The Mystery of the Feast of Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement (Day 10 of the Fall Feasts)

Adonai, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Adonai. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2

Again, in the Fall feasts we find ourselves celebrating the future and the past, the already-not-yet, alongside but differently than our neighbors. In these past ten days, the Jewish people believe the book of life is opened for God to write your name in it. We know that it is faith in Messiah that allows your name to be written in the Book of Life. As followers of Yeshua we believe God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

Yom Kippur in Israel is the Day of Atonement. It is the 10th day after the trumpet feast, a day of fasting, prayer, repentance and judgment. (Leviticus 23:26-32) On this day the High Priest would go into the temple and bring the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16).

But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:7-15)

We also know that according to the structure of the feasts of the Lord, the feasts foretell a timeline, beginning at His return. Just as we saw the spring feasts prophetically played out, according to the day when Messiah was sacrificed for our atonement at Passover, then raised from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits, giving the New Law of the Spirit at Pentecost, we can expect that His return will coincide with the Fall feasts (though no one knows the hour or exact day). He will come, commencing the Feast of Trumpets, then, ten days after His return, the feast of atonement will take place with Yeshua, with our High Priest presenting the blood of our atonement (for those in Messiah). Five days later, Sukkot begins, the feast of Tabernacles, when His dwelling will be made with us.

Though there are debates about the specific timeline, all agree that scriptures tell us that there will be a judgement day, where the books will be opened and we will stand before God to give an account for what we have done on earth (Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:10). There, as now, Yeshua’s blood will be the atoning covering for sins and the proof of God’s mercy for us. His blood and our testimony will silence the accuser. We have assurance of our forgiveness. Without the temple sacrifices, the Jewish people do not have that assurance. The human High Priest can no longer make the sacrifice. But we all, Jew and Gentile, have a High Priest who has offered the sacrifice once and for all. It is in Him we put our trust.

Yeshua, you are the High Priest, the scapegoat, the sacrificed one, the firstborn of the resurrection, the seed that fell and died, yielding so much fruit, bearing many seeds, who would come after. And now You sit on the throne as the holy Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Yes, You are worthy to open the scrolls and break the seals. You are also the cornerstone of this new temple being built in Spirit and in truth. You are the head of this Jewish/Gentile Body of Messiah. You are worthy of worship from every nation, tribe, and tongue and we WILL give it.

You are revealing yourself in power, Lamb of God. Many of your people are weeping and mourning as over You as they would a son. Lord, lift the veil of the law of Moses like a bride is revealed. Let your bride see your face. You are more than empty hope, or symbols of religious observance, you are pursuing us as a bridegroom pursues His beloved.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,  and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53)

Surely, Father, You are God and reign forever. You are holy and because of your perfect goodness, are the only one qualified to judge all people. We know you are waiting to return because you are patient, wanting all to come to repentance. What will it take to break open our stubborn hearts? And we praise you, because we know that when Israel mourns for Yeshua like a son, you will respond in mercy, and we will see you (Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 23:39). Yeshua, we acknowledge that only one will be worthy to pour out the wrath of the Lamb for the injustices against your people. (Revelation 6:16-17) We walk in forgiveness because we give the responsibility of judgment over to you, We thank you for your mercy and love that led us to repentance. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so You were sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and You will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for You. (Hebrews 7:27-28) Lord, have mercy. Save us, Yeshua. Save our brothers and sisters around the world being persecuted now and give them the hope of the resurrection that awaits them in your Kingdom. We love you, our King and Our God.

Messiah, You are life. Yeshua, You are hope. And You are real peace. You rescued us from both intentional sin and sins done in ignorance, sins of our thoughts, sins of our actions, sins of greed and negligence, sins of lust and desires for what the world love, sins of idolatry and misplaced trust in others, sins of entitled demands and expectations, sinful motivations, sinful anger, sinful doubt, sins of our ignoring injustice, sins of prioritizing our own well-being over our children and parents, sins of uncaring and coldness of heart, sins of sins of destructive criticism, sins of stubbornness, sins of spurning the teaching of good parents and teachers, sins of rebellion, sins of overlooking the poor and needy, sins of forgetting, sins of hatred and bias and racism, sins of rejecting those who needed welcome, sins of selfish ambition and self-reliance, sins of independence from you, sins of making our own way out of impatience.

You cleanse our actual sin, and bear the burden of it, but also cleanse our conscience, so we can walk completely forgiven, without guilt or shame. You forget our sins (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12, Isaiah 43:25). You separate them as far as the east from the west (Psalm 103:12). We receive your forgiveness now. Thank you for making us pure, from the inside out. You love us enough not just to want our compliant religious behavior, but the washing of our motivations and changing of our hearts by your Spirit, Because of this, you have won our genuine loyalty and become our Beloved, the one we genuinely love and desire to serve.

book on a white wooden table



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