(This essay is part of our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts”. It is available from Amazon.com and on our web site at www.moedministries.com. This series of essays is designed to give the Christian an understanding of the Biblical Feasts and how they are connected to Jesus the Messiah.)
The Day of Atonement, or better known as Yom Kippur, is the one day a year when the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. He entered the Holy of Holies to make atonement for Himself and his fellow priests and for the nation of Israel.
It falls on the tenth of Tishrei, ten days from the beginning of the two day Feast of Trumpets. This year, Tishrei ten is on Saturday October 8th. One of the reasons to blow the trumpets was to remind God to have mercy on His people. Now, on the Day of Atonement, that will be put to the test. Will God come down and “sit” on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies or will He instead bring judgment? The ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement are called the Days of Awe, reminding of us of the awe in which we should hold God. They are intense days of spiritual introspection marked by reviewing one’s actions of the past year. It leads to sorrow for wrongs done to God and others, and repentance leading one back to walking in God’s ways.
On this day, God says that His people are to “afflict their souls.”
Leviticus 23:27 MKJV 27 Also, on the tenth of this seventh month, this is a day of atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls and offer a fire offering to the LORD.
This is interpreted as a full 24 hour fast, putting aside the needs and desires of the flesh and focusing totally on the spiritual, seeking God with all one’s heart.
As believers in Jesus as our Messiah, we know that we have attained mercy by His blood that He shed for us and that we are sealed for that final day of redemption.
Ephesians 1:13-14 MKJV 13 in whom also you, hearing the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Paul goes on to remind us that we must continue in the faith.
Colossians 1:21-23 MKJV 21 And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blame, and without charge in His sight, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard and which was proclaimed in all the creation under Heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister…
What does it mean to be grounded and settled? In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul expands on this theme.
Ephesians 4:30-32 MKJV 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.
On the Day of Atonement, Christians can also set aside the desires of flesh and participate in the Fast. How was our walk this year? Have we grown in our knowledge of God, in our faith and good deeds? Have we walked in the power of the Holy Spirit and allowed God to transform us into the image of His son?
Romans 12:2 MKJV 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart
For our books, Bible study materials and teachings, visit our web site at www.moedministries.com