Yom Kippur, It’s the Day of AtonementBiblical Living . Fall Feasts . God's Calendar and Biblical Feasts . Holidays . Torah/Bible
In the Bible, specifically Leviticus 23, we are given an outline of God’s Holy Days. The Days that the Creator of the world set aside to meet with His people. In my last post I focused on the day called, Yom Teruah, Day of Shouting. Ten days after Yom Teruah is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”
This is considered to be the most set apart day of the year among devote Jews. This day is a Sabbath of Sabbaths. Absolutely no work is to be done on this day. In the description, we are given clear instructions that this is a full day, from evening until evening. The unusual thing about this Holiday, is it is not a feast, but rather a day of affliction. Most Hebrew scholars agree that means a day of fasting. This day, once a year, we are to try and get a real glimpse of what our sin cost.
Many people take the ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur and really reflect on their sin and the penalty of it. It is often call the Days of Awe. This is not a commanded act, but I personally think it is a great time to reflect on sin, repentance, atonement, mercy, grace, restitution, forgiveness, salvation, sacrifice, our Messiah, death, the cross, and more. Again this ten days of reflection is not commanded in scripture, but it can truly be a blessed time of focusing our heart and mind on the cost of our sin, and the debt that was paid by our Messiah.
The commandments of Yom Kippur include no work of any kind on that day. Gathering together with others to proclaim that it is a day of Atonement. Rest, and afflict our souls.
In my personal opinion, I believe that to afflict our souls does indeed mean to have a day of fasting. If you notice on other Holy Days there is an exception to the no work rule, and it is that we may prepare food for the feast. But on this Holy Day, there is NO exception. This is a day of complete rest. This is a clue to understanding what it means to afflict our souls.
This day is all about our sin being covered by the blood of the sacrifice. In the days of Moses, the blood came from animals and it was a symbol, a testimony of the blood of our Messiah. Today, we know, we have records of the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Messiah. We often take this gift for granted. But God, who is all knowing, gave us this one day out of the year to really ponder on the greatness of our sin, and the even greater sacrifice that was made to atone for that sin.
Our Atonement Through Christ
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Yeshua became our propitiation through His blood, the atonement for sin. God “passed over” covered, atoned for that which had been previously committed. All sins from Adam to the last man are covered by the righteous act of Christ. His blood paid our debt.
Christ took Our Place
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
In our home, we choose to fast on the day of Atonement. We ask even our children to fast, and explain to them why we fast. It is their choice. But we do ask that if anyone chooses not to fast, they be discreet about it. The evening before our fast begins we have a lite meal, like tacos or soup and sandwiches. To ease our way into the fast. The evening after the fast, we break the fast again with a family meal. Often we have breakfast for dinner that evening.
The evening the fast begins we have family Bible time, as the sun goes down, often reading the book of Jonah, as is the tradition of Jews. But we will read other passages as well. Reading and discussing the Word together. Sometimes, we will watch a movie or documentary together. Last year we began watching the television series, The Chosen. In years past, we have watched The Passion of the Christ, the book of Acts, and other Bible movies.
We all sleep in the morning of Yom Kippur, and usually midmorning we gather with our congregation for a time of worship and proclamation. Our congregation started a tradition years ago, were one of our elders uses the children to do a reenactment of the sacrifice that would be done by the priest on the alter at the temple. It is fun, silly, and a great way to really visualize the sacrificial system.
Often after we have our time of worship, we will visit for a short while with others before we head back home. In the afternoon, we encourage our children to take time alone to reflect on atonement and we also allow those who want to take a nap. For those who prefer to be awake, we allow for more scripture reading, discussion, and more Biblical movies, teachings, or documentaries to be watched and discussed. It is a quiet day of reflection, and even our little ones recognize that this day is different than all other days.
As the sun begins to go down, I will begin making a meal for us all to break our fast. As we break our fast, we discuss what a blessing it is to be able to fast, and to break the fast. We begin discussing the coming Sukkot, and the celebration of our Messiah, Redeemer, who brings Resurrection.
Some passages I like to read during the Days of Awe, and on the Day of Atonement, are:
The book of Romans, Leviticus 16, Numbers 8, Nehemiah 10, Jonah, the letter 1 John. There are many more, but the point is to take this time to really humble yourself and reflect on the price that was paid to cover your sins, to reconcile you to your Creator. Redemption came through humility, and this is one day our of the year that we can try and understand the greatness of that humility.
I hope that you are blessed as you seek to walk in obedience and humility through the power of Messiah.
Written by Katie
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