Teshuvah, Rosh HaShannah and Repentance

The Definition of True Repentance

Sincere regret/remorse leading to genuine, heart-felt grief for sins against God, and a turning around, running the opposite direction from sin ... which is toward our Holy God.

Repentance is accompanied with humility that produces a heart hungry to change, running away from wrong doing and becoming more thirsty to know Him.

Repentance is not only feeling regret and honest sorrow for past wrongs; it involves strong commitment to our holy God...asking forgiveness for sins committed and also ready to change our wrong ways and follow Him with all of our hearts.

Repentance produces great desire to let the Lord take over all of your life and change you for His glory.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8.9)

“And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

Season of Teshuvah (40 days)

Teshuvah means “repentance” as well as “return”. It is a time of deep, honest examination about one’s behavior. Repentance should be prayerfully done all year, however, Teshuvah is a special God-time-of-the-year to repent and desire to “be holy as He is holy.” ( 1 Peter1:16) It is His timing! The Jewish month of Elul, which is 29 days long, kicks off Teshuvah and includes Rosh HaShannah, The Ten Days of Awe, and Yom Kippur. Teshuvah, Rosh HaShannah, The Ten Days of Awe, and Yom Kippur all add up to 40 days of repentance prayers. Thank you, Lord, for this special time to repent….such a wonderful gift from You!

Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

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Rosh HaShannah

Rosh HaShannah means “head of the year”. In Numbers 29:1 it is referred to as “Yom Teruah or Day of the Shofar.”

Rosh HaShannah is celebrated one day before the Ten Days of Awe in which each person seeks forgiveness for the sins committed during the past year. Rosh HaShannah is considered to be a “wake up” call from the Lord….a solemn day leading into the Ten Days of Awe”.

“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.” (11 Chronicles 7:14)

Ten Days of Awe/Yom Kippur

This is a most holy time between you and God. It is a time of great introspection and seeking His face: repenting and forgiving. Yom Kippur, the 40th day, and the most solemn of all of these Ten Days of Awe, is a day of prayer as well as fasting.

Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.”

We know atonement is in the blood of Jesus. Today, there are no more animal sacrifices since the Temple was destroyed…. so the Jews rely on repentance and forgiveness for their names to be written in the Book of Life. We know our hope is in Jesus, the Messiah, who gave His blood for us and calls us to repent and “only believe.”

“And this is eternal life, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

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