Tonight September 18th, at sunset is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement which continues for 2 days ending Wednesday the 19th at sunset.
The LORD said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement... You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.” Leviticus 23:26-32 NIV
Last week we discussed Rosh Hashanah, the Head of the Year and the sweetness of the Lord. I made the point that Rosh Hashanah prophetically points to Christ's return for His anointed. My reasoning comes from the promise that our Savior would be crucified, but raised to life again which is represented by the Jewish celebration of Passover, or the Christian's Easter. Jesus stated that He must return to the Father, but would send a Counselor. The Holy Spirit arrived during the next Jewish appointed day of Shavuot or Pentecost (Acts 2). The next promise was that our LORD would return, Rosh Hashanah, with Yom Kippur less than 10 days later. So what is Yom Kippur?
Then he [Aaron] shall take the two goats and set them before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel [az, goat and azel, escape]. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel. Leviticus 16:7-10 ESV
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, sacrifice and judgment. On this Jewish High Holy Day during the Tabernacle and Temple periods, two goats would be chosen. They would be purchased for the same price and were to resemble each other as closely as possible. The priest would sacrifice one goat "to the LORD" then the blood would be sprinkled on the Ark in the Holy of Holies. Afterwards the priest would put his hand on the head of the other goat confessing the sins of Isreal upon it before being led into the wilderness.
It may appear that the second goat has the better destiny. When the lots were chosen, one goat died the other was allowed to run off, but is that really truth? The first goat is sacrificed to the Lord as a sin offering, it dies to the life it has know in order to purify the priest so he could approach Yahweh in the Holy of Holies. The other must carry the sin around for the rest of its life apart from God.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' " Matthew 25:31-34 ESV
Most Biblical holy days are a celebration and remembrance of something good, we welcome or look forward the occasion, but on Yom Kippur we must face our sinfulness, acknowledge the actions, thoughts and deeds that oppose a completely holy Creator. We alone choose our "lot" in this life. Although no one likes to face their wrongdoings and accept the consequences of their actions, unless we repent and accept the purifying grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, sacrificing our desires to live a life "to the LORD" we will be destined to wander the wilderness of this life in our sinfulness.
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-18 NIV
Prophetically, Yom Kippur is the the Day of Atonement is Judgment day when Christ will pronounce to the Father who belong to Him and who have wandered the wilderness in their sinfulness apart from Christ. On this Yom Kippur, I encourage you to physically kneel before your Savior as a demonstration of your submission to His Lordship over your life. Verbalize your desire for His will in your life in reaffirmation, or perhaps for the first time. Spend the day fasting and in prayer for your family, our nation and the unsaved of this world, so that all may repent and be saved before our LORD returns.
O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Your children. O LORD our God, redeem us, please, from our selfish motives and ambitions. In humility we submit ourselves in our righteousness through Your son, our Savior Jesus Christ so we might be found pure and as an acceptable in your sight. May all the kingdoms of the earth know that you, O LORD, are God alone. (2 Kings 19:14-19 For we will all stand before the judgment seat of You, O God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us will give an account of himself to You, our Holy God and Redeemer. (Romans 14:10b-12) In Jesus name, the Name above every name, Amen.