It's Yom Kippur! What Does that Mean?

It’s Yom Kippur! The Day of Atonement, one of the great Feasts of the Lord, was ordained by God in Leviticus 23:26-32. As we’ve studied and learned about the Feasts of the Lord, we discover they all point to and are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Passover, for example, represented the forgiveness of sin, and Jesus became the ultimate Passover lamb, offering forgiveness to all humanity. So, we might ask, if Passover meant the forgiveness of sins, why do we need a Day of Atonement? Why another sacrifice for sins? The answer is that Passover was forgiveness for individual salvation, while the Day of Atonement was forgiveness for the nation, or national salvation.The Day of Atonement originated after Israel worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32). God was angry with them, and was ready to consume the whole nation and start all over with Moses. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). They had brought this sentence of death upon themselves, and God, being holy and righteous was bound to put them to death. But God didn’t want to. He was looking for an excuse not to. Someone to intercede for the people so that God would spare them by a gracious response. Moses prayed, “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin — but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written" (Exodus 32:32). It was on that day that God put into the heart of Moses a passionate prayer of loving intercession. The entire nation was spared judgment. The very first Day of Atonement! God then “spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). When Moses finally came down from Mt. Sinai with the new set of Ten Commandments, he did not know that the skin of his face was shining while he talked with them. On this first Day of Atonement, Moses reflected the very glory of God! Moses is a beautiful type of Jesus Christ. We all deserve God’s judgment and death, because God is holy and just. But God doesn’t want to judge us, so He sent His Son Jesus to lovingly intercede for us, to offer Himself as our substitute sacrifice. At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ His face will shine with the brightness of the sun, and “so all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26). With what is happening right now with the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, may I suggest we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), and for many to come into a personal relationship with the Messiah, Jesus Christ. I believe it is also important this weekend to pray for our own nation, and ask for God’s forgiveness of our own sins, to humble ourselves before Him and ask for His grace and mercy over our beloved country.

For a great article explaining more about Yom Kippur, please go to Joel Rosenberg’s weblog: HERE

Pastor Ray