This is the first day of the month of Elul in the biblical calendar. This month precedes the fall feasts that take place in the month of Tishri.
Why is this an important time for Christians that follow Jesus? Upon studying the Word of God, I believe that the Feasts of the Lord, as outlined in the Old Testament, are important for us to examine and understand as they point to Christ in every way. The Spring feasts pointed to the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, on His first visit to earth.
Passover was when He was sacrificed for our sin as the Lamb of God. His sacrifice set us free from the law of sin and death. This means that our sins can be forgiven, we can come into relationship with God (because God is holy, our sins caused an inability to come to His throne and be forgiven) and come boldly before Him with prayers and supplications and expect answers.
Unleavened bread symbolizes that Jesus was sinless and proves His actions were done out of love for our benefit. He was a spotless and blameless sacrifice made by God on our behalf so that God could partner with us to do the good deeds that we were created for--deeds to increase God’s kingdom here on earth i.e. the Great commission found in Matthew 28.
First fruits is the celebration of His resurrection from the dead--His victory over death. He is the first-fruits of the risen and someday we will all Passover from this life into a heavenly body and heavenly address where we will worship God forever.
The next celebration is Pentecost. We celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit at Mount Sinai to the elders and then again in Acts to all believers. We receive the Holy Spirit that guides, counsels us, convicts and leads us to repentance so that we can become a part of the family of God and spend eternity with God in heaven.The Holy Spirit gives us the guidance and power to be sanctified and move toward a sinless life that is pleasing to God, ushers the Kingdom on earth to grow and readies us for Heaven. We become the physical temple of Christ who lives within us (He is the word of God and as we memorize and meditate on the scriptures we open our hearts to more of His presence.)
This is where Elul fits in...we have gone through the spring and summer and we are headed into the fall feasts. Elul is the month preceding the Feast of Trumpets. It is a time of deep reflection and preparation. It is a time to study what the Word of God says about love and relationships. It is a time to get right with God by figuring out the areas we could improve in--the areas where we are the weakest and we confess and repent. We ask for His help to improve and get ready to meet Him in heaven face-to-face. And next we examine our relationships with others. We ask God to convict us on things we have done to sabotage or damage our relationships and the wisdom to know and do the right thing. We go to God and others and ask for forgiveness and have a plan to correct our mistakes. Each day for a month we will intently ask and listen and repent.
It is a sacred, set apart time to do deep soul searching and make corrections for a better year (much like our New Year resolutions but with the emphasis on relationships). Take a few minutes or much more each day and BE STILL...ask and LISTEN for the Spirit to bring to mind anything that needs correction. And then ask God to teach you how to correct it. All transformation begins with a new perspective--a Godly perspective that changes the way we look at situations--a transformed mind. Be intentional. Use this time wisely. Take it seriously...your happiness and peace depends on it.