Yom Kippur – Day of Reflection
The Bible is the living Word of God. It contains messages for the past as well as the future. Could there be a prophetic meaning hidden in this second fall feast that could point to Israel accepting Yeshua as their savior and receiving the final atonement that can only be found in Him?
Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. It represents Judgement Day; when all the nation of Israel presents itself before the Almighty, repenting of their sins, seeking atonement and redemption. It is a day of reflection, introspection, prayer, repentance, and reconciliation, all with one goal in mind; to ensure each person’s name is written in the Book of Life.
Yom Kipper was the most solemn of all the feast days in the Old Testament. The Lord commanded it to be a holy day of rest, often described as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” The people were instructed to deny themselves (fast) and assemble to present offerings of bulls, rams, goats, and lambs (spotless and unblemished) for their sins (Num. 29:7-11). Failure to follow the Lord’s instructions was severe for the Jewish people, resulting in being “cut off from the people or even destroyed” (Lev 23:26-32).
This was the only time of year the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. The high priest who offered the atonement was required to sanctify himself for his own sin before he could make an atonement for the sins of the people. Through the ceremonial cleansing, he became “spotless high priest,” capable of removing the sins of the people through the annual sacrificial ceremony.
However, after the temple’s destruction in 70 A.D., the Jewish people could no longer offer the “atonement” sacrifice for their sins. They began substituting prayer, good works, and charitable donations in hopes of gaining God’s favor to have their names written in His “Book of Life.”
According to the ancient books of the Talmud (a compilation of ancient teachings regarded as sacred by the orthodox Jew Yom Kippur is the day that the fate of every man is sealed until the next Rosh Hashanah. If a person has repented and their good deeds outnumber the sinful ones, their name will be written in the Book of Life. However, if they remain unrepentant, their names will be written in the Book of Death. The books are then closed and sealed on the Day of Atonement. (See previous article on Rosh Hashanah).
Yeshua – The Final Atonement
“and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
1 John 2:2
Yeshua is referred to many times in both the Old and New Testaments as “The Lamb of God.” Isaiah 57 prophesied of His coming and “being led like a lamb” to His crucifixion. John the Baptist testified that Yeshua was indeed “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29
By His actions at the cross, He became our ultimate high priest. Through His suffering, He was sanctified to enter into the presence of God, and through the sacrificial shedding of His sinless blood, He became the “spotless high priest” capable of removing our sins. He also became the judge of all of mankind, the living, and the dead.
In the Book of Revelation, we learn there is indeed a record God keeps of us, “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” Believers in Yeshua who accept His sacrifice on the cross as the final atonement for sin and put their trust in Him will have their names permanently inscribed in this book, ensuring everlasting life with the King. (Rev. 20:12)
Both Passover and Yom Kippur involve the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). We who have voluntarily accepted Yeshua’s blood atonement for the pardon of their sins are exempt from God’s wrath. However, Israel has not done this. They do not recognize Yeshua as their Messiah nor His blood atonement for their sins.
Is it possible that Yom Kippur points to the day when Israel accepts Yeshua as their Savior? Romans 11:26 tells us that there will be a day when “all of Israel will be saved.” Will the rapture of the church be the catalyst that saves God’s children from eternal separation from Himself? When they see him in the clouds, will they then believe and receive the atonement they have been waiting for?
“Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him; And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Yes! Amen!”
We encourage you to take this upcoming Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement (Sept. 25) to fast and pray together for the salvation of the whole house of Israel. We are all children of the same One True God, and we have a responsibility to see the “great commission” of Yeshua’s message spread to our brothers and sisters in Israel.
The final feast day of the High Holidays, Sukkot (or Feast of Tabernacles) will be here in just one week. Many new immigrants in Israel are struggling to feed their families daily and have no money for celebratory foods. We believe this is a perfect opportunity to show them God’s love and provision by blessing them with food baskets filled with special foods to help celebrate the last of these great feast days. A gift of $30 will provide a basket of food and holiday treats that will fill their hearts with joy. Will you join us in blessing a family for the holidays? Click the “Give” button below to be the difference that can change lives.
For more detailed information on Yom Kippur, follow this link: https://vojisrael.org/feasts/day-of-atonement-yom-kippur/