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The Day of Atonement

17 September 2010

The fall feasts were given to create a pathway into God’s glory.  They give us a four-step countdown to bring us into His presence:

  • The Feast of Trumpets – A Wake-up Call
  • The Days of Awe – A Time for seeking Him
  • The Day of Atonement –  A Day to be Restored
  • The Feast of Tabernacles – A week to experience Glory

God established His calendar to take us through this countdown every year so that we would be drawn closer and closer into His presence.

For the past 10 days we’ve been in a time of reflection and repentance.  This has been a time to turn from anything that hinders your walk with God and return to Him wholeheartedly.  After coming through these days of repentance, we enter a season of springtime.  It’s a season to experience a fresh release of the life and blessings of God.

Today at sunset begins The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur.  It is a day to put all of your sins under the blood of the Lamb and be fully restored to God and His purposes.  The Jews under the old covenant did this by having the high priest offer the blood of a goat as a sin offering. The death of Jesus brought fulfillment to this law but did not abolish its observance.  In fulfilling this ordinance, Jesus opened this promise to all who would believe and filled it with fresh significance.

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, … and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  Heb 9:11-12

Unlike God’s other “appointed times,” the Day of Atonement is not a feast, but a fast.  It is not a day to rejoice and celebrate, but a day to humble yourself before God by fasting.  God specifically tells us that observing this day is not a temporary ordinance, but a lasting one.  It is no longer necessary for the sacrifice to be made year after year.  Jesus’ sacrifice was made “once for all.” Yet, God desires that we experience His atonement afresh every year.  Atonement opens the door to His presence.  He wants us to remember the sacrifice Jesus made so that we can be forgiven.  God tells us “Your sins and your lawless deeds I remember no more!”  We can now come to Him freely and experience His Glory!

If you have never accepted Christ’s atonement, today would be a great time to do so.  Receive your cleansing from sin and your eternal salvation by trusting in what He did for you.  Take this day to consider your present condition before God.  He says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Ask Jesus, the Messiah to forgive you for your sin and cleanse your conscience.  Thank Him that His blood is more than enough to bring you back into right relationship with God the Father.  Ask Jesus to live in your heart by the Holy Spirit and to give you the grace to live in a way that honors Him all the days of your life.  Believe that this transaction has sealed your eternal redemption and rejoice forevermore!

For additional information on the Feasts of God, see “Messianic Church Arising” by Robert Heidler.

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