The Feasts of The Lord
Leviticus 23 – Part 6
by Earlene Davis
Day of Atonement
Vs. 26-27, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
The Jewish name for this set time is ‘Yom Kippur.’ It is the most important High Holy Day for the Jews. It is most solemn, a fasting time rather than a feasting time. Each individual Jew was to “afflict their souls.” This day of confession was accompanied with an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
It was on this day the high priest entered the fearsome Holy of Holies where God dwelt. Lev. 16 tells about it in detail. First the high priest would make a blood sacrifice for His own sins and for his house. Then he would offer a blood sacrifice on behalf of all the sins of all the people of Israel. Today there is no Temple, so there are no animal sacrifices. The Jewish people have to rely solely on repentance for forgiveness of sins. They have no assurance that God has heard and forgiven. For the Scriptures teach that atonement is in the blood, Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22.
Vs. 28-31, “And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” If they worked on atonement day or did not repent of their sins, they were cut off from among the people.
Vs. 32, “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” A full twenty-four hours was specified by God for confession, but remember it was for the sins of an entire year. It was a sabbath of rest for them when they repented and had faith in the blood sacrifice for their atonement.
Atonement means, “to cover, cancel” in Hebrew. In the Greek is has the meaning of “reconciliation.” This day of atonement for the Jew was the covering over of their sin and reconciliation to God for a year at least.
This set time is not fulfilled by the church. The church is not innocent of course, but Jesus shed blood paid for the sins of every one of us - Heb. 9:28. When Christ offered His own blood as our atonement or covering, the veil of the Temple was rent (torn) in two, signifying that He had opened the way into the Holy of Holies. Mk. 15:38. By His sacrifice all who believe now have access to God and a covering for sin. The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled in a wonderful way when the Lord returns, coming to the aid of Israel and judging those nations that have come against her at the battle of Armageddon. Zechariah tells us of the reaction of Israel when they see their King returning.
Zech. 12:10-14, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Individually and very personal will be their repentance.
They will certainly afflict their souls, mourning for the rejection of their Messiah Christ, and turn to Him. Zech. 13:1, 6, “ In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness…And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
Those Jews who do not bow to the Antichrist when he enters the Temple (II Thess 2:3,4), and will repent and morn when they see Him who they pierced (their Messiah), they will be the remnant that will be a nation born in a day Rom. 11:26; Isa. 66:8. Only surviving, believing Israel will be saved, for two-thirds of that nation shall perish at the hands of the Antichrist.
The tribulation period will end on the Day of Atonement. For they shall accept the atonement Christ has made. God will have ended His separation from Israel (His wife). The book of Hosea tells of the adultery of Israel in type and of her redemption and purification.
Only then will the third of these end-time series of set times become a reality - “Tabernacles” (next issue).