Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yom Kippur

Alone with himself, originally uploaded by ido1.
This picture was taken a year ago on the evening before yom kippur. While I didn't take the photo, I thought you might appreciate it's composition.

Last Saturday was Yom Kippur--the Day of Atonement. It is considered the holiest day of the Jewish year, and it serves as a reminder to all of the final judgement of the world.

Literally it means the "day of covering, canceling, pardon, reconciling." Today Jewish people take it as a day of fasting and repentance, but during the days before Jesus came on the earth, it was an even greater ceremony. You see, it was the only time when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the name of God to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people.

Literally, a goat was slain and it's blood was the ransom for the sins of the people. This blood atoned for the sins of the people, for that year. The life blood of the goat was given as a substitution for the life blood of the person. It was a symbolic expression of an innocent life being given for a guilty life. But then it gets even more interesting, because before killing or sending out a scapegoat (I should blog about this term sometime--pretty interesting), the sins of the people are confessed over the animal and imputed to the animal. The animal "becomes" the sin.

Yom Kippur is also believed to be the day that Moses came down from Sinai with the second set of tablets with the ten commandments.

To me this day is really special because our savior Jesus has become an even greater sacrifice than a goat. He has become sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. The innocent took the iniquity and paid the price for the guilty, you and I. Jesus also served the role of the high priest, and He made the sacrifice of Himself so that we no longer have to make a sacrifice to be reconciled with God.

I could write about this festival for a long time, but instead, I want to offer a suggestion. Jesus the High Priest has offered Himself as a payment for our transgressions against God. We can have right relationship with God on the final day of judgement based on trusting Jesus.

But each year, on the day of atonement, there is a reminder for us. There is a reminder for us that the innocent paid the price for the guilty. As such, Yom Kippur provides each of us a great opportunity to examine our lives, and to practice the tradition that has taken place for thousands of years on this day. We can confess our sins and come before our righteous king in humility and repentance.

This is a little different blog for me than the usual, but I've been reading and thinking about our Jewish roots a lot lately, so I thought I would share just a bit with you.

I hope you can take time to treasure the reconciliation to God that Jesus offers you today, and to examine your life so that you better understand the extent of His payment.


Franklin Jr said...

Very insightful...your wisdom ..and ability to honor past traditions is very evident and focus on the deep meaning ...feels heartfelt as ever coming from you Billy...

chanchanchepon said...

thanks brother. Good to hear from ya! Thanks for giving it a read.