Celebrating the return of the King
It starts with the sound
of the trumpet...
#1 Yom Teruah - The Feast of Trumpets
If you're in Israel you might hear this festival by the name of Rosh Hashanah which means the "Head of the year" as according to rabbinic tradition they see it as the New Year, many believe that started in the babylonian exile and not found in scripture as Exodus 12 clearly states that the new year would be the first month of Passover in the spring.
The first mention of the feast of trumpets in Leviticus 23:24 where God calls for a memorial day to blast the shofar or horn.
So you might ask Why? Well there's quite a few layers past and future that we look to remember and anticipate. One of the biggest events this feast points to is the coming of God to meet Israel opon Mount Sinai. The Trumpet blast from heaven sounded louder and louder as God came with earthquakes, fire, and thunder from heaven as the consuming fire of His presence rested upon the mountain. What an amazing event, God calling to all Israel as they trembled in thier tents below.
But as we remember the arrival of God to visit His people in the desert, we don't just look backwards, but as followers of Yeshua (Jesus) we blow the Shofar in anticipation of the absolute fulfillment when our Messiah returns to Jerusalem coming on the clouds. In that day Yeshua will vanquish all Israels enemies that have surrounded Jerusalem in one stroke. In that day every knee shall bow, and the repentance and awakening spoke of by the Prophet Zechariah. They shall see His hands and feet and mourn bitterly in repentance.
only God can give.
#1 Yom Kippur - The day of atonement
You don't say Happy Holidays on Yom Kippur, in the place of the typical Chag Semach is a interesting greeting "May you be sealed for good in the Book of Life" What a sobering greeting! On this day according to Rabbinic tradition God Judges His people, and as the feast of trumpets kicks off this time of repentance, Yom Kippur is the day the verdict is handed out. Compare this with the account of Yeshua's return in Revelation 19 and the thrones setup to judge the nations in Revelation 20. It's amazing to see that these festivals mirror the pattern and foreshadow the return and Judgement of Yeshua.
The Parallels go deeper. We see that on the day of atonement the High priest alone did the work, sacrificing the offering, and alone he went into the Holy of holies and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. Almost the entire book of Hebrews is dedicated to unpacking this mystery of Yeshua our High Priest, greater than Aaron, and greater than Melchizedek. Our Messiah's offering is once and for all in Him, fulfilled the complete bill of Atonement. Yom Kippur is a holiday we look at Yeshua's work in Past Present and Future tense. As we look back at what He did on the Cross we also look at His work as High Priest for us today. Hebrews 7:25 says "He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Yeshua is interceding for us even today! And as we look to the future we see our day standing before the Judgement seat where our Faith in His work of Atonement will cover our guilt and shame on judgement day.
The wedding feast of the Lamb.
#3 Sukkot - The Feast of Tabernacles
As we have already seen leading up to Sukkot, or in most English translations known as the Feast of Tabernacles, this trio of fall feasts is a picture of what is to come when Yeshua Messiah returns. We’ve seen the trumpet sound heralding his return at Yom Teruah. We’ve seen everyone mourn in repentance, and knee bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua is LORD at Yom Kippur and we see God judge and separate the “sheep from the goats”. And now we are invited to celebrate God’s completed work and story with joy in 8 days of feasting in Sukkot. Wow! What an invitation! We have the blessed opportunity to have a taste of what eternity will be like as we celebrate Sukkot.
And then once all His will is accomplished and his enemies are defeated there is a call for all peoples to come up to Jerusalem and make the pilgrimage to celebrate Sukkot. Read Zechariah 14: 16-19
"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
Why is this feast different from all the rest that even after Yeshua’s return we will be required to celebrate it lest the nations suffer drought! Spoiler alert!!! Because Sukkot represents the completed story and final celebration. God sent his son to die on the cross for our sins so that anyone who believed in him would have everlasting life! (John 3:16). His Son, Yeshua already came and died and rose again conquering sin and the grave, Hallelujah! That is what we celebrate at Passover. But what is still to come? Our everlasting life after this life where we get to dwell in the beauty of God’s Holy Perfection and fellowship.
So this festival of Sukkot is a time of great rejoicing, but also a festival to recall to your children and to remember yourself the Great acts of the Lord. Take a look at Nehemiah 8, the Exiles from Babylon had come back to the land and upon hearing the Torah and experiencing a national repentance on Yom Teruah, they discovered Sukkot again! Look at the theme of that sukkot, the priests continued to explain the torah and to read the scriptures to the people. Sukkot is a time of rejoicing and specifically rejoicing in God's work in our life and our forefathers. God calls us away from our TVs and our homes, to come fellowship with Him under the stars.