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The Big Day...By: Terry Dashner
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Yom Kippur is also called The Day of Atonement. Leviticus
16:30-31; Leviticus 23:27-28, 31-32; and Numbers 29:7 speak of
it. Yom Kippur is also referred to by various themes and idioms:
Face to Face, The Day (or the Great Day), The Fast, The Great
Shofar, and Neilah (the closing of the gates). On the tenth of
Tishrei the high priest shall conduct a special ceremony to
purge defilement from the shrine and from the people. The heart
of the ritual is that the high priest shall bring a bull and two
goats as a special offering.
First, the bull is sacrificed to purge the shrine from any
defilements caused by misdeeds of the priest himself and of his
household. Secondly, one of the goats is chosen by lot to be
sacrificed to purge the shrine of any similar defilement
stimulated by misdeeds of the whole Israelite people. Finally,
the second goat is sent away not sacrificed, to cleanse the
people themselves. The goat is marked for Azazel and is sent
away to wander in the wilderness. Before the goat is sent out,
the high priest lays both his hands upon its head and confesses
over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites,
whatever their misdeeds, and so putting them on the head of the
goat. Thus, the Torah adds, "The goat shall carry on it all
their iniquities to an inaccessible region..."
The Hebrew word for scapegoat is azazel. Azazel was seen as a
type of satan in the intertestamental Book of Enoch (8:1). The
sins of the people and thus the punishment of the people were
laid upon azazel, the scapegoat. He would bear the sins of the
people and punishment of the people would be upon him. Azazel
being sent into the wilderness is understood to be a picture of
satan being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
Messianic Understanding God gave the ceremony of the casting of
lots during Yom Kippur to teach us how He will judge the nations
of the world prior to the Messianic age known as the Millennium.
The nations of the world will be judged according to how they
treated the Jewish people. Those nations who mistreated the Jews
will be goat nations and they will go into the left hand. Those
nations that stood beside the Jewish people will be sheep
nations and will enter into the Messianic kingdom or the
Millennium (Matthew 25:31-46).
Jesus is our High Priest. In John 20:17, Yeshua said, "Touch me
not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father..." These were the
same words that the priest spoke before he ascended the altar.
Yeshua can be seen as Priest by looking at some other
Scriptures. In Numbers 19:11, if you touched a dead body, you
were unclean for seven days. After being unclean, purification
took place on the eighth day. This is the meaning behind what
happened in John 20:24-27. Rather than wearing his usual robe
and colorful garments, Aaron was commanded to wear special
garments of linen. Yeshua was seen wearing the same thing in
Revelation 1:13-15. Daniel also saw this and described it in
Daniel 10:5-6. (Bonus scripture Numbers 15: 37-41 regarding
fringes which were to remind the people of the Torah or God's
Word. Consider the woman with the issue of blood and relate her
faith in God's Word--Jesus--to heal her.)
Therefore, when the high priest stood before God on this day, he
was said to be "face to face" with God. Because of this, Yom
Kippur became known by the phrase "face to face." "Face to face"
terminology was used in First Corinthians 13:9-12. Both verse 11
and the phrase in verse 12, "For now we see through a glass,
darkly" come from the Jewish Midrash.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, comes on the tenth day of the
Jewish month of Tishrei (September/October). It is the last day
of the Ten Days of Repentance, and it is the most solemn day of
the Jewish calendar. It is believed that those who have not been
good enough to be written in the Book of Life immediately on
Rosh HaShanah are given ten days to repent, pray for
forgiveness, and do good deeds until Yom Kippur, when their fate
will be decided. The entire Day of Forgiveness is spent fasting
and praying. Because this day is the most solemn day in the
year, it is known as "The Day."
Conclusion The Day of Atonement was the most solemn of all the
feast days. It was the day of cleansing for the nation and for
the sanctuary. On this day alone, once a year, the high priest
entered into the holiest of all, the Holy of Holies in the
temple, within the veil of the temple, with the blood of the
Lord's goat, the sin offering. Here he sprinkled the blood on
the mercy seat. The blood of the sin offering on the great Day
of Atonement brought about the cleansing of all sin for the
priesthood, the sanctuary, and Israel as a nation.
The year of Jubilee was the Day of Atonement (Leviticus
25:9-11). This was a year and day of liberty. Yeshua came to
preach this liberty at His first coming. From Adam, it has been
almost 6,000 years and 120 Jubilees. The number 120 points to
the end of the age of the flesh and the reign of the life of the
spirit (Genesis 6:3). The ultimate fulfillment of the year of
Jubilee will take place at the second coming of Messiah. The
earth will be redeemed and come into full and complete rest from
the curse brought upon it by Adam's sin. Complete restoration of
man's lost inheritance will take place. God's people will be
totally set free--set at liberty, from all sin, sickness and
disease, death, and the curse. Satan, the source of all these
things, will be bound and true rest will be realized. The
tabernacle of God will be with men and He will dwell with them.
So, the year of Jubilee and the day of Atonement speak of the
fullness of the redemptive plan of God for man.
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is at the door.
Material for this lesson was taken from Edward Chumney's book
entitled, The Seven Festivals of the Messiah (Treasure House). I
highly recommend this book.
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