God prophetically pictured the ministry of Jesus Christ in the Festivals (found in Lev. 23) that the Israelites were to celebrate yearly. The Passover foreshadowed our redemption in Christ, our Passover Lamb. The festival (or feast) of Unleavened Bread pictures Christ’s uncorrupted body, the Church. The festival of Firstfruits pictured the resurrection of Christ. Up until now, the festivals have pictured finished works of Christ. The Festival of Trumpets pictures a future work of Christ.
The trumpet itself is a Shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s horn. Trumpets were used to sound an alarm, for mourning, and to gather together as a group. The festival was celebrated by a day of rest and a gathering together. Over time the Jews began reading scriptures involving ram’s horns and also the blowing of a shofar. Creation, God’s judgment, the resurrection, and the sacrifice of the ram in place of Isaac are some of the themes that are emphasized. In modern times the festival is considered the Jewish New Year’s day (Rosh Hashanah).
In the days of Nehemiah, when Jerusalem was rebuilt, on the first day of the Festival of Trumpets the Law was read to the people. The people were weeping as they heard and understood God’s word. But the feast was to be joyful and we read “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” (Nehemiah 8:10, ESV)
Paul alluded to the Festival of Trumpets when he wrote, “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. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53, ESV)
The Festival of Trumpets pictures the resurrection of believers to eternal life: A gathering together to be with Christ. Isn’t the resurrection a thought that brings joy?
One day Christians will be gathered together to be with Christ for eternity! The fact of the coming resurrection should bring joy to the life of the Christian!
Further reading: Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1; Ezra 3:1-3; Neh. 8:1-12; 1Thes. 4:16-18.
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.