Martin and Norma Sarvis, a couple associated with the Global Spheres Network, wrote a bit about this is a recent newsletter. They did such an excellent job of explaining this, that here is the re post:
The Torah usually refers to the "direction and teaching" chronicled by Moses in the first five books of the Bible, sometimes referred to as the "Law of Moses." Although "law" can be a legitimate translation for the word torah, certain perspectives and teachings on "The Law" have resulted in error both amongst Jews and Christians. There is error in believing that an attempt to keep all of the directives in The Torah will make a person righteous and atone for his sin. The Torah itself teaches that God Himself must provide atonement for His people (Deuteronomy 32:43). Rather than focusing on following rules, His people are to "choose life" in loving and obeying and clinging to Him (Deut. 30:19-20). By faith Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
The Psalms are full of references to “Torah”: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly but his delight is in the torah of YHVH-the LORD" (Psalm 1:1-2); "The torah of YHVH is perfect, converting the soul" (Psalm 13:7); "The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The torah of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide" (Psalm 37:30-31). In Psalm 119 alone, the LORD's torah is mentioned at least 25 times!
Yet for many Christians, "The Law" or "The Torah" have become negative expressions because of instruction which seems to imply that because of the work of Messiah, the teachings within the Torah do not even pertain to us anymore. This also contains error. Many of the types and ceremonies and rituals and sacrifices necessary for Israel to walk in fellowship with her God were indeed fulfilled and superseded by the work of Yeshua the Messiah. But the directions and teachings of the Law of Moses regarding the nature of God and of Humankind, of sin, of God's desire to dwell with us, of His promises to the Fathers, remain as relevant today in knowing the Father and His Son as they ever were. The Torah is filled with our Lord Yeshua (Jesus). It is an essential part of the Scriptures "which testify of Him" (John 5:39); "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me" (John 5:46); "And beginning at Moses, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27); "There are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Torah of Moses concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures" (Luke 24:44-45).
As you can see, what we really are celebrating during this day is the works of Jesus, all He has done already, the scriptures He has fulfilled, and all he has yet to fulfill. He is not finished yet! Jesus really IS the Torah. John 1:1-5 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This totally corresponds with the account of creation in the scripture readings for this holiday, which is the last two chapters of Deuteronomy and then, back to the beginning, Genesis 1:1 – 2:3.
Two other passages that correspond to this time as well are Malachi 4:4, "Earnestly remember the law of Moses, my servant, the statutes and the ordinances which I commanded him on Mount Horeb to give to all Israel," and Joshua 1:1-18. Verses 7-8 state, "Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses, my servant, commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success."
It kind of amazes me that we don’t celebrate this in most Christian circles - we don’t even know about it or if we do happen to hear about it, automatically regulate it to some legalistic ritual not for us. I am thankful that we still have the freedom to read our Bibles, however many translations are out there. There are lots of times throughout history where scripture reading was banned or it was only available to a select few.
Another way to describe Simchat Torah is “Rejoicing in/ with the Torah.” We can look at it as rejoicing in Jesus, finding our Joy in Him! I'm not saying you have to dance around with your Bible, but if you feel like dancing? Go ahead, celebrate! Happy Joy in Jesus day!