There was a story about a man who had inherited a substantial amount of money. The problem was that he did not know it, and when he was finally found and told, he would not believe it.
Rosh Hashana begins tonight. We prepare to share the traditional blessing with one another: May your name be inscribed for a good year. We share these words between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur because of the belief that our destinies will be set on Rosh Hashana, based on the prior year’s actions. We are taught that during the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we can change that destiny, through good works, repentance, giving and prayer.
Of course this idea is found nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. Nowhere in Torah is such a thought suggested. It is mere tradition. However, we can be sure that our names are written in God’s Book of Life forever, without the fear of it ever being removed. The only question is, will you be like the inheritor who refused to believe a great inheritance was his for the taking or will you open your heart to the possibility that God has something great for you? That all your sins can be forgiven? That you can seal your destiny for eternity?
No Temple, No Sacrifice, No Forgiveness
For centuries endless sacrifices were made in the Jewish Temple. However in 70 CE the Temple was destroyed and there have been no sacrifices for sin ever since. What’s more, the Talmud (Tractate Yoma 39b) says that the last 40 years, from 30 CE to 70 CE, the Yom Kippur sacrifices were rejected by God Almighty. So, what happened 40 years before the Temple’s demise, in 30 CE, that caused God to reject the sacrifices every single year afterwards?
The Lamb of God
That was the year that Yeshua (Jesus) was sacrificed for the sins of Israel and the world. I know you think of Jesus as a non-Jewish concept, but all of His original followers were Jewish. It wasn’t until many years after His death (and resurrection), that non-Jews even began to believe in Him—and initially many these non-Jews were told they would have to become Jewish in order to believe in Him. After all, He was the Jewish Messiah (not the Roman or Greek Messiah) and He came to Israel (not Poland or France!). In the end, the Gentile believers were told they did not have to become Jewish—but it never entered the minds of the Jewish believers that they were anything but Jewish. (Acts 21:20 shows tens of thousands of Jewish Yeshua-followers in Jerusalem alone.)
An Amazing Prediction
Isaiah, the Jewish prophet, predicted Yeshua’s death, 700 years before He came, as the ultimate sacrifice. Isaiah prophesied that a man would come from Israel to Israel. He would be rejected by HIs brothers, but He would not defend Himself. He would die as a sacrifice for sin and yet see life again. Don’t believe me?Read the passage in the Hebrew Scriptures for yourself!
The point is that we no longer have to wonder if we will be inscribed in God’s book. The book of Hebrews says Yeshua was the once for all time and all sin sacrifice that pleased Adonai. He died in our place. Through His sacrifice we can have eternal life.
But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Messiah was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:26-28)
Yes, He will appear a second time to bring salvation and usher in the Messianic Age, but He came first to deal with our sin. As a friend of mine once said, He had to first bring peace to our hearts, before He could bring peace to the world.
“How Can I Know God?”
Many years ago as a young adult I attended a lecture at the Jewish Community Center. I sat and listened, as the famed Rabbi Immanuel Shochet (who sadly passed away a few years ago) sought to discredit Messianic Jews. He went on for some time. At the end, a young Jewish girl with black clothing and purple hair asked him a question in front of the hundreds assembled. How can I know God?
The rabbi, who had a plethora of information to damage the reputation of Messianic Judaism, did not know how to answer her. He could tell what not to believe, but he could not introduce her to a living relationship with her Creator. In the end, he simply told her to study the holy books. Her expression made it clear that she did not get the answer for which she had hoped.
Do YOU Want to Know God?
Through faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, you can truly know God—not just know about Him. And when I saw know, I mean have a living, active relationship with God Almighty. It’s awesome! And you can know Him right now! When you ask Him to forgive your sins He will, because Yeshua already suffered for your transgressions. And that is why the Yom Kippur sacrifices (according to the Talmud! According to the Rabbis!) were rejected every year after the death of Yeshua—because they were no longer needed. The event that took place in 30 CE that caused God to stop accepting the Yom Kippur sacrifices was the death and res