Summary: What is the Feast of Atonement or Yom Kippur? Are the feasts only for the Jews? How can the Feasts be important for a believer of Jesus Christ? Why doesn’t mainstream Christianity teach about this? What is the significance of learning biblical Hebrew i
For those wondering what the Feast of Atonement or Yom Kippur is, I hope you will find this helpful. Thanks to FFOZ and Judianity info, I was able to put together the following article with some additions of my own. Love you all! Shalom!
NOTE: My purpose here is to share information about this feast that may be useful to a believer or a non-believer of Jesus Christ, as all feasts of God (Leviticus 23 clearly calls the feasts as the Lord’s feasts, not Jewish feasts) point to Him. The use of Hebraic terms and concepts below is not meant to impress anyone with my knowledge of Hebrew, but to emphasize my appreciation for the original language of the scriptures, for it has greatly aided my understanding of the Lord. It is not meant to reduce/disparage the value of using our native tongue or any other language/dialect when speaking to or about God, but merely to point out that there are many blessings in understanding the Hebrew language and context, all for God’s glory!
A Day of Atonement–To return to the Heart of God
To be saved means to be forgiven and to be in right standing with the LORD. Salvation through faith in the Son of God is the epicenter of our faith–the hot, burning point of love that defines our relationship with God. The debt of our sin has been completely paid. It has been dealt with and removed, and we have been given new life, real life, eternal life, right now. “Yom” is “Day” in Hebrew, and “Kippur” from the root word “kippa” is “covering” for our sins. Unlike the sacrificial animals in the Old Covenant which temporarily covered the sin of people, Yeshua’s blood permanently covered all sin through His blood once and for all by giving FULL payment to the penalty required by the Law for sin. Observing the Feast of Yom Kippur is important because it memorializes this special atonement carried out by Yeshua and it prophetically points to the salvation of the remnants of Israel through Him, when, with unveiled eyes, they recognize their Messiah, Yeshua, and corporately confess, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!”, at which point the Lord will finally return. In Romans 11, Paul categorically pointed out the enormous impact to all mankind of the salvation of Israel (to which the saved gentiles are grafted in).
Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? (Romans 11:12)
I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. (Zech 12:10)
Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:35)
On Yom Kippur, the high priest sacrificed a bull and a goat for sin offerings and carried their blood into the Holy of Holies. He sprinkled the blood of the sin offerings on the ark, on the veil and on the altar of incense. He did this to atone for the Tabernacle because of the sins, transgressions and ritual impurity of the people.
The Old Covenant rituals for Yom Kippur teach us about the distance between man and God. The heart of man contains a deadly conceit. It is the idea that “I’m generally a pretty decent person. God isn’t really that upset with my sin,” or “I have no need of anything more for I have riches, knowledge, gifts,” or “I have accomplished much, therefore the Lord must approve of how I’m living my life,” or “Great miracles permanently mark my ministry!”. Interestingly, in Matthew 7:21-23 Yeshua spoke of men He called “workers of lawlessness”. “Lawlessness” is not merely “crimes” or “evil acts”. In Greek, it is “anomos or anomia”, meaning “without law” or “anti-law”–the term “law” being derived from the Hebrew word, “Torah” which means “instructions” and “precepts” of God. Hence, it follows that Yeshua rejected those men claiming to be His because He never knew them, and His standard for not knowing them is this–Their being “without law” or “anti-Torah”. That is a thought-provoking revelation!
The Bible teaches that God cannot abide sin. All men are sinners, and therefore, all men are forced out of the presence of God. Just like Adam and Eve, who were forced out of the Garden of Eden, we are all separated from God.
Our sin is as filth before the Almighty, and our best righteous works as menstrual rags to Him. Shame and disgrace ought to cover us every time we open our Bibles. We have sullied the very parchment of Torah with our sins and trodden on the shed blood of Messiah. Our worthy deeds are utterly eclipsed by our transgressions and sins. Yom Kippur reminds us that this is a real problem. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that “in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year” (Hebrews 10:3). The story does not end here, however.