These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which
ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be
a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you;
and ye shall afflict your souls, . . . (Lev 23:4,27)
Notice, he did not say these were the feasts of the Jews or
the feasts of the Christians, but the feasts of the Lord. They
are to be celebrated in honor of our Lord!
Contrasted with the Feast of Passover that is associated with
a sacrificed lamb for personal redemption, while the feast of
Atonement (Yom Kippur) was associated with a sacrificed goat
(Lev. 16:5-11) providing corporate cleansing for Israel. In
other words, Passover teaches us about salvation and Atonement
teaches us about sanctification, church maturity, and spiritual
purity. Passover teaches us the absolution of unbelievers, while
atonement celebrates the cleansing of soiled saints. The nature
of Atonement is inherent in the word itself - at-one-ment -
the process by which we come into harmony or oneness with the
righteousness of God.
"And not only so, but we also
joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now
received the atonement." (Rom 5:11)
Notice that the feast of Unleavened Bread celebrates purity
of doctrine and Atonement celebrates the process by which the
church reaches that perfection and maturity in doctrinal faith.
PERFECTING OF SAINTS
"And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also
might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these
alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their
word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me,
and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world
may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:19-21)
The apostle Paul brings affirmation to this process of corporate
perfection through "word washing" in his letter to
the Ephesus church;
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water
by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not
having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing but tat it should
be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:25-27)
ANNUAL DAY OF FASTING
The day of Atonement is the corporate or national day of fasting.
This is what is implied by the phrase "afflict your souls".
This day should serve as an annual reminder to the body of Christ
of the great value God places on the sacrament of fasting. It
was also a tradition in Israel for white to be worn by the people
to symbolize purity that He seeks.
Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge
the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1: 17-18)
One of the more significant ceremonies accompanying this festival,
was two identical goats separated from the flock, one given
the identity of an Atonement goat and the other the identity
of a Scapegoat. It is from the second goat which was released
into the wilderness with the sins of the people, that the common
term "scapegoat" is derived. It describes an innocent
person upon whom the blame is placed for the transgressions
of another. That is exactly what Jesus the Messiah became for
us. He takes upon himself our sins. Jesus became for us both
an atonement and a substitute.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor 5:21-6:1)
This was the only festival where the High Priest could enter
in through the veil and appear before God in the Holiest of
Holies. It is considered the holiest day of the entire biblical
year. It was at this time that God would speak audibly to the
High Priest for atonement and instructions to the nation. This
was a foreshadow of Christ our High Priest who entered in through
the veil into the heavenly Holy of Holies for us all. By His
blood our conscience is cleansed to serve the loving God. By
this we are at-one-ment with God. through His matchless grace
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and
they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall
mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be
in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his
firstborn. (Zech 12:10)
The Day of Atonement is Israel's prophetic national day of
salvation. The famous bone yard described in Ezekiel chapter
thirty seven , outlines the progressive steps to this event.
First the Jewish people are restored to their land and there
they are spiritually awakened and resurrected. when they accept
Yeshua (Jesus) as their messiah.
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
This high profile, end time prophetic event, testifies to the
faithfulness of God to His eternal word!
A Cause for