The Reading Of The Torah
In the morning service six people are called to the reading of the Torah from the portion Aarei Mot , whose subject is the Day of Atonement. The *maftir is the section in Numbers dealing with the additional sacrifices of the Day of Atonement , and the haftarah is Isaiah 57, from verse 15 until 58:14 , in which the prophet describes the ideal fast. During the afternoon service three men are called to the reading of the Torah of Leviticus 18, which deals with incest prohibitions . The haftarah is the Book of Jonah and Micah 7:1820, whose subject is ideal repentance and its effect, and God’s forgiving mercy .
What Does An Ancient Old Testament Ceremony Involving Two Goats Have To Do With Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ Furthermore Are Christians To Fast On This Holy Day
One of the more mysterious chapters in the Old Testament is Leviticus 16, concerning the 10th day of the Hebrew seventh month, the Day of Atonement . Chapter 16 discusses a series of animal offerings for this occasion, including that of two goats with roles determined by lot, and Israels high priest entering the Holy of Holies of the physical tabernacle. It also commands a fast on this day.
Ultimately, Leviticus 16 points to the dual roles that God our Father gave to Jesus Christ to become both our High Priest and ultimate sacrifice for our sins, as well as pointing to the complete removal of the source of sin.
The Peoples Role In The Day Of Atonement
The people were not to be passive in the Day of Atonement, although they were to observe a Sabbath rest. They were commanded to remember this ordinance as a permanent statute, by humbling their souls .
Observations Concerning the Day of Atonement
There are several features of the Day of Atonement which are worthy of our attention, which prepare us to consider the meaning of this text. Let us briefly consider each of these.
Gods instructions to Aaron concerning the offerings of the Day of Atonement begins with a reminder of the death of his two sons, as recorded in chapter 10. This serves as a chronological clue, indicating that the commandments given here must have come shortly after the death of Aarons sons. There is also the logical connection. Aarons sons died while in the tabernacle, specifically while they were burning incense. In the course of Aarons duties on the Day of Atonement, he too will offer incense. This note thus serves to underscore the importance of Aarons very meticulous obedience to these instructions.
The priestly garb which Aaron was to wear on this one occasion was very different from that which he normally wore in the course of his duties.
Further, Aaron died, but Christ lives forever . Christ is vastly superior to Aaron, and to all the high priests of Israel.
The sacrifice of Christ was superior to those offered by Aaron. Aaron and all the other priests could but offer the blood of bulls and goats, but Christ offered His own precious blood:
Day Of Atonement In Israel In 2022
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Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of repentance, considered to be the holiest and most solemn day of the year
Origins And Meaning Of Yom Kippur
Tradition has it that the holiday originated with the prophet Moses. After God gave Moses the Ten Commandments atop Mount Sinai, Moses returned to the Israelites. During his prolonged absence, they began worshiping a golden calf, considered a false idol. In anger, he smashed the commandments, set in stone, then headed back up the mountain to pray for Gods forgiveness for himself and his people. Moses returned with a second set of the Ten Commandmentsand Gods forgiveness for Israel.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the Days of Awe, or Days of Repentance, that begin with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. During the 10-day period, a person is thought to be able to influence Gods plans for the coming year. In the Mishnah, the legal text that dictates Jewish daily life, God is portrayed as inscribing peoples names in one of three books on Rosh Hashanah: a book that records the names of good people, a book of evil people, and a book of people who are neither totally wicked nor righteous.
Jews believe that they can perform acts of prayer, repentance, and charity during the Days of Awe to influence God, changing how they are categorized before the books are sealed on Yom Kippur.
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The Day Of Atonement And Jesus Death
In the context of the Ancient Israelite culture, animal sacrifices were sacred symbols of Gods love and mercy. These symbols point forward by highlighting the great rift between God and his people, even as he dwells among them. Its a tension that was ultimately resolved in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In fact, many of the ways that Jesus death is talked about in the New Testament dont make sense without a basic grasp on the meaning of sacrifice in the Old Testament. In this blog, were going to focus on one particular sacrificial ritual and its connections to the death of Jesus: the Day of Atonement.
How Do We Know Christ’s Death Is The Atoning Sacrifice For Mankind
“… We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” .
Paul confirms that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them …” . The American Heritage Dictionary, electronic edition, defines the theological meaning of the word atonement as “reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and human beings.” The Day of Atonement points to the time in the future when God will reconcile humanity to Himself through Christ. “Atone,” in English, means literally “at one.” The Day of Atonement represents the time when humanity will at last be at one with God, no longer separated from Him.
Why is atonement for mankind necessary? It is required for two reasons. First, “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ …” .
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How Do We Know Christs Death Is The Atoning Sacrifice For Mankind
We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world .
Paul confirms that in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them . The American Heritage Dictionary, electronic edition, defines the theological meaning of the word atonement as reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and human beings. The Day of Atonement points to the time in the future when God will reconcile humanity to Himself through Christ. Atone, in English, means literally at one. The Day of Atonement represents the time when humanity will at last be at one with God, no longer separated from Him.
Why is atonement for mankind necessary? It is required for two reasons. First, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ . Second, humans are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart . Peoples hardness of heart, caused by a combination of ignorance and human nature together with Satans influence, has led them to sin and fall short of Gods glory .When will God remove Satans influence?
