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Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is known as the holiest day of the year. It falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on the 10th of Tishrei (Lev 23:27). Biblically, it was the second time Moses came down the mountain with the second set of tablets. The letter of the law was given to Moses to make atonement for the people for sinning against God with the golden calf. 

After the Temple of God was built, the day of atonement was the only day of the year the High Priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies (Lev 16:2). The high priest would go in to offer incense and sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat (Lev 16:12-15, Heb 9:7). On the Day of Atonement the lots were cast for the two goats. “And he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,” (Lev 16:7). One was cast as a sin offering for the Lord, while the other was cast as the scapegoat. The scapegoat was said to bear the iniquities of Israel with all their transgressions and sins, and it was sent out into the wilderness (Lev 16: 8-10, 21-22).

The word atonement comes from the Hebrew word Kaphar, which means to cover, purge, make reconciliation, atone for sins. It also means to cleanse, forgive, pardon, or cover with pitch. [1] It was the way in which the high priest was able to make reconciliation between the people and God. Through the sacrifices and offering of incense, the people were pardoned for their sins. 

It is seen as a day to “afflict the soul.” The day is accompanied by fasting, prayer, much introspection, and repentance to God. It is considered a Sabbath, in which no work is to be performed (Ref Lev 23:28-32). The ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are called The Ten Days of Awe in which everyone is to begin searching their hearts and repenting for their sins. It is said that God writes the names of those in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah and judges the hearts during those ten days to seal them on Yom Kippur. 

The world is in a state of chaos right now. The darkness is widespread. A pandemic of Coronavirus has gripped the world with fear and sickness. There is separation dividing the people that is disguised by racism and offense. We even see a call to defund the police. An agenda to bring about lawlessness is increasing in the land. The sins of the wicked have increased. The land is more wicked now than at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah. If there was ever a need to atone for sins, now is the time. 

The LORD said these are His feasts, and they are eternal and to be celebrated forever (Lev 23:2). These are not just Jewish feast times but God’s appointed times and seasons. The word feast in Hebrew is Moed; it means an appointed time, appointed place, or appointed season. [2] It is derived from the Hebrew word Yaad, which means to meet by appointment, to gather, assemble, or to betroth. [3] 

God has always moved and continues to move on His appointed times. Without understanding the feasts of the Lord, we will be unaware of what God is doing on the earth. There is a deeper meaning foreshadowed in the natural feasts, and as the body of Christ we must understand the symbolic meaning. It is time we atone for seeing the Bible in a historical or literal context, and we must begin to understand the prophetic meaning hidden in the Word.

In the writings of Origen, an early church father, he brings an understanding of the symbolism throughout Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. He states that Jesus is the high priest making atonement for our sins to the Father. In his homily on Leviticus he says:

Therefore, if I should consider how the true “high priest,” my Lord Jesus Christ, having indeed been placed in the flesh, was with the people all year, that year about which he himself says, “He sent me to proclaim good news to the poor and to announce the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of forgiveness,” so I perceive how “once in” this “year” on the day of atonement he enters into “the Holy of Holies”, that is, when with his dispensation fulfilled “he penetrates the heavens and goes to the Father to make atonement for the human race and prays for all those who believe in him. [3]

True atonement never came from the sacrifice of the bullock or the ram. It never came from sending the scapegoat into the wilderness. Hebres 10:1 tells us the law is a shadow of the good things to come. That is why Paul tells us the true law is spiritual. The sacrifices could never make anyone perfect. While there is no remission of sins without the blood, the true blood that atones are the mysteries and secrets of the Scripture. They are being poured out for us to understand and move from darkness to light. 

There is a deeper meaning in the fact that the high priest sprinkles the blood toward the east. Atonement comes to you from the east. From the east comes the one whose name is Dayspring, he who is the mediator between God and men. You are invited then to look always to the east. It is there that the sun of righteousness rises for you, it is there that the light is always being born for you. You are never to walk in darkness; the great and final day is not to enfold you in darkness. Do not let the night and mist of ignorance steal upon you. So that you may always enjoy the light of knowledge, keep always in the daylight of faith, hold fast always to the light of love and peace. [4] 

Paul tells us:

“Jesus as our High Priest went once for all into the Holy of Holies of heaven not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own Blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us),” (Heb 9:12 AMP).

He goes on to ask if the blood of all the animals killed was sufficient for the remission of sins, how much more would the blood of Christ, who was spotless, purify us? (Heb 9:14).

Christ is the pure and spotless Lamb who was slain for us to make atonement to bring us into unity with the Father. However, without a true revelation of who He is and what His commandments represent, we won’t have the ability to be purified. The Day of Atonement must happen in each of us by introspecting our hearts and repenting from false teachings or false mindsets. The real sacrifices we offer are not animals but those beastly natures inside of us that are not of God. The revelation is the water that washes us from our sins and ignorance. The Bridegroom is coming to find His bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish and that she would be found holy and blameless (Ref Eph 5:27). 

And returning from that place, his work completed, he could ascend to the Father, and there be more fully purified at the heavenly altar so that he could give a pledge of our flesh, which he had taken with him, in perpetual purity. This, therefore, is the real day of atonement when God is propitiated for men; just as the Apostle also says, “Since God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. And in another place, he says about Christ, “Making peace through the blood of his cross whether with things in heaven or things on earth.” [5]

References:

  1. Brown Driver Briggs Bible Dictionary
  2. Brown Driver Briggs Bible Dictionary
  3. Strong’s Bible Dictionary
  4. Origen, ANF, Homilies on Leviticus Vol. 83 Ch. 9
  5. Origen, ANF, Homilies on Leviticus Vol. 83 Ch. 9
  6. Origen, ANF, Homilies on Leviticus Vol. 83 Ch. 9

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