I have so much anticipation for the Day of Atonement! Also known as Yom Kippur, it is the highest holy day of the year on the Jewish calendar. On this day, the High Priest made an atoning sacrifice for sin to restore the relationship between God and His people (Leviticus 16:5–10). We know that in Christ our High Priest we have salvation and the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 7:24–27). As High Priest, however, Christ also fulfills the Day of Atonement by the complete removal of the sin nature on our behalf (Hebrews 9:11–12). We may be conditioned to our sin and failures, but God declares, “It is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD” (Leviticus 16:30).[i] This total cleansing will happen! And it will happen suddenly. It happens all at once in one day, and I believe the people of God will experience a literal fulfillment of this in our generation. So we submit our hearts to the Word of the Lord that in a single day this total cleansing will happen.
God will cleanse you and “you will be clean.” The Hebrew word for “clean” is taher and means “to be clean; to be pure; to be cleansed.” It also means “brightness” or “to be purged.” The Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures adds “to shine; to be bright.” The prophet Daniel talks about this experience of atonement: “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. … Many will be purged, purified and refined” (Daniel 12:3, 10). You will be purified and shine brightly!
As the experience of Yom Kippur unfolds for us, God will do a perfect, completed work. Christ is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). It is wonderful to be forgiven and walk by grace, but our hearts long for something more. We are to shine like the brightness of God’s presence. We do not want to just worship God through a veil of the blood of Christ that covers our sins. Instead, we want to stand before Him in all purity and freedom—ministering back to Him face to face. We want to worship God from a place of purity that He has provided for us through His atonement. Then we will stand before the Lord pure and clean as those He can be proud of.
Atonement is very much part of the end-time experience and is directly tied to the release that God will bring. Delays can work in us a lack of anticipation and even cause unbelief. Yet, I believe that in one day everything will change. One of the greatest signs of the end time is rapid change—and especially in God’s people. Atonement will be a collective experience for the Body of Christ that brings us together into a oneness, so we can walk through this end time purified, purged, cleansed, released, and shining in the Lord. God has promised atonement and He will do it. When He does, He will do it in a day and it will begin with the experience of the Day of Atonement. Suddenly, “it will spring forth” (Isaiah 43:19). It will be a historical event as significant as what happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4). Once we are cleansed, then our Father will be able to turn loose His abundance of love and blessing on Israel and the Body of Christ because we will walk in all purity and righteousness.
For Further Study
Ezekiel 36:24–28, 33–36
[i] All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).