We have entered a special and sacred time of the year. Rosh Hashana (which, in Hebrew, means “head of the year) begins a New Year on the Jewish Calendar and is observed from the evening of Wednesday, September 20 and ends on the evening of Friday, September 22.
Most importantly, this is the most sacred time of the year on God’s Divine Calendar because Rosh Hashana begins a 10-day period called the High Holy Days. It is also called the “Days of Awe” and “Days of Repentance.” The 10 days end on Yom Kippur, which is Hebrew for “Day of Atonement.”
Yom Kippur (which also means, “covering for sin”) is traditionally observed with a period of intense prayer and asking God and others for forgiveness. This year, Yom Kippur begins on the evening of Friday, September 29 and ends in the evening of Saturday, September 30.
God ordained Yom Kippur as a sacred day for a nation, as well as individuals, to deal with their sin (Leviticus 16:29-30). In the Old Testament, Israel’s High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber of the Temple in Jerusalem, to present a sacrifice and ask God to forgive the sins of the people. The annual ritual served as a reminder that perfect atonement had not yet been made.
Believers in Christ are not under the Old Testament Law because Jesus Christ became the perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins. Although Jesus Christ has fulfilled God’s Law, Christians can still use this 10-day period to reflect on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross and draw closer to Him.
To do this, we can ask the Holy Spirit to shine His Divine light on our hearts and help us to examine ourselves. We can repent for anything that the Holy Spirit shows us we have done that displeases and dishonors God, and ask God for forgiveness. We may also use this time to repent on behalf of the sins of our nation and ask God to forgive us for our corporate sin. (Click HERE to read “USA in Crisis!” blog post.)
The Bible tells us that God has ordained festivals and holidays for His people to observe, and placed it on His Divine Calendar. So, let us use this time to seek the Lord and ask Him for His directions for our lives in this New Year.