The Day of Atonement
The 7 Feasts of Israel.
Leviticus 23:27-28 NKJV
“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.
To atone is to make amends for a wrong that was committed. This feast, also known as Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of all the feasts of Israel. This occurs once a year on the 10th day of the 7th month. This was a special day because it was the day the high priest would make sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. It was the only day he could go into the holy of holies.
Two important things to note are that first, it was only the priest who could make atonement for the sins of the people. Secondly, a blood sacrifice was required for without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.
The priest would first cleanse himself by washing and then offer a sacrifice for his sins and those of his family a before offering sacrifices on behalf of the people.
We too cannot make atonement for our sins, but we have a high priest who did so for us.
Hebrews 9:11-12 NKJV
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Take note that it is only those who have believed in Christ and his blood whose sins have been atoned for.
On this day, the priest would offer two goats. One was sacrificed and the blood was sprinkled on the ark, appeasing God. The second was not killed, instead, the priest would lay his hands on it, symbolizing the transferring the sins of the people onto it. The goat was then led outside the camp into the wilderness, where it was released, never to come back again. It was known as the scape goat, symbolizing that the sins of the people have been separated from them never to come back again, but this was only valid for a year.
The blood of Christ has done both for us once and for all, appeasing God and washing away our sins. What a joy and a reason to celebrate.
Have you ever wronged someone, and you felt you need to go back and make amends with them? What happened.
The High priest had to make atonement once a year for the people, how would it be if it was still the same today?
Have your sins been atoned for once and for all?