Recently I have begun to explore the Jewish holidays. I am actually a little surprised that I know so little about these festivals.
As a Christian:
- I read the Jewish scriptures
- I follow a Jewish Messiah
- A Jewish Messiah who would have observed all the festivals
- The New Testament was written by Jews
And yet I know almost nothing of the holidays that are mentioned in the scripture. I have even been to Bible school, studied at seminary. Yet even in these places little was ever mentioned about the Jewish festivals.
So I am beginning to ask how much am I not seeing in the Bible because I do not have a grasp of the Jewish festivals.
Now I should note I do not believe that as a Christian I am obligated to follow the festivals (just like I do not believe we need to strictly observe the Sabbath). But on the other side it is not wrong to follow them. So why not? Or at least become aware of them.
Yom Kippur (which started Sept 25 in the evening) is the most holy day. The major themes are repentance and atonement. The people are called to repent for the wrongs that they have done to God and to others. Actually they are to spend the days leading up to Yom Kippur getting things right with God and the people around them. This day is then spent in prayer and fasting.
Jesus made atonement for our sins. Out of being forgiven by God we are to repent and forgive others.
Today would a good day to confess, make things right with others, and remember the wonder of God's mercy and grace found in the cross.