PRAYER, FASTING AND REPENTANCE - DAY OF ATONEMENT
Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 24-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”).
HebrewsForChristians.com states: Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement” is the holiest day of the Jewish year, and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second coming of the Messiah, the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgement of the world. It also is a day the reveals the high priestly work of Yeshua as our High Priest after the order of Malki-Tzedek (Heb 5:10, 6:20).
Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings. The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers oneself absolved by God”.
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is one of the seven feasts celebrated by the Jewish people. (this year, Yom Kippur will be celebrated from sundown October 3rd to Sundown October 4th. These feasts were laid out/”appointed” by God in Leviticus 23 – “these are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time” – Lev. 23:4). Many Christians are not aware of the significance of these Biblical holidays. There are four spring holidays (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost) and three fall holidays (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles). God’s eternal plan – from chaos to eternity – is brilliantly revealed through the nature and timing of the seven annual feasts. The spring festivals clearly prophesied the first coming of Jesus, so it stands to reason that the fall festivals are also prophetic of Christ’s second coming.
Yom Kippur is actually a fast day (not a feast day) and it is spent in fasting, prayer, and confession. In the Bible, this was one gracious day a year given by God whereby an individual could receive forgiveness. The high priest entered the holy of holies to make atonement for the nation by sacrificing an animal. “Also on the tenth day of the seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord” (Lev. 23:27).
There were two goats used on the Day of Atonement. God’s instruction of the sacrifice and the scapegoat can be found in Leviticus 16. In summary, for one goat, the high priest in Israel would lay his hands on its head, to impute on it all the sins of Israel. That goat was carried out of the Israeli camp and set free. This goat, called the “scapegoat,” points to Christ (“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29). Jesus carried our sin upon Himself (our sin was imputed on him just as the sins of Israel were imputed on the scapegoat).
The second goat was slaughtered as an offering to God, which is also symbolical of Christ, as He was slain for our sins. “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – Hebrews 10:10 (This may shed some light on the term “scapegoat”).
Should Christians acknowledge Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur was an annual holiday appointed by God in Leviticus 23. . Therefore, He appointed seven different holidays throughout the year that focus on various aspects of His redemptive plan toward mankind and He wants us to stop, reflect, repent, and rejoice on those days of remembrance. We are not to forget. We need time to meditate – time to pause – time to reflect on the the magnificent mystery of salvation and redemption that God has set in place through his Son, Jesus.
Christ did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-19). During his time on earth, Christ participated in the high holy days (see John 2:23; John 5:1; John 7:2,10, 14, 37; John 11:55-56; John 12:12; John 13:1; and Luke 2:41-42), and there is evidence that the members of the early church did as well (see Acts 2:1, Acts 20:16, Acts 18:21, and 1 Cor 5:7). Understanding the significance of Yom Kippur (or any of the high holy days) leads to a greater understanding of God’s Word.
Chosenpeople.com has this to say about Yom Kippur:
The Levitical calendar is not only a reminder of God’s holy convocations for the children of Israel, but it also renders a vivid picture of God’s love, grace, and provision for the Jewish people and the rest of mankind. It helps us to better understand not only the Jewish people, but the God of the Jewish people, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… our God, and His Word.”
WAYS A CHRISTIAN CAN ACKNOWLEDGE YOM KIPPUR:
Take time this evening for prayer, confession, and repentance for yourself and your family. Perhaps you will fast from sun up Friday to Sun down Sat. Specifically, think over any sins that we need to confess and repent of, and ask for God’s grace to be changed from the inside out. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and think over any strained relationships that you may have that you can work to mend.
Spend time throughout the day learning about Yom Kippur. Read and discuss Lev. 16 and Lev. 23 as a family. Consider using stuffed “goat” props to teach your children about the sacrificial lamb and the scapegoat (and how Christ’s work fulfilled these Old Testament requirements). Take time to learn about the Biblical feasts as a whole.
Messianic Jewish congregations devote serious effort at presenting a rationale for Yom Kippur. “For believers in Yeshua, both Jewish and non-Jewish, the observance of Yom Kippur can hold special significance. The repentance started at Rosh Hashanah comes to a culmination with atonement ten days later. As with the traditional Jewish community, those ten days take on spiritual meaning as we meditate on the meaning of the high holy days. Traditional readings from the book of Jonah, Hosea 14 and other passages are studied. Blessed be the Lord God, who has secured our salvation in Yeshua the Messiah!
We referred to and quoted exerpts from the following resources. We all just want to share and spread the Word. We thank the sources below and invite you to view their websites.
Now, if your question is Why doesn’t my church teach about these “appointed times with God” and the “Feasts of the Lord” and these “Holy Convocations”? You have probably been told or taught that this is old testament theology, and We Christians live by the New Testament, and New Covenant. That is good. This is true. But, as one studies, seeks God, seeks wisdom and understanding, you find many incredible teachers who teach that the Feasts are types and shadows; dress rehersals, if you will, for the Second Coming. There is soooo much information about Christs return associated with the Feasts. If one does not study the Feasts, one does not know this information. Everyone should listen to the teachers and pastors who have studied this subject and teach about it. And, of course, Messianic Congregations acknowledge the Feasts Season.
You can google: Mark Biltz, he has an entire series on the 7 Feasts of the Lord on Youtube. Pastor David Middleton, at Jesus Is Lord Ministries, teaches bible courses, is a prolific writer, and has a website with various teachings on this subject. Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has teachings on the Appointed Feasts Times, Rabbi Schnieder, The Jewish Jesus teaches extensively, Perry Stone, Worldwide Preacher and Evangelist teaches on The Feasts, and Pastor John Hagee teaches extensively on the Feasts. Also, this website has some great articles on the Feasts, (See Category – Feasts of the Lord). The articles have links to the sources I mentioned above and other resources.
Many Pastors have not visited and studied in Israel. Those who have, have a deeper understanding. GOD GAVE US FREE WILL. You Choose. You can google the names I have mentioned and you will find a wide variety of excellent, well scripted and researched information about this subject.
Lastly, if you want to go to a service today–They usually start at 6pm. Find a Messianic Congregation near you. Like Ester, Consecrate a Holy Fast, and just watch and see how powerfully you are Blessed.
GOD BLESS YOU!