Thursday, September 21, 2017

When the Last Trumpet Sounds


My mama was very skeptical about what she called "thinkology." What I'm about to write might border on that dreaded field of study, so don't take this as a prediction of any kind. (This is also not a complete study on the topic. I'm hitting the high points.) 

With that said...

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Feast of Trumpets, is an annual feast that runs from Sept 21 through Sept 22 this year. The trumpet (or Shofar, a trumpet made of ram's horn or kudu horn) is blown to call Israel to gather for a holy convocation. Traditionally, the shofar is blown a total of 100 times during the feast day. 

This Feast of Trumpets is held on the 1st day of the 7th month of the Jewish calendar. (Leviticus 23:23-25) It's a day of rest during which the people are to assemble together, rest, and, in a sense, prepare themselves for the day of atonement by considering the sin for which sacrifice needs to be made. 

The Day of Atonement (or Yom Kippur) comes ten days later (Leviticus 16:30, 23:27-33). It's a holy convocation intended to be a time for humbling oneself before God, presenting sin offerings by fire, and complete rest. Leviticus lists severe consequences for failing to honor the Day of Atonement. 

According to Leviticus 16:30, the day of atonement is "made...to cleanse you..from all your sins..." It's a day for corporate repentance and sacrifice. Repentance is something we, in the church, have far too little of these days.

Hold all this information in your mind, and turn with me to 1 Corinthians 15.

"Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 nasb

There is a school of thought that suggests this verse refers to the Rapture of Believers when Jesus returns. Because Paul wrote it would occur "at the last trumpet," the thinking is that the rapture might occur on Rosh Hashanah  during the last trumpet blast of the day.

Will Jesus call us home on Feast of Trumpets? No one knows, but I always think about that possibility on this annual feast day. 

If, and that's a big if, the trumpet-rapture school of thought is correct, this could be the day we meet our Savior face to face. If so, today, of all days, should be the one we spend considering and repenting of our sin. 

Whether Jesus comes for us today or a thousand years from now, His sacrifice made the atonement for our sin. Ten days from now, there will be no need to make a new sacrifice, because His body, broken for us, was enough. His blood spilled out for us was sufficient.

If, and it is true, that His sacrifice has paid our sin debt, we should live as those who have been redeemed. Grateful. Determined to live as freedmen. Careful to avoid the sin that required such a great cost.

May today be a time of contemplation of our lives, the choices we made, the sin in which we indulge. May it be a time of repentance and change. May it be a day for hope and rejoicing because of our coming King. 

"And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:27-28 nasb
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