Friday, October 7, 2011

Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement

Tonight begins the feast of Yom Kippur - The holiest day in the Israeli calendar and the sixth mo'ed, or appointed time in the Bible. In scripture, this is the one day of the year that the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, and first atoned for his own sin, and then for the sin of the people of Israel. But since the temple was destroyed in the year 70, this has not been possible.

It is interesting to note that the custom of wearing a yarmulke (Yiddish), or kippah (in Hebrew), developed after the destruction of the temple. The word kippah comes from the same root word as kippur, which means atonement, or covering.  The Israelites were temporarily covered by the Yom Kippur sacrifice.  When Yeshua came to earth and was sacrificed, He covered us once for all with His blood.

Hebrews 9:11-13 says, But Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Since Yeshua already made atonement for the world at Passover, what is the prophetic significance then, of Yom Kippur? It is a snapshot of the future, of Romans 11:25-27, when the nation of Israel will collectively receive Yeshua as her Messiah.

...That blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“ The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins. (Quoted from Isaiah 59:20-21)

Today, Yom Kippur is a solemn day of fasting and repentance for Jewish people. The fasting and mourning take place during the day, and then a joyous celebration takes place in the evening, as the day is drawing to a close. When the people of Israel first recognize her Messiah, they will mourn. Zechariah 12 says:

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

But joy will follow, as we will see in the Feast of Tabernacles, which is coming soon. Stay tuned, chaverim! (that means friends in Hebrew)

PS.  I know!  I still have one more church to cover in the letters to the seven.  I hope to finish it tomorrow.

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