Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur...Forgiveness

Tonight, at sundown, (Tishri 9 or September 25, 2012) Israelis will humble themselves before God in prayer, fasting and abstaining from any kind of work or personal pleasure. All forms of entertainment shut down, restaurants and businesses close. It is the highest Holy Day of Israel, Yom Kippur, and the nation of Israel observes it together as one people. While it leaves them vulnerable, I believe God surrounds them with His hand of protection, and we have the privilege of covering them with our prayers.

Leviticus 16:29 "It is to be a permanent regulation for you, that on the tenth day of the seventh month, you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves.

Leviticus 23:26-32 Adonai said to Moshe, "The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people. You are not to do any kind of work; it is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening."

God was emphatic about denying oneself...it was to be a day of repentance and seeking forgiveness for ones sins. Jews today fast, do not bathe or use personal cosmetics of any kind, engage in marital relations, or wear leather shoes. This is to show a sincere, humble attitude toward God. No food or drink keeps ones mind focused on God and fosters sympathy with those who are poor and without basic needs. Refraining from bathing and using personal body and beauty products is a reminder of those who do not have such comforts. Denying marital relations lets one feel for those who are lonely and without someone special or family. Refraining from wearing leather, which comes from a slaughtered animal, shows a respect for God's creation while seeking His forgiveness.

At the time of the giving of this commandment until the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies through a heavy curtain of separation and make atonement for the nation of Israel.

As true Believers in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Messiah), we know His death on the crucifixion stake (cross) rent the veil of separation, and with His resurrection from the dead, we now have Yeshua as our High Priest, who made a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies into God's presence. For us, observing Yom Kippur is not a matter of works for salvation, but rather a celebration of a righteous holy God accepting the sacrifice of His righteous, holy Son, Yeshua/Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.

May it at least be a day of intense prayer for our nation and for the nation (not state) of Israel.
Shalu Shalom Yisra'el/Yerushalayim~Pray for Israel, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
  In His Love,    
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

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