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Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement (of sins)

Today, Wedn. 5 Oct.2022, is Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the year in Judaism. For the Jewish people it is a significant day for different reasons, all of which stand on the same platform and identify the same need: that our sin cannot be forgiven unless atonement by blood is made for it.

The concept and need for atonement by blood comes from the Aaronic Priesthood and the instructions that God of Israel gave to Moses.

For me as a disciple of Jesus the Messiah, the greatest significance of this Day/Feast is in that it was fulfilled when Jesus atoned for our sin through His own blood, that He shed on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice; HE died so that we may live.

So, I thank God for the Jewish people who keep the Feast of Yom Kippur annually, while at the same time for me Yom Kippur is far more than a Jewish holiday. As an annual Feast, it is a message from God of Israel that explains the significance of the Blood of Jesus that He shed sacrificially on the cross, for the atonement of sins of all who believe and accept God’s gift, for the forgiveness of sin, salvation from Death, and eternal life.

As such, the message and essence of Yom Kippur is the heart of Christian faith, not in a religious way, but as faith in God of Israel as disciples of Jesus. It is the root and foundation of the “law of grace”, which is the foundation of the New Testament theology.

The “law of grace” simplified means that thanks to Jesus who made atonement for the sins of those who believe and accept His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, our sins are now covered by His Blood and therefore forgiven by God.

“Covered by Blood” is the very concept of the word “Kippur”; it comes from “kaphar” which means to cover. The first time this concept is instituted in the Bible is when God gave instructions to Noah how to build the ark; it had to be “covered” for life to be preserved in/through it – that is the essence of the concept of Atonement:

Genesis 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch [Kaphar כּפר ] it within and without with pitch [Kopher כּפר].

Atonement for sins is required and the only means by which we can escape death, which is the penalty for sin. Sin leads to death and that is an irrevocable law of God. No man can escape death because there is no one without sin. At the same time, God offered mankind an opportunity to be saved from death, by sending Jesus to take upon Himself the sin of the world and die on the cross a sacrificial death for the atonement of sin.

Whoever believes and accepts this gift of God through the Atonement made by the Blood of Jesus, comes under the law of God’s grace and is no longer required to die because of sin.

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