Sunday, 19 September 2021

The Day of Atonement

 Scripture: Exodus 30 v 10: "And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD."

Earlier this week on September 15 and 16 was the Jewish Day of Atonement, also called Yom Kippur.  It is the holiest day of the year since the time that the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place.  The travelling structure, tent, that housed the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, also had an outer court for the altars of shewbread, praise and incense.

This outer court was the congregation of priests, and from within their ranks one priest was called the High Priest and he had to go into the Holy of Holies on this day only, to take the blood of sacrificed animals and pour it over the Ark.  This gave forgiveness of sins for one year to Israel.

In the outermost court the tribes came and brought their doves, lambs, goats or bullocks, depending on how dire their sins were, to be sacrificed.  The priests would come from the inner court to slaughter these offerings.  Behind the priests stood the Laver, a large brass bowl where they washed the blood off their hands.  

In the inner court were three altars, the table with the shortbread, which only priests could eat; the altar of praise containing the scrolls of the Torah, and the altar of incense that stood in front of the curtain guarding the Holy of Holies.

There was a four inch thick curtain between the inner court and the Holy of Holies, interwoven into the sides of the tent.  Aaron, and other High Priests of the Temple, had to do many cleansing rituals to enter the Holy Place.  

There was no opening in the curtain so when the time came the High Priest was supernaturally transported through the curtain.  There was no way he could crawl under it in the robes, headdress, and carrying the blood of atonement.  

All these events and rituals were part of the Law of Moses, given by God to the 12 Jewish tribes.  They do not pertain to Christians or any other people or groups.

At the same moment that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, this curtain in the Temple in Jerusalem split from top to bottom.  It was no longer closed or just for one people.  The Blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, was shed once for all time.  Everyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God, and repents of sin, receives a full pardon and a clean slate.  The Blood is the only way to be cleansed of sin. 

1 John 1 v 7 - 9: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

So our day of atonement happened the day we were born again and accepted by God as His child and a member of the Body of Christ.  We are free of the law of Moses and there are only two commandments that apply to us.  We must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, body and spirit.  We must love our neighbours as ourselves.  

We are saved by Grace, it is the gift of God.  We cannot earn it by good works, nor can we purchase it with gold, silver or money.  Our Father gave us His Son to take our sentence of death, meaning eternal separation from God, to be the scapegoat carrying our sins away, to purchase our souls out of corruption, and bring us home to Heaven.  

There is no other way, no other god, no other doctrine that can achieve this.  There is also no such thing as Supergrace.  There is nothing more powerful than the grace and mercy of Almighty God.

Everything that physically happened to the Jewish tribes, opened a spiritual door for the Gentiles.  The Passover in Egypt corresponds to when we went from death to life as we were born again, after the death and resurrection of Jesus.  When the Hebrews went through the Red Sea, and were delivered out of enemy hands, it corresponds to Christians being delivered out of Satan's hands through the Blood of Jesus.  Our Day of Atonement.

We do not need to be circumcised or follow the Sabbaths, Jubilees, Feasts, Laws and Rituals of the Jews.  There is one exception to this and it is the Passover, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus instituted our Communion at a Passover Seder, just before His arrest and crucifixion.  He used elements of that Feast, like Matzos (Unleavened Bread), The Cup of Elijah.....that is the cup that remains full because it is only to be drunk when the Messiah has come!

Matthew 26 v 27 - 29: "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

Jesus took the cup, the Cup of Elijah, and declared it the blood of the New Testament.  The Old Testament was the blood of lambs and bullocks that was less efficient.  God said in Jeremiah 33 that He was making a new and better Covenant, and Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb that made God's Testament valid.

Like our last will and testament it is not valid while we are alive.  After death it becomes our legacy to the heirs written in it.  For God's promises to be fulfilled God had to die.  Because Jesus was sinless, death and the grave could not hold Him.  He died to validate God's Will and Testament for the heirs of salvation.

He triumphed over death and is now the holder of the Keys of Death and Hell.  He is the final authority.  Those who live forever in Heaven are those who are washed in the Blood and their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  

Do you know that you are an inheritor of all that is written in New Testament?  Have you thoroughly read and understood what has been bequeathed to you.  It is far greater than any earthly inheritance for it gives you eternal life in Heaven.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Your Son to be the Atonement for our sins.  We pray for the Jewish people to consider and accept the New Covenant and recognise Jesus as their Messiah.  We pray for every sinner to repent and receive salvation.  In Jesus' name. Amen.