The Meaning Of The Day The Day Of Atonement In Philosophic Aggadic And Belletristic Literature
In the Pentateuch there is no reference to mourning practices on the Day of Atonement. On the other hand, the Book of Jubilees maintains that the Day of Atonement, the one day in the year when forgiveness is granted to all who repent fully , was established on the day that Jacob heard of Joseph’s death and mourned for him. For this reason one should always be sad on this day , and atonement is made with a male goat as a reminder of the male goat which Joseph’s brothers slaughtered and in whose blood they dipped his shirt. This conception of the Day of Atonement as a day of sadness is peculiar to the author of the Book of Jubilees and does not appear elsewhere in Judaism except among many Karaites who instituted mourning practices on the Day of Atonement.
During the Middle Ages, the character of the Day of Atonement as a joyful and a festive day did not change, but emphasis was also put upon its character as a day of judgment and justice and as the hour of “signing the verdict.” As did Philo and the sages, the medieval philosophers also describe the Day of Atonement as a day when the soul, freed from corporal fetters, attains the peak of its perfection in the service of God .
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An Observance To Keep Todaywith Fasting
In Leviticus 23:27Leviticus 23:27Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation to you and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
American King James Version×, translated as afflict. Thus, to afflict ones soul or being refers to the humbling process we go through when we fast. This day of fasting is for the purpose of humbling ourselves before God in a repentant and obedient frame of mindto practice self-control with Gods help as we seek Him.
This time of fasting is not for the purpose of appearing to other people to be righteous .
Fasting typifies the kind of humble, repentant and obedient attitude we as Christians must have. Christ promised that in the ages following His first coming, His disciples would fast on occasion .
In fact the Day of Atonement is still mentioned long after Christs death and resurrection as the Fast in Acts 27:9Acts 27:9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
Termination Of The Day Of Atonement
The termination of the Day of Atonement was also assigned a special status, similar to that of the eve of the Day. During the geonic era the custom of blowing the shofar at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement was adopted, there being differences of opinion about the number of blasts, the time , and the reason for blowing. There are those who contend that the purpose of the blowing is to call attention to the festive and joyous character of the termination of the Day of Atonement in northern France and Germany, the termination of the Day was considered a festival, it being a religious duty to rejoice and eat abundantly. There were also special table-hymns for the end of the Day and there was also the custom of greeting people with the blessing “May you be answered and your entreaty granted” “May you be inscribed for life and merit many years” , 305, in a seliah for Ne’ilah: “May you merit many years, be answered, and have your entreaty granted”). Some have the custom to begin building the booths for *Sukkot as soon as the Day of Atonement terminates .
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Entering The Holy Of Holies The Sacrifice
Entering the Holy of Holies was the privilege and duty of one man the High Priest! Yom Kippur was the only day of the year the High Priest could enter behind the veil.
He was to bathe in a mikvah, a bath used for ritual purification, and he then put on special robes. A bull was sacrificed for a sin offering for himself and his family. The blood of the bull was then sprinkled on the Mercy Seat which sat upon the Ark of the Covenant.
There is a lot of detailed information about the high priest and the Holy of Holies and Yom Kippur here in my post Gods Presence in the Holy of Holies
The Day Of Atonement And The Two Goats
The rituals God gave ancient Israel for the Day of Atonement included one involving two goats. The high priest was to present them before God, and God would show which one was for the Lord to be sacrificed and which was for Azazel . The goat for Azazel was left alive.
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel and shall send him away by the hand of an appointed man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land which is cut off and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness
And he that letteth go the goat for Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water .
The connection between the goat for Azazel and the binding of Satan in Revelation 20 becomes more clear when you note that most scholars believe Azazel is the name of a demon inhabiting the wilderness .
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What Does The Day Of Atonement Mean For Yeshua
Hebrews 7:27 says-
He has no need to offer up sacrifices day by day like those other kohanim gdolimfirst for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. For when He offered up Himself, He did this once for all.
This does not speak about in an earthly Temple of course because we do not have a Temple standing and Yeshua was not a descendant of Aaron and not of the Levitical priesthood. This refers to the Messianic Era where He is a Priest of the Order of Melchizedek.
Saying Yeshua became a sacrifice for us so that we no longer need to make earthly sacrifices relegates His death and resurrection to simply a matter of convenience and would indicate that if we DID simply resume them we could accomplish the same ends without Him. So this is not referring to an earthly Temple.
We all like sheep have gone astray.
Each of us turned to his own way.
So Adonai has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Yeshua became a type of the scapegoat for us! He was crucified outside the city just as the scapegoat was removed from the city!
He took on the sins of the world, not as a sacrifice in the sense of a Temple sacrifice , but as an atoning substitution and what in Hebrew is known as a Tzadik He bore our sins, our shame, our sicknesses.
Gods Plan Is Redemption
Genesis 12 provides for us a more detailed glimpse into the salvific intentions, which up to this point in Scripture have only been alluded to. It is here that we discover how God will choose one family to be the very instrument through which every tongue, tribe, and nation will be brought back into Gods presence to continue the work which Adam was intended to fulfill before his betrayal.
It is the family of Abram and his descendent, Israel, which foreshadow spiritual Israel, the church , who will take up the mantle of Adam to bless all the families of the earth .
Nevertheless, the dilemma of sin still remains. God has chosen a people to represent him and move his mission forward, but the people are infected and warped by iniquity. Where once, prior to the fall, Gods presence was a place of peace, joy, and safety, it has now become a place of danger and terror because Gods holiness will burn up anything impure and unclean that attempts to break through the perimeter .
How will God reinstate, use, and draw near to a sinful people without destroying them? The answer is found in atonement.
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Laws Of Sexual Morality
18 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: I am the Lord your God. 3 According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do nor shall you walk in their ordinances. 4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
19 Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity. 20 Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbors wife, to defile yourself with her. 21 And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
30 Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.