The Feast of Atonement or Yom Kippur is pertinent to our lives as Christians because it deals with our total deliverance from any duality of nature and the sin that dwells within us. In Leviticus 16:29–33, we see an amazing picture of two goat sacrifices. Aaron sacrifices the first goat, and God forgives the people of their sin by that sacrifice. Then Aaron brings out the second goat, the Azazel or scapegoat, lays his hands on it, confesses the fact that transgressions still remain, and this goat is removed. I like the terminology “goat of removal” because the idea here is that all iniquity remaining in the lives of the people is removed out of the camp. Everything that remains of an old nature, so to speak, is removed from Israel.
Notice that the sacrifice for sin had already been made. This is one of the reasons why I feel like this feast day is an important picture for us as Christians. Even though we have a salvation experience, an old nature still remains in us that may contain iniquities, transgressions, and sins. You may have repented and received the sacrifice for sin through Christ in your life yet you can still find things remaining in your nature. Unfortunately, a lot of Church doctrine shuns and puts people down when they sin or have a problem. But that should not be. People still have things remaining in their lives and are not perfected after their initial salvation experience. And what we need to do is take responsibility for those things in our own lives. We need to be able to look at them in the light of the Holy Spirit, confess our sin, and ask for forgiveness and cleansing of those things which continue to remain: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9).
We are not the only ones dealing with these issues. Paul was an apostle who moved in tremendous miracles. He was caught up into the third heaven and beheld the Lord face to face. It is hard to exceed Paul in his ministry, but he saw that sin was still dwelling in him (Romans 7:12–25). I know that I am forgiven in Yeshua (Jesus) for anything that remains dwelling in me. But I also believe in the provision, as I see reflected in the Day of Atonement, that in Christ we can have the complete removal of the nature of sin.
Atonement is the final deliverance that we as the Body of Christ will experience. Atonement points to us today and says, “The cross is available for you here and now. If there are things that remain in your life—things of failure, things of an old nature, things of sin—they can be removed right now.” Transfer them out of your life by faith and put them on the cross. The cross is available to you right now. Just as the high priest laid hands on the head of that goat, lay your hands upon the Lord and impart all these things to the cross. Let them be completely removed and set you free. As we walk in this Day of Atonement, we put off the old man, and we put on the new self that is filled with righteousness, truth, and holiness in the will of God (Colossians 3:9–10).
 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).