Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was repeated every year because even after the children of Israel were cleansed—their sins covered—they would sin again and need atonement once more.
As Christians, we know that Christ made a sacrifice once for all. But if we are honest with ourselves, we repent of our sin, we partake of communion, we receive forgiveness for sin—but then we often go back and stumble again. So, we need something more than just forgiveness. This “something more” is what we look for in the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we see something outside of the normal concept of sacrifices in the Hebrew Scriptures which were made for atonement. This element is something unique and special and it is one of the things that we look to see fulfilled as we go forward in our Christian celebration of the Day of Atonement.
In addition to the slaughter of a bull as the sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering, the High Priest was to take two goats from the children of Israel. One goat he presented to the Lord as a sin offering; the other, the Azazel, is sent out as a scapegoat into the wilderness, to carry the sins of the people away from the community.
On this amazing day of Yom Kippur, we look for several things to take place:
First, we look for atonement for our leadership. We need leaders in the Body of Christ to repent of their sin and receive the transformational experience of being cleansed of their sin. And we need leaders in the Jewish community that have also been truly changed by this experience of the Day of Atonement.
Secondly, we look for the institutions of the church and the synagogue to be purged and cleansed of all unrighteousness that may exist within their walls during this Day of Atonement.
Thirdly, we look for people of faith to be forgiven from all sin, whether the sin was purposeful or accidental. So, we should dig into our own hearts, into our own souls, into our own minds to find every area in which sin (known or unknown) may dwell. Let us repent and seek God in those areas.
Let us look for the transformational power of the blood of Christ that ends the very nature of sin and the cycle of sin that we experience too often as believers. As part of our faith and expectation of this great day of atonement, let us be transformed from glory to glory into the image of His son Yeshua (Jesus).
- Leviticus 16:29-34. “For it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you.”
- Leviticus 16:2-22. “The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land.”
- 2 Corinthians 3:18. “But we…are being transformed.”
- “What a gracious Father we have that He has provided for us in every eventuality that we face.”
- “In my experience, as a pastor, I’ve seen people receive communion, receive forgiveness for sin and go back and stumble again within days or hours of having that experience of forgiveness.”
- “What we’re looking for is not just to be forgiven. We’re not just looking for a covering over of our sin. We’re looking for a true cleansing, which includes the removing of this nature—having it run out of town!”
- “I believe that in this Day of Atonement is not just forgiveness of sin, but it is looking forward to the reality of this transformational experience.”
- We are held guilty of our sins, even if we are unaware that we have sinned.
- We can be cleansed from our sin, but then go out and sin again tomorrow.
- But we need something more than forgiveness—we need transformation.
- The Day of Atonement is the realization of our spiritual transformation.