The Day of Judgment and Atonement: Yom Kippur

From sundown Friday September 17, 2010 to sundown Saturday  September 18th, 2010 was the day considered Holiest in Israel for this year. It was Yom Kippur also know as the day of judgment and the day of antonement as well as the sabbath of all sabbaths. On this day, in Israel the do not eat, drink, wear leather, bathe, wear fragrances, or engage in pleasure such as marital relations. For the day is a somber day and one that brings great joy. For this day results in a person being in good standing for the year ahead. It is the day sacrifices were made that provided for the atonement of the community. It was a day for the purification of the temple.  It ultimately served as the day of  final judgment. It is the day when things are set and God provided that his people were in right position with Him for the coming year.  It was always a year to year process. 

There are some interesting facts about how God communicated his approval of this day and the changes that occurred.  These facts are presented at the following blog article: http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/rev2e.htm.

 

The miracles/signs that took place, showing God’s approval and forgiveness:

Drawing of lots always produced “LaHashem” in the right hand
The red ribbon tied to the scapegoat always turned white
The Center light of the Menora always burned until morning
Fire on the copper altar never went out even when it wasn’t properly stoked
Priests felt full even after eating only a small part of the offerings
The smoke of the incense offering would fill the Holy of Holies
The Talmud however, records that many of these miracles ceased to occur about 40 years before the destruction of the second Temple, and never returned. This of course coincides with the time of the death of Yeshua:

Yoma 39b – During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine; and the doors of the Hekal would open by themselves, until R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself? I know about thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
The miracles/signs that took place, showing God’s approval and forgiveness:

Drawing of lots always produced “LaHashem” in the right hand
The red ribbon tied to the scapegoat always turned white
The Center light of the Menora always burned until morning
Fire on the copper altar never went out even when it wasn’t properly stoked
Priests felt full even after eating only a small part of the offerings
The smoke of the incense offering would fill the Holy of Holies
The Talmud however, records that many of these miracles ceased to occur about 40 years before the destruction of the second Temple, and never returned. This of course coincides with the time of the death of Yeshua:

Yoma 39b – During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine; and the doors of the Hekal would open by themselves, until R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself? I know about thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

It shows absolutely in amazing fashion the change from the need of yearly atonement to the atonement once and for all. Upon Jesus the Messiah’s death and resurrection the signs indicated forgiveness was granted ceased.  They ceased because Jesus gave the sacrifice once and for all. He is the source of purification.  He is the scapegoat who took sins upon him, so there was no need for any other.  Yet, there is a time yet coming. We have yet to have the final judgment. There is coming a great and final day when all creation is untwisted and cleansed. There is a day coming when Jesus judges all.  Be assured that when Jesus sits on the great white throne of judgment it will be on a Yom Kippur day.  

So Yom Kippur is a day to truly be still and know that He is God, for  that is the proper response to His providing atonement and judgment.  God has provided the scapegoat who has carried of the sins. He no longer requires sacrifices year after year because “It is finished.”  The time is coming when all will be set right. All that is twisted undone.  All purified. The day is truly the day the Kingdom of God is fully established and the kingdom of darkness is no more.  The King of Kings sorts out those who are his, and those who will face eternal punishment. This day is great and Holy.

So how then does a Christian respond and focus on this day.  Atonement is complete and judgment is coming.  Well it is a day for sober reflection.  A time to look back and look ahead.  Look back at what changed within in the past year and a day to look ahead to see what God is doing and identified the places that need a change and turning.    It is a day to praise God for it is truly about the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.  This day, is the day. Once the great and final day comes, there is no more choice, no more time, no more second chance. The great Judgment will be cast.  So today, while it is today, it is not to late.  Let Jesus serve to provide you atonement and make you clean and right.  For a time is coming when there is no  longer a choice as the  end has come.

Yom Kippur: Reflection on importance to all believers.

Well, yesterday was the holiest of days in the Biblical festivals. Yom Kippur is the day of the atonement. It is the day the priest went into the Holy of Holies and completed the sacrifice to atone for all the sins of Israel.  This day follows the seven days of awe where people reflect on their lives and repent.

    The feast day is the one where there are two goats brought, one for sacrifice, and one to be cast out into the wilderness.  The two goats point toward the separation from sin.  One goat cleanses, the other goat takes sin back to where it came.  An interesting take on the two goats is found in this article, which delineates the reason that Jesus is both the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat.  Jesus has cleansed us from sin and he has taken all sin away.  Praise God. 

     The day of Yom Kippur is a day of fasting.  It is a day to focus solely on God and his redeeming us from our sins.  It is a day to reflect on what has gone before and what to turn from next.  Those of us in the church who have lost attending to the Biblical feasts miss a lot by failing to attend and practice these Holy Days.  Why is it that we choose to miss out on the things that benefit us and would draw us into closer understanding of the Messiah in the name of freedom and grace?  Are we so wrapped up in are own kingdoms and own world that we simply neglect what God has for us?  Do we simply figure that since Jesus came and paid for our sins that none of what God set before us matters?   We each need to pray and bow before God in surrender and ask Him that on this day and any day, how are we to walk. What does a person walking in surrender to the King of Kings and not walking in the Kingdom of self do?  Praise God he does forgive us and cleanse us from our selfishness. Praise God our sins are taken a way and sent out.  May the year to come bring each of us into greater awareness of our own sins and may we brought to repentance in those areas God brings before us.