Yom Kippur. What does it mean to you? The resounding answer would probably be, "Some Jewish day on the Hebrew calendar." Perhaps some know that it's one of the Feasts of the LORD, celebrated by the Jews (and some of us Messianic believers).
As for me, I have kept this feast day for at least fifteen years now, but this year it was as if my heart was aching for more understanding. Since all of the Fall Feasts are as of yet unfulfilled, it's sometimes hard to know how we really are to observe them. What does GOD want us to do on this day? Is it relevant for Christian believers in Messiah Jesus/Yeshua?
In Leviticus 23:27 the LORD said to Moses, "The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny ourselves, and present an offering to the LORD made by fire. Do no work on that day because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you by the LORD your God." So, over the years I have faithfully kept this day by fasting and prayer, and gathering with others in a sacred assembly of worship. Yet this year, as this holy Day approaches, I felt there must be more meaning that I have not yet received. How blessed I was today by listening to some teaching by Pastor Marty Gale and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. They both offered profound understanding that gave powerful meaning to this day that the Jewish people call "the holiest day of the year."
Pastor Marty gave new meaning to the familiar story we all know about King David bringing the ark into Jerusalem. In 2 Samuel Chapter 6 we see King David "dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets." They sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and David was wearing an ephod, the vestment of the High Priest. Where was he taking the ark and why? Marty illustrated the prophetic picture of Messiah Yeshua that David was painting, as he brought the ark and many sacrifices into the Temple of the LORD. Acting in the roles of both Priest and King, he was bringing offerings to God with vibrant, passionate worship.
In the same way, Hebrews 9:24-28 speaks of Yeshua, our Priest and King:
For the Messiah has entered a Holiest Place which is not man-made and merely a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, in order to appear now on our behalf in the very presence of God. Further, he did not enter heaven to offer himself over and over again, like the High Priest who enters the Holiest Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer death many times — from the founding of the universe on. But as it is, he has appeared once at the end of the ages in order to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself. Just as human beings have to die once, but after this comes judgment, so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly waiting for him.
This entire passage is speaking of Yom Kippur. And though the Hebrew word kippur means covering, we can glean from the passage above that our Messiah Yeshua does not merely cover sin - he REMOVES IT! He "does away with it!" And He delivers those who are eagerly waiting for Him.
Jonathan Cahn's message really went even further to help us understand who are "those who are eagerly waiting for Him." Yes, that includes you and me and people worldwide who believe He is returning to take us to be with Him forever; but also included here are the Jewish people. Jonathan asked an important question: "What happens on Yom Kippur at the end?" Here is the thrilling answer to that question, in Zechariah 12:9-10 and Zechariah 13:2:
On that day I wil set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
And I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Jerusalem
a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced.”
They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son;
they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son.
On that day, a spring will be opened up for the house of David and the people living in Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity. “When that day comes,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “I will cut off the very names of the idols from the land, so that no one even remembers them any more. I will also expel the [false] prophets and the spirit of uncleanness from the land.
ON THAT DAY! It is Judgment Day! IT IS YOM KIPPUR IN ITS FINAL FULFILLMENT! The Remnant of the Jewish people who are alive will see Him face to face, and they will mourn because they had not believed. They will mourn in deep repentance and they will come to faith and belief in the One who was pierced for their sin. ON THAT DAY they will weep bitterly as they confess their sins, and then, as Paul tells us in Romans 11:26-27: "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.'" (Isa. 59:20-21, 27:9).
Oh, my friends, I look forward more than ever to the keeping of this great and holy day! On the Hebrew calendar it will come in on Sept 24 at sundown and last until Sept 25 at sundown. Religious Jews in Israel will "deny themselves" with fasting and go to their synagogues for prayers. Some of the Orthodox will twirl a slaughtered chicken over their heads, hoping to receive atonement for sin through the sprinkling of the chicken's blood. Extra police and I.D.F. soldiers are even now preparing to surround synagogues to protect worshipers from terrorist attacks.
PLEASE PRAY. Pray that the Ruach haKodesh, the Holy Spirit, will lift the veil and open their hearts to see and believe in Messiah Yeshua. Pray for protection over families, and especially children and the elderly. Our Lord, speaking to the Jews, says "You will not see Me again until you say, "Baruch haba b'shem Adonai (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD)." May we hear these words from the lips of our Jewish brothers and sisters, even in our day! But as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may we rend our own hearts as we confess the sins of America, and pray for repentance to sweep over this land as well.
Pray that God would hasten the Day - the final YOM KIPPUR, the day we dress all in white, to symbolize the Bride that eagerly awaits the coming of her Bridegroom. The day that ushers in the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (at the Feast of Tabernacles) with a procession of Davidic dance, and shouting and the sound of trumpets! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD! Amen.
Kelly Ferrari Mills