Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) 10th of Tishrei

This is most solemn day of the Biblical calendar.  This was the one time when the Cohen Hagadol (High Priest) would enter the Holy of Holies, at first in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple, to approach the Lord.  The Cohen Hagadol would go through a series of sacrifices to atone for his own sins and the sins of the Israelites.  Then the Cohen Hagadol would place his hands upon the head of a goat known as Azazel (scapegoat).  The sins of the people would then symbolically be placed on the goat, and the goat was sent out into the desert, never to return. The Cohen Hagadol was then able to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Ark of the Covenant.  Since it was uncertain whether he would live or die upon entering the Holy of Holies, a rope was tied around his ankle so he could be pulled out upon the event of his death.  If he lived, he would go outside, raise his hands and recite the Aaronic Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26).

Since the blood sacrifices could not truly or permanently provide atonement for sins, God gave the ultimate sacrifice of His Son, Yeshua.  Like Azazel, Yeshua was innocent, yet died for everybody’s sins.  After the destruction of the second Temple in 70 A.D., the people didn’t have a place to sacrifice, a Holy of Holies, or a Cohen Hagadol.  So, prayer, fasting, and repenting were used instead.  This is a great day to reflect on the sacrifice Yeshua made for our sins and allowing our names to be written in the Book of Life.

Scriptural references:  Leviticus 16:29-34, 23:26-32; Hebrews 9:11-14, 22-24, 10:1-25 

Yom Kippur | Jewish Virtual Library

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