Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The New Moon

In the old testament, there were animal sacrifices pointing to the great substitutionary sacrifice of the coming Messiah. Perhaps we only think of sin offerings or offerings on holidays like the Passover but something happened every week and every new moon.

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD." - Isaiah 66:23 KJV

"Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day." - Psalm 81:3 KJV

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened." - Ezekiel 46:1 KJV

The new moon happens directly after the stage when the moon gives no light because the Earth is blocking the sun's light from reaching the moon then a small sliver of light shines from the moon. This moon that is shining again even just a little is considered 'new.'

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" - Colossians 2:16 KJV

Paul wrote this to believers because they had a new life in Christ. No more temple sacrifice was needed to cover sin. Personal sin had been blotted out by the blood of the lamb.

Things get dark in our lives. It comes in cycles but that is no surprise. Life is like that but are we looking for that sliver of light? Are we prepared to worship?

Rosh Hashanah is the Hebrew new year. Many cultures today wait until midnight to celebrate their new year but in Israel it wasn't a new year until that first new moon was sighted. The moon would disappear and when the people saw the first sliver of moonlight shining the trumpet would sound and everyone would welcome a new year.

"And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." - Matthew 24:31-37 ESV

This passage is no mystery. Jesus is talking about a global new year that is coming soon to a theater near you. No man knows exactly when the new year starts. It isn't a time set on a clock. It is a confirmed sighting of a sliver of moonlight after a season of seeming absence.

Will Jesus return this Rosh Hashanah or on Rosh Hashanah? Our God is a God with great sense of humor. He could. He could come at any moment. New testament believers were freed from a lunar system of worship but God has kept Israel in the picture against amazing odds. Rosh Hashanah is still celebrated every year all over the globe and it is a reminder to us.

Every month when it gets darkest God keeps giving the world a sliver of hope that gets brighter and brighter all over again. One day a trumpet will sound and we will be gathered for a great celebration.


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