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Jesus Our Atonement

The purpose of Yom Kippur is to teach us about Jesus our Atonement (Hebrews 10:1-10).

As we look into the ceremony on the Day of Atonement, we will see how it points to the Messiah Himself, and also how it relates to us, the believers in Christ:

The high priest poured incense upon the burning coals in a golden censer. The incense of the censer represents the prayers of the believers in Christ (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:5-11; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1) and Mediator (Hebrews 12:24). He lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:22-27).

The high priest can only go within the veil once a year (Hebrews 9:7). By the death of Jesus, the veil was tore apart. We are now able to enter boldly into the veil daily (Matthew 27:50-51; 2 Corinthians 3:14; Hebrews 4:16; 6:13-19; 10:19-22).

The high priest washed himself in water. He must be absolutely cleansed in order to make atonement for the people of Israel. Jesus was purely clean and without sin. He was the perfect sinless Atonement and Sacrifice for our sins. For the believers in Jesus, we are to be washed continually by the water of the Word of God and His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26-27; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:22).

The high priest put on holy linen garments. These linen garments represent the purity and righteousness of Christ. The high priest's linen garments were stained with blood as he sacrificed the animals. After the sacrifices were complete, he took off these stained garments, washed himself and put on new garments. The white linen garments are clothes of righteousness (Job 29:14; Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 3:5; 15:6; 19:7-8, 13-15).

After atonement was made, those being atoned for were considered sinless and blameless before God. The believers in Messiah are being presented before God without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27) because of the blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:19).

The blood shed by Jesus is significant:

  • It marks the New Covenant (Matthew 26:27-28; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
  • It gives eternal life (John 6:53-54).
  • It brings redemption (Ephesians 1:7).
  • It makes atonement (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2).
  • It justifies us before God (Romans 5:9).
  • It grants forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9).
  • It provides reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-20).
  • It provides cleansing (1 John 1:7).
  • It makes us overcomers (Revelation 12:11).

The bodies of the sin offering, both the bull and the goat, were taken outside the camp where they were burned. Jesus was crucified outside the camp (John 19:17-20; Hebrews 13:10-13).

Burnt offerings were offered. Our bodies are to be living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5). We are to offer up sacrifices of praise to God (Psalm 34:1; Hebrews 13:15-16). Jesus is the Holy Sacrifice of God for us (Hebrews 9:26-28; 10:1-10).

The year of Jubilee was celebrated on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 25:9-11). This was both a year and day of liberty