus, our Messiah.
When God designed the earth and the universe and filled them with all that is in them, he gave us the moon and the sun and the stars to declare to us the signs and seasons (Genesis 1:14). The Christian church has largely determined that all of those signs and seasons are for the Jewish people only. However, consider that God created all of those indicators long before the Jewish people even existed. He created them before the beginning of the world for all mankind, before he even created Adam and Eve, the mother and father of us all.
The signs and seasons, which He created, were meant to point to times, or rather appointments, with our Lord. These appointments are the feasts–the feasts He scheduled according to moon cycles and solar seasons.
For about 1,700 years the Christian church has largely ignored them. But there is a new movement, a revival even, of believers who are beginning to research, celebrate, and discover the truth in these feasts.
Our family discovered this truth approximately seven years ago. We’ve found it to be one of the greatest launch pads of spiritual growth in our family. And now I’m going to share with you what we’ve learned.
Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to the Feast of Trumpets.
First, I should explain that the Feast of Trumpets is only one of its many names, and that is the English translation of the only Biblical name, Yom Teruah. Yom Teruah, literally translates to, “Day of Blasting,” but is most commonly called Feast of Trumpets. When searching the scripture for references, Feast of Trumpets is what it is called. However, today this feast also goes by Rosh Hashanah, Hebrew for New Year, and a few nicknames as well that I will get into later. It is one of the seven primary feasts on the Biblical calendar, and one of the commanded Feasts of the Lord. Feast of Trumpets occurs in the seventh month of the Hebrew religious calendar. However, it is the first month in Israel’s civil calendar, which is why today it is often referred to as the Jewish New Year, or in Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah.
Common greetings for this feast are l’shana tova, meaning “to a good year,” or you may also say “may your name be found in the book of life,” which I consider particularly relevant to the feast at which we await the last trump.
Why Christians Should Celebrate The Feast of Trumpets
If you look at each of the previous four feasts in the Biblical calendar, all occurring in the spring, each one has a prophetic significance attached to it that has already been fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. Passover was when Jesus was crucified for our sin, the Feast of Unleavened Bread correlates to his death, Feast of First Fruits speaks to his resurrection, and Shavuot or Pentecost, when the law was given on Mt. Sinai, is also when Holy Spirit came to write the law on our hearts. The three fall feasts, by contrast, tell of a time still to come, during Messiah’s second coming, when Jesus will return for his bride (Feast of Trumpets), the time of judgment (Yom Kippur), and the millennial reign (Feast of Tabernacles).
Feast of Trumpets correlates to our Lord’s second coming very directly. In fact, when you begin to learn about the feasts and their meanings, the whole Bible comes alive in a brand new way. First, when you understand that the Hebrew calendar and the way in which God has aligned every spiritually significant event in history with precise feast days that metaphorically and prophetically speak to those same events, you can begin to see the importance with which God views them. The Feasts themselves are foreshadowing by the greatest Author of all time, the Author of Everything, our Creator! Even the Bible talks of this great foreshadowing, Colossians 2:17 “…a shadow of things to come,” although many misinterpret this Scripture’s meaning to say that a shadow of things to come is, somehow, unimportant.
However, Feast of Trumpets foreshadowing the second coming of Messiah is anything but unimportant! Jesus, himself, told us to watch for the time and warned us that he would return “at the last trump.” The Last Trump terminology refers directly to the series of blasts of the shofar at this feast. The 100th blast traditionally has been called the last trump.
Some people get very uncomfortable when we begin to suggest that his return will be during a specific time of year, let alone a specific feast. You may even insist that “no man knows the day or the hour,” right? Yet, even this phrase is a reference to this feast. While the beginning of this feast occurs at the first sighting of the new moon from the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, this makes determining its accurate start time nearly impossible. Add to that that during the Diaspora, even during Jesus’ earthly years, the shofar blasts would alert Jews far from the Sanhedrin and all over the Middle East and Europe of its beginning, sometimes long after the start… yes, Feast of Trumpets is a feast in which no man knows the day or the hour.
Feast of Trumpets is also historically significant in that it was traditionally the coronation day for the kings of Israel, of whom Jesus is the King of Kings, and who will be crowned to reign at this very feast.
So should Christians observe it? I’d say, yes! Because whether you love it or hate the idea of it now, we will all be celebrating it in eternity! This is your dress rehearsal. It’s time to get dressed and rehearse.
So, How do I Celebrate It?
As much as I really enjoy studying and searching for the spiritual implications of Jewish tradition, no tradition ultimately matters. What matters is God’s word. That is our only authority, but I do enjoy taking elements from Jewish tradition, and seeking to understand any truth we may discover within it.
- One such tradition is the crown shaped Challah bread, which represents the crown of Messiah, and traditionally coronation day.
- The honey represents the sweetness of the law.
- The apples represent Harvest, as well as sweetness too.
- Wine (or grape juice, depending age and persuasion) represents the end of the harvest, celebration, and is intended to make one glad (Psalm 104:15).
- Candles are a staple at all of God’s appointed times. They represent His light, and also provide us physical light as the sun sets and the Sabbath begins. I also particularly enjoy the way in which they make the feast special and set apart from a normal day-to-day routine.
Two of our favorite parts of the feasts are the blowing of the Shofar and Tashlich.
- Tashlich is one of my favorite traditional elements of the feast. It is a time of repentance, of casting our sin into the sea and recalling that our sins are forgotten and cannot be picked up again. We fill our pockets with small stones and spend time in quiet reflection as we ask God’s forgiveness and choose to go His way. We transfer our sin to the stones symbolically and throw them far into the water.
- The Bible does command the blasting of the shofar, and while it is not essential for each family to do so for themselves, it happens to be an all-time favorite feature for us. If you have the means, get a shofar for your family. They come in multiple sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. The bigger the better, in my opinion, although ours is small size at this time. At a minimum, if you cannot purchase one in time, see if you can find a live feed of the blasts from Israel. You might be able to find one on youtube, or by visiting a Messianic Tabernacle near you.
However, all tradition aside, what is essential is this: a heart of humility, repentance, and readiness for our groom to come and take us away. Seeking Him, seeking to go His way, making ourselves clean and preparing for our wedding feast. That’s what matters.
Celebrate the days with a feast! Make it a party! God loves parties! He invented them! So, go all out! Make it fun, relaxing, and joyous! There’s a reason it’s the biggest feast of the year for practicing Jews.
Ultimately, however, the most important thing is that you do your best! You don’t have to get legalistic about it or follow meaningless tradition, but you should do it unto the Lord!
It’s His day, after all.
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