Have you ever forgotten your Wedding Anniversary?
How’d that work out for you? :)
Some things are just too precious to forget, and a wedding anniversary might be fairly high up on that list. Just ask any husband who has forgotten one. But some anniversaries are even more significant than others. For example, we mark 25 years with the title “Silver Anniversary” and a 50th with “Golden”. These are particularly significant milestones that we keep watch for.
Jesus promised that He would return for His Bride (John 14:1-4), which is to say for all those who have responded in faith to Him and His gracious, reconciling life, death and resurrection for us. He also told us we are to watch expectantly for His imminent return. “… Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matt 24:42). “What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'" (Mark 13:37). Whilst every day is a day to “watch”, some days present more significant milestones than others. Like a “Golden Anniversary”, they should heighten our awareness of His promised return.
2017 is particularly full of some days and seasons where our “watching” should be roused to a keen focus. Consider the following:
May 14th: Commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the birth of the Jewish Nation State of Israel
May 15th: Commences the 70th year of the Nation of Israel being established back in her land. The shared symmetry of Daniel’s 70 weeks for the people of Israel is not unnoticed. 69 weeks + 1 week (The Great Tribulation)
June 4th: Pentecost- Commemorates the 1984th year of the birth of The Church. As a Jewish feast, the wave offering of the two leavened loaves of bread typifies Jew and Gentile incorporated into the one new man.
June 5th thru 10th: Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War in Israel and the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem within Israel and under Israeli control.
September 20th: Rosh Hashanah- Jewish New Year
September 21st: Feast of Trumpets. Of the seven Jewish Feasts, four have found fulfilment in Jesus and the Church already; Passover/Crucifixion; Unleavened Bread/ Burial; First fruits/ Resurrection; Pentecost/ Holy Spirit given to The Church. The next feast on the Jewish calendar is the Feast of Trumpets which has yet to be fulfilled as it corresponds in type to the next event in the life of the Church, namely The Rapture.
September 30th: Yom Kippur- The Jewish Day of Atonement. This feast has yet to be fulfilled and corresponds to the Nation State of Israel and her repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ- Yeshua Hamashiach as their Messiah.
October 1st: Year of Jubilee. Commemorated every 50 years, Jubilee was to be a year of rest for the land and for people and property to be reunited to their original God given ownership, proportion and boundaries. This is not currently being observed in Israel because it can only be so when all Twelve Tribes are back in the Land and living in the specific part of the Land allocated to them. Nevertheless, it does coincide with 50 years since Jerusalem was reunited.
October 5th: Feast of Tabernacles. This feast will be fulfilled with the establishment of the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem.
October 31st: Commemorates the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther nailing his “95 Theses” to the gate of the castle church in Wittenberg.
November 2nd: Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of The Balfour Declaration. In 1917 the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, wrote in The Balfour Declaration that “His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…” This favouring the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people was furthered when the British were given mandate over Palestine at the end of WWI when The League of Nations codified The British Mandate in 1922. Following the end of WWII, on the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel. The General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State was irrevocable. Thus, on May 14, 1948 the independent Nation State of Israel came into existence under David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, Israel as a nation was back and in her land.
As we can see, 2017 is certainly not lacking in significant milestones. Let us mark them on our calendars and look forward to being more watchful and grateful than ever as we “wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).