Friday, October 7, 2011

Thoughts on Yom Kippur

What is this holiday of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement? How is it different from Passover when Yeshua died? Since He makes atonement for us, why didn’t He die on Yom Kippur? All these questions are questions that I have had and after prayers and study, I finally saw the difference. Passover is the day of deliverance; God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt. He delivers us out of our bondage to sin

The everyday circumstances of life, the mortality and imperfections of their lives as well as the many ways they fell short in their efforts to live pleasing lives before God made them unclean. They needed atonement or protective covering before they could come into the presence of God without bursting into flames.

Leviticus 16:1-2 NKJV 1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the LORD, and died; 2 and the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

Even the Tabernacle of God needed a new atonement or protective covering each year so God could enter without the Tabernacle going up in flames!

Leviticus 16:16 NKJV 16 "So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

So, the high priest sacrifices a bull and its blood atones for himself and all the priests who are the family of Aaron. Under the cloud of incense, he brings the blood to the mercy seat of God sprinkling it seven times. Seven is number of fullness and completeness especially the number of spiritual completeness. The blood fully and completely atones or covers them for the year. But this also looks forward to the time of spiritual completion when atonement will be fully completed forever and not just for another year.

Yeshua died once for our sins but He is ever present in the Tabernacle of God as our eternal high priest making atonement for us. Let’s see how this is true.

Yeshua serves in the heavenly Tabernacle of which the earthly tabernacle is but a shadow.

Hebrews 8:4-5 NKJV 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."
God’s throne is in the heavenly Tabernacle. Isaiah tells us that God’s dwelling place in the heavens is between the cherubim in the heavenly Tabernacle.

Isaiah 37:16 NKJV 16 "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.

Here on earth, the shadow of that throne was the mercy seat. There on the mercy seat, God came and met with His people.

Exodus 25:22 NKJV 22 "And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. 

Even now, Yeshua is the high priest making intercession or atonement for us.

Hebrews 7:25 NKJV 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

He is there at the right hand of the father on His throne in the heavenly tabernacle making atonement for us.

Romans 8:34 NKJV 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

This is an ongoing process! Even though we possess the hope of eternal life, in this world we are imperfect having mortal, corruptible bodies and frequently fall short in our efforts to love God by living lives pleasing to Him. John tells us that He is faithful and just forgiving us as we confess our sins to Him.

1 John 1:9 NKJV 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He not only forgives us, He cleanses us so we can once again enter into the presence of God.

The high priest makes atonement for all the children of Israel after he makes atonement for himself and the entire priesthood. This atonement is by the unique two-goat offering. The offering comprises two identical goats, one marked for the LORD and the other marked for azazel or the wilderness. He kills the goat for the LORD and sprinkles the blood on the mercy seat and, then, mixed with the blood of the bull, he sprinkles it on the altar. After he finishes making atonement for the tabernacle, he leans on the head of the goat for azazel and confesses the sins of Israel over it.

Leviticus 16:20-21 NKJV 20 "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.

The goat bears the sins of the Israelites away into the wilderness never to return. This two goat offering represents Yeshua’s two comings. As the first goat, He brings atonement and ongoing intercession for us before the LORD. As the second goat, He finally, fully and completely removes our sins and uncleanness from us.

Psalms 103:11-12 NKJV 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far as He removed our transgressions from us.

When we receive our incorruptible bodies and the hope of eternal life, we will no longer need the continual atonement of Yeshua sprinkling His blood on the mercy seat for us. Instead there will be an end to our sins and mortality; the goat for azazel takes them away forever.

Hebrews 9:27-28 NKJV 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

So, we rejoice in the Passover because Yeshua died on Passover to save us from our sins. We spend Yom Kippur in affliction for our souls as we humble ourselves before God.

Leviticus 23:27 NKJV 27 "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.

We mourn for the times we have failed to hear and obey God’s voice. We offer thanks for Yeshua’s ever present intercession on our behalf. We dedicate anew our lives to be sanctified, set apart, for Him. Finally, we look forward to the time of His second coming when we will be like Him.

1 John 3:2 NKJV 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and be blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great explanation. I have been studying the Feasts of the LORD and wondering why Passover and Yom Kippur are necessary. Your article is very helpful. Brenda from Platteville, WI


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