"The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. "You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath."" Lev 23:26-32 (NASB)
Click here to listen to "Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement"
The second of the three fall feasts of the Lord that carries spiritual power is the Day of Atonement. Reading our text in Leviticus 23:26-32, we see certain key elements to the spiritual activation of the day. First is its name, Atonement. The Hebrew word is “kaphar”, which means to cover something to protect it from the elements. It is first used with reference to the pitch that was used to protect Noah’s ark from the flood.
Inside the ark, was the promise the hope for the world, the salvation of life kept safe from judgment by the ark, which in turn was kept safe by the “kaphar”, the pitch covering.
"Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark and cover it inside and outside with pitch." Gen 6:14 (NKJV)
Next, we see the term “holy convocation”. A convocation is a “miqra”. It is an event that people are called to. The image is of condensation of "people power" into a location. Like a laser which condenses light into a coherence, the “miqra” condenses people into spiritual alignment.
The instruction is to humble our souls. The Hebrew word for humble is anah, which is the picture of the furrow, the focusing of our heart into a state of oneness with the object of our humility. Our nephesh, the soul, which is the whole person. This is so crucial to the Day of Atonement that it is repeated three times.
We are instructed to bring an offering by fire. The actual Hebrew is a fiery “drawing close” to God. To me, this a picture of a passionate consecration of the heart through a sacrifice of love. In biblical times, this would be the cherished animal of the flock that would be cultivated for this outpouring of love. In today’s world, we need to think about what our cherished sign of love for God would be. What would represent a burning sacrifice? How do we romance the living God?
The verses go on to tell us to forsake works on this day. Normally the Hebrew for working is avodah. In this scripture the word is Melakhah. This is the root for Melech, which means king or Malechim, Angels. It comes from the root Lech, which means to walk or to go. This idea is so critical to the Day of Atonement that it is also repeated three times. In fact, if we were to summarize atonement, it would be by the humbling of our souls and the prohibition to do works. Why is this? How does it fit into the atonement by Yeshua through the cross?
What is the essence of atonement? I want to suggest it is oneness. At-one-ment is about bringing about a reconciliation first, between God and man.
"Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, "THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM," He then says, "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin." Heb 10:11-18 (NASB)
If we read this closely, we see that atonement is about perfection. The Greek word translated as being perfected is “teleos” and it means the end of something, its fulfillment. This is the completion of a design-purpose. The writer goes on to describe this by saying that God’s Spirit testifies or speaks about this transformation by declaring that: "THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,". The perfection or the completion of the atonement is a oneness in our heart with His laws, His ways. His heart becomes our heart, a oneness. This is so powerful that He states: "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.".
It isn’t that God has forgotten anything. Rather, I believe He is saying that He keeps no offense towards the sins and iniquity. This is what true healing looks like in a relationship. I don’t hold your mistakes or errors willful or accidental against you. This is true forgiveness. In forgiveness, it is as if they never happened even though we are both aware that they did. We choose to live as healed, not as the wounded and offended. This is the power of the atonement with our God.
In this place He declares: Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. There is no offering because there is no sin. There is no further apology needed or sacrifice because true forgiveness has happened.
Now, let’s return to the issues of humility and works. Humility is the positive losing of myself in the oneness. Works is NOT as many have taught ceasing from your job or avodah. But ceasing from your walk as an attempt to find atonement by your goodness. To make working as the action in opposition to atonement is a shallow attempt to bring about a self-righteousness piece to what is a divine provision. It’s not that I am suggesting that there is anything wrong with resting from works. God rests from works. What I am suggesting though is that works that are about our own walk apart from Him is the problem. Look with me at Ephesians 2:1-3
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." Eph 2:1-3 (NASB)
I believe this is a description of the “works” that the Day of Atonement was dealing with a type of walking that was according to the course of the world, driven by lust and desires of the flesh. This produced children of wrath.
Atonement was for healing the estrangement, reconciliation with God.
True atonement though has to go one step further. Let’s read on in Hebrews 10:19-25
"Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Heb 10:19-25 (NASB)
Yom Kippur atones for sins against God. It does not atone for sins against man. We still need to open our hearts on this season of oneness and make things right with each other.
""Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering." Mat 5:23-24 (NASB)
We need to appropriate the grace of forgetting. We need to practice forgetting the offenses and releasing ourselves and others into our callings in God. As the Apostle Paul stated:
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;" Php 3:12-15 (NASB)
This is true perfection, the end or goal of a design, that we would forget the past offenses as God has forgiven and forgotten ours and walk toward the upward call of Christ, oneness, atonement!
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ” Job 28:28 (NASB95)
Popular posts from this blog
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God Day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:10-11 NKJV) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last chapter, we began to look at how to overcome evil in these days. This verse tells us of 3 main strategies that believers use to overcome the accuser of the brethren. Accusation is the main method of the enemy. When you accuse someone of something you bring the voice of your experience to someone in authority in this case the authority is God Himself. As we mentioned a couple of chapters back, the throne of God today is in the heart of believers. "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My F
Living the Resurrected Life. The Testimony Part 12 The Water, The Blood, and the Spirit, Part 5 - The Spirit,Conviction versus Condemnation - David Mitts
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NASB) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last session we began speaking about the testimony of the Spirit. We compared the impact of trying to solve the issues of our conscience from self-efforts, what the scriptures calls dead works to living the overcoming life by the Spirit. “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) What drives dead works? Our conscience. Our conscience is defined as that part of ourselves that determines the rightness or wrongness of something. How do we do that? What informs our conscience? I think our conscience, at its root is informed by our need to find out what is good and evil in our lives and then to choose what to do or say. In this sense, our conscience is activated by the tree of the knowledge of good an