WHAT IS YOM KIPPUR? 09.10.19
What is Yom Kippur, and why should believers in Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah keep this as a special time to honour?
Yom Kippur is the “DAY OF ATONEMENT,” originally an ordinance from Yahweh over His people, a day of sacrificing and cleansing:
“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you— because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins. It is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.” (Leviticus 16:29-31)
A day of Sabbath rest, this carries forward to all believers in Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, to also stop and reflect on the sacrifice made for all who would believe, to take stock of their relationship with Him Who died and rose from the dead to bring atonement, and new life and freedom for all who would believe:
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2).
Under the Old Covenant, it was the priests’ responsibility to “take the two male goats and present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle .. . . cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the Lord and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the Lord. The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the Lord. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the Lord” (Lev.16:7-10).
Christ Jesus/Yeshua Messiah replaced the need for animal sacrifices; and that means we should honour Him for what He has done for us. Atonement means reconciliation; He has reconciled believers unto the Father. “Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings
or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” . . . . “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” (Heb.10:8-10). Jesus/Yeshua was the perfect sacrifice, the only One Who could fulfill the Father’s requirements.
11 “Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins.
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet.
14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
16 “This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”
May we be ever so grateful that we are covered with the Blood of the Lamb; that we do not receive direct punishment for our sin. Neither do we need to assign our sins to some poor unsuspecting, undeserving little creature (goat)/scapegoat (Lev.16:8-10,20,22,29-34) who neither did anything to deserve being relegated to carry human sins, nor was capable of reconciling them for us. It is only because of the shed blood of Messiah on the Cross that we no longer are required to seek atonement through such means.
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to
19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
That is why, whether Jew or Gentile believers in Messiah, it would seem right to honour our Saviour by keeping Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a day which Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah would have also celebrated during His time on earth.
1 John 2:1-2
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.