Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement
This is the Day Your Sins Were Totally Forgiven
You Have a Special Meeting with God on Your Schedule
Each fall, Jews around the world recognize Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, on the tenth day after Rosh Hashanah. The Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is known as Shabbat Shuvah or the Shabbat of Return.
We had a special time this Yom Kippur and here is Pastor Larry’s blessing prayer for you this year!
Do You Know Why 40 is Such a Significant Number?Forty is one of the most significant numbers in the Bible. For forty days and nights, it rained when Noah was on the ark. Moses fasted for forty day to intercede for the children of Israel. The twelve spies were sent into Canaan for forty days. Jonah warned Ninevah of an oncoming judgment for 40 days. Goliath taunted the armies of God for forty days. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for forty days. These forty day periods were a time of preparation and proving. Our God is not a God who desires to punish. He is a God who desires to provide blessings. He is not watching us and waiting for us to make a mistake so He can judge us. He is not eagerly anticipating our failures. On the contrary, He is constantly urging us, “Get right. Get right. Get right!”
Forgiving Every Sin and Breaking Every Curse
The foundation for Yom Kippur is found in the book of Leviticus 16:3-4. Before the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies to intervene for the people of God, he first had to make sure he was clean. There are two offerings at Yom Kippur. (Leviticus 16:6-10; 15-20)
Aaron first laid both his hands on the head of the live goat and confessed over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins. (Leviticus 16:21) Not only did he confess their sins, but he also declared the curses, or iniquities that were on them because of those sins. If someone had stolen something that was a sin, but there was a curse on that person’s finances, businesses, crops, and herds because of that sin. God wants to forgive our sins, but also break the curses we have lived under, sometimes for generations.
Rabbis teach that God’s love is so great that He hears us every day of the year, but on Yom Kippur, He is closer to earth. He is setting up His kingdom, where there will be no more tears or sorrow. There will be no lack or pain. The Lord is our God every day of the week, but on Yom Kippur, there is a special manifestation of His presence.
Forgiveness and the Blessing of GodBefore the high priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sacrifice, he removed the soiled robe and hung it in plain view of all the people. Instead of washing only his hands or feet, the other priests completely washed the high priest from head to toe to make sure that there was not one spot of blood remaining on his body. Then, before he appeared in front of the people again, he put on a new, white robe. His stain free reappearance was a reminder that no matter what they did, they had come before the Lord, and His mercy was fresh every morning. He entered into the Holy of Holies—the only day of the year this was allowed by God—and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant seven times.
God’s Mercy, Grace and Forgiveness Are Yours Every Day
I don’t care what you did yesterday. I don’t care what you did twenty years ago. The devil may try to bring it back up, but Jesus has already washed us clean, and our sins went down the drain. Not one spot of guilt remains. Our sacrifice, Jesus, shed His blood and died in plain sight as our permanent atonement for sin. Through His blood, we are cleansed, though our sins “are scarlet they shall be white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) There is no condemnation if we repent. The moment you repent, His mercy comes. Jesus is our High Priest. (Hebrews 9:11-14) He is the perfect tabernacle not made with hands. He entered the Most Holy Place with His own blood, once for all to obtain our redemption. We have been saved from that curse and brought into the resurrected power of our living, loving God. (Hebrews 10:16)
Do You Know Who You Are in Jesus?
What I want, more than anything, is for you to have a firm grasp on who you are in Jesus. You are a joint heir with Christ! You say, “Well, I just got saved.” It doesn’t matter. You are a joint heir with Christ. You say, “Well, I used to be a pastor, but I backslid.” It doesn’t matter. Come back to the Lord; you are a joint heir with Christ. You say, “Well, I’m a drug dealer and addict, but I’m ready to stop.” Turn to God, and you will become a joint heir with Christ Jesus. Do you know what that means? Do you realize the privilege that you have? As heirs, you can go before your Daddy’s throne, just as my grandsugars can rush into my office. Everything will stop. Just tell Him what you want. “Jesus, heal me.” It is finished. “Jesus, bless me.” It is finished. “Jesus, save my marriage.” It is finished. “Jesus, save my loved one.” It is finished. Turn back to Him. Repent, and break the curse.
This time is a gift from the Lord. Take advantage of it. Our lives have been changed by the sacrifice of Jesus. He has forgiven your sins and broken every curse releasing His blessing into your life. Because of that, take this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Ethiopian Jews who want to return to their homeland, Israel.
You can be a part of this extraordinary outreach. “…Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8
For more blessings, click here to enjoy the full Yom Kippur service.