Celebrating the Atonement | Yom Kippur
For followers of Christ, the atonement is an event to be celebrated. After all, without the atonement, we would still be separated from God and enslaved to sin.
Yet, many of us fail to recognize the significance of Yom Kippur—also known as the Day of Atonement—and the regeneration it represents for those who follow God’s way of atonement through His Son, Yeshua.
By seeking to gain a greater understanding of the prophetic significance of the High Holy Days and the Feasts of the Lord that accompany them, Believers are able to receive a spiritual awakening.
It is only when we gain understanding that we can begin to walk in the freedom attained on the Day of Atonement and boldly claim our inheritance.
The Significance of Yom Kippur
Leviticus 16 describes the ceremony of Yom Kippur. For the ceremony, God instructed the unique sacrifice of two goats.
The high priest was to cast lots to see which goat would be the blood sacrifice for God and which would be the scapegoat, carrying the sins of the Israelites into the wilderness.
“But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.”—Leviticus 16:10
Tradition holds that the Days of Awe—the 10 days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur—are a time at which God allows for repentance before He serves His judgment and writes our names in the Book of Life or in the Book of Death.
“Add iniquity to their iniquity, and let them not come into Your righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”—Psalm 69:27-28
Yom Kippur 5780/2019 is an appointed time for us to realign with God’s purpose and design for our lives. This alignment puts us in a position to mature in our faith and allows us to be Jesus’ hands and feet as we draw closer to His return.
Modern-Day Observances of Yom Kippur
Because the holiday is focused on taking a personal inventory of one’s service to the Lord, most Yom Kippur prayers revolve around the theme of personal repentance and alignment.
“Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.”—Leviticus 23:27-29
Traditionally, Jews will refrain from these common pleasures while observing Yom Kippur:
Eating and drinking
Engaging in marital relations
It is also customary to wear white as a symbol of purification and death on Yom Kippur.
The deeper meaning behind the refrainment or the “affliction of our souls” is to get rid of any distractions that may be taking our focus off the Lord, thus allowing us to be open to His instruction.
The Benefits of Observing Yom Kippur 5780/2019
All too often, within the modern Church, there is an attitude of complacency about the atonement of our sins.
Yes, Yeshua completed the work for salvation on the cross, but He has allowed us to gain even more than salvation through His sacrifice.
Many of us walk around wearing only the helmet of salvation, leaving all other areas of our bodies exposed. We are not experiencing the full protection that is offered through our adoption into God’s family.
When we position ourselves before the Father on Yom Kippur 5780/2019, we are setting aside time to reflect on what the Lord has done for us—how He has given us protection from the dangers of this broken world by allowing us to fully accept all the gifts that accompany Yeshua’s sacrifice. It is a time for repentance and reflection in the atonement provided for us.
It is a time to reflect on what the Lord has revealed to us during Day of Trumpets—the beginning of the Fall Feasts—and step into this new season, biblical year 5780, with a renewed spirit to walk in the Spirit’s fruit of self-discipline and alignment with God’s Word, following His instruction for His children.
Part of that instruction is that we come into the presence of God at appointed times, also known as moeds, with repentant hearts and open minds.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: “The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”’”—Leviticus 23:1-2
His instruction reminds us that attendance at His feasts is not a requirement but a blessing. In other words, God doesn’t need us to sit at His table for dinner—He wants us to sit with Him.
With each appointed time, the Lord pours out promises and blessings upon those who pull up a seat at His table.
The Prophetic Significance of Yom Kippur 5780/2019
Allow Yom Kippur 5780/2019 to be the awakening of the Church! As we start to watch the prophetic events of the Bible unfold, we need to awaken to our role as the first to align ourselves with the Jewish people, connecting ourselves with the root and branch of the olive tree that we have been grafted into through the blood of Yeshua.
“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”—Romans 11:16-18
God has anointed His followers with power from the Holy Spirit, but many of us fall short of claiming that power. We need to activate God’s Spirit in our lives with bold faith, honoring this time and declaring His promises—igniting a union as One New Man and preparing the way for Yeshua’s triumphant return.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”—Ephesians 2:14-15
Let us not miss what the Lord is trying to reveal to His Church during this somber time of self-reflection at Yom Kippur 5780/2019. Instead, we can embrace the challenges and opportunities that will manifest as a result of our obedience.