Rosh Hashanah – Yom Teruah – A New Year!
Yom Teruah, as it is called in the Tenakh (Old Testament), means the Feast of Blowing (of Trumpets). In New Testament times it is known as the Feast of Trumpets. The phrase "Rosh Hashanah" actually means "head of the year." As it is the beginning of the Hebrew Civil New Year. Rosh Hashanah in 2010 was the start of 5771 on the Hebrew calendar.
The New Year is a great chance for us to become a new person. In this article I would like to bring out three areas where we can become "a new you" in the new year through the New Covenant.
1. A New Relationship
The prophet Jeremiah prophesied in chapter 31 verses 31 through 34 that God would make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah. It would not be like the first covenant He made though, this time He would put His law in their minds and write it on their hearts. He would be their God and all people would know Him.
In Luke 22:20 Jesus sealed this new covenant. On Jesus' last passover night, after supper he took the cup and said "This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you". As we find out in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament), the New Covenant was made for all people, not just for the Jews or Israelites.
In fact the new covenant will unite all people: Israelite, Jew and Gentile and it is based upon God's forgiveness. God tells us "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Jer. 31:34).
2. A New Heart and Spirit
As a part of the New Covenant God promises to give us a new heart and spirit. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezek. 36:26-27).
Let's start the New Year with forgiveness and love. God puts His spirit in us and makes us part of His family. The apostle Paul tells us that "no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him" (1 Thes. 4:6). We need to trust in God to bear fruit. We need to take advantage of this new heart and spirit that God has given to us.
3. A New Testimony
The New Covenant will lead to a new testimony from us. Similar to the praise given by the great King David in Psalm 69:30 where he said "I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving." Or as Isaiah declared "Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth" (Isa. 42:10).
What has God done for us? The circumstances in our lives life may not seem that great for the present but we need to realize that they have been hand picked by God so that we can have victory. What does God want to do for us? "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Rom. 6:4). He wants to give us a new life!
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