One of the more profoundly prophetic and significant holy days in the biblical calendar.
It’s interesting to note that we have two seasons of important biblical feasts: spring feasts and fall feasts. There’s significantly more information given to us in the Bible about the spring feasts, such as Passover or Feast of Pentecost, than we have of the fall feast, such as Feast of Trumpets that just ended, and Yom Hakippurim (Day of atonement) that we’re about to commemorate.
The answer to that is: Yeshua fulfilled in Himself and by His works the prophetic messages of the spring feasts. He became our Passover Lamb (Pesach), as well as our Sheaf (Feast of Pentecost), because He rose from the dead on the third day, sending His Holy Spirit.
However, the fall feasts are prophetic, and their message is going to be fulfilled in the future. The nation of Israel does celebrate the fall feasts, but internationally there’s a lot less knowledge about these particular feasts unless you really take the time to study and dig deep into the message of the fall feasts (Chagei Tishrei).
If we look at the order in which the feasts appear and are commanded to celebrate, there is quite a big break between the spring ones and the fall ones — the hottest and harshest season in this part of the world.
Coming out of celebrating the Feast of Trumpets, we are entering Atonement Day, which isn’t really a feast. The Bible instructs us that this is the day where we don’t celebrate, but instead humble ourselves. The Bible doesn’t specify we need to fast on this day, however, the whole nation of Israel does, because it is considered the holiest day of the year when the High Priest would come into the holiest place to intercede for the atonement of the entire nation of Israel.
Message & Fulfillment of Yom Hakippurim — Day of Atonement
Yom Hakippurim has a deep and relevant message for us even today. What is the prophetic message of a day that is considered Day of Redemption or Atonement?
What was the purpose behind giving the nation of Israel Day of Atonement (Yom Hakippurim)?
The Temple stood in Jerusalem, with its court, its holy place, and its Holy of Holies. God’s glory (Shekhina — the tangible presence of the Lord) would reside in the Most Holy place in the Temple.
The problem was that no one could enter into the Most Holy Place in the Temple, except the High Priest. Otherwise, the judgment would fall down on any person entering God’s presence.
The Most Holy Place in the Temple represents the Kingdom of God, as well as His presence in Heaven. However, only once a year, God established a ceremony for the High Priest to perform a sacrifice as God indicated for the nations’ sins so that he would be able to enter into the Holy of holies and present Himself before God’s holy presence.
If everything was performed exactly as God had indicated, and the sacrifice accepted, the nation of Israel would be redeemed, but only for that one year. The grace that was extended to the people thanks to the service and sacrifice of the High Priest was given for one year only.
Israel would do it every single year because they knew and God had made it clear that the sacrifice they would bring would never be perfect enough for an eternal atonement. They would be temporary sacrifices for temporary atonement. But they all pointed to something greater. People’s need in a once and for all redemption… or better yet, Redeemer.
That is why to this day the nation of Israel takes Yom Hakipurim very seriously. Which we will explore deeper in the next part: What Yom Hakippurim looks like in Israel? How does the nation deal with the problem of sin without the Temple?
Next, we will dive deeper into the biblical fulfillment of the most important day of the year!