The Day Of Atonement
Most people do not understand the meaning behind Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement. If we understood it clearly, I think people would see why it is so important to keep this Biblical Feast Day. So let’s take a closer look at the Day of Atonement, because like all of God’s Biblical Feasts, they are not just for the Jews, but for all of God’s people, and I must say even more so for those who know Messiah. So follow along with me and let’s take a closer look and even answer some questions, if anything, it is always good to better understand God’s word. Yeshua, our Messiah is our atonement. There is no question about that. Everything in the Temple points to the Messiah, the fixtures, such as, (the Menorah, Table of Showbread, the Altar of Incense, the Ark, the Altar of Slaughter), plus the sacrifices, the priesthood, including the garments of the High Priest and this also includes the Biblical Feast Days. Believers say that Yeshua fulfilled everything, and so now we do not need to keep any of this. But this is not a true statement. First let me say that none of this is for our salvation, but all of this is for the worship of God and for a godly life. It is all about holiness and being separate from the world. When you are separate from the world, you show the world exactly what you believe. James 4:4-5 tells us this, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says to no purpose, “He jealously desires the Spirit whom He has made to dwell in us.” God’s kingdom is a kingdom of light and that light is not to be put under a basket, but on a lampstand for all to see. Like the Messiah, we are the “Light to the World”, and this is exactly what the Menorah was called. God is a God of order, and there is no other place to see this more than the Temple. God has an order of worship. He also has requirements for us when entering into His presence. Yes, everyone quotes Hebrew 4:16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
But this is taken out of context. Yes, we can have confidence before God, but we also have to enter into God’s presence in holiness. God is not the guy next door.
He is holy, and the angels cry holy, holy, holy constantly, because He is just that. God tells us that we too, must be holy. 1Peter 1:14-16 tells us this, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Without understanding the priesthood and the operation of the Temple, it makes it hard for us to understand this concept. God has dwelt in His holy Temple since before the creation of time and nothing has changed, the heavenly Temple will always exist. It was from this Temple that God showed Moses on the mountain how he should make the earthly Temple, Exodus 25:40, Hebrews 8:5. God also told Moses just how the priest should enter in. Now I know that you are saying, “The veil was torn when Yeshua died.” Yes, but that does not diminish who God is or how we can approach Him. By the veil being torn, this only gave us the access to draw near to God as His priests as Peter tells us in 1Peter 2:9.
Before the death of Yeshua, Jewish people (because Gentiles had not yet come to the saving knowledge of God) had to bring a sin offering to draw near to God, Now we can draw near by the shed blood of Yeshua as we come in His name, but still we can not come to God with unconfessed sin. Paul and Peter both tell us that we are to examine ourselves. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless indeed
you fail the test?”
2 Peter 1:3-11 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah.”
The priests had to wash before coming into the holy place. We too, must be washed clean and that means we must not only confess our sins, but we must repent of our sins. This is not lip service to God, but a definite action on our part to be rid ourselves of the sin that hinders us. This is what Isaiah tells us in,
Isaiah 57:15. “For this is what the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, says: “I dwell in a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
James 4: 6 says this: “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
This is what repentance is, it is a humbling of one’s self. It is allowing God to do that work in us as Titus 3:5-7 tells us, “ He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,whom He richly poured out upon us through Yeshua the Messiah our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Paul also tells us in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Now our lives become a holy sacrifice as we walk in the footsteps of Messiah.
This is our worship, not to be conformed to the world. Yeshua was a spotless, blameless, perfect sacrifice and should we be anything less? We have been taught to believe that if we accept Yeshua as our Savior then we are set for eternity. But this is not true. There is a thing called sanctification and this is the work that we allow God to do in us to change us, so that we no longer conform to this world as we saw in Titus 3:7.One more Scripture and that is in Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
Now I suppose you are wondering what does all of this have to do with the Day of Atonement? Well, this is it. The time leading up to the Day of Atonement is a time to repent, to examine ourselves and to forgive one another. It is a time that represents the second coming of the Lord. It is a time when, as one would say, “The gates of heaven are open.” It is like a time before the great flood, when people had the chance to repent, because the door to the ark was open. Today, Scripture says, Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts. Today, the gates of heaven are open for all to come, but you can not come just for the sake of coming. The Bible is full of Scriptures that tell us that we must repent of our sins and it also says that we all have sinned. 1 John 1:5-10 says this, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us”
1 John 2:1-6 goes on to say, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Messiah Yeshua the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.”
1 John continues in verses 15-18, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever. Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
1 John 3:15-17, “Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters. But whoever has worldly goods and sees his brother or sister in need, and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God remain in him?”
1 John 3:23-24 says this, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Yeshua the Messiah and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He remains in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
1 John 4:15-21 “Whoever confesses that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, we also are in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.”
The day of Atonement is a time to pray and reflect. It is a time to examine oneself and repent. It is a time that also represents the day that the books are opened. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? At the close of the day of Atonement, it also represents the closing of the gates. It really causes you to pause, because there are people who do not live out God’s Word and yet, think that they are saved. Maybe they have been baptized into a denomination, or they said a prayer,or because they think they are a good person, but eternal life is in the shedding of Yeshua’s blood and to accept Yeshua as Lord and Savior, one must be washed in His blood, that is how you accept Him as your sacrifice for sin.
1 John 1:7, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Revelation 7:14, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Yeshua is the door, the gate to heaven, the veil in the Temple, even the door on Noah’s Ark. You have to go through the door, and that is through Yeshua, who is our Atonement. He is the way and the truth and the life and no comes to the Father except through Him.
Still think you don’t need to take the time for the Day of Atonement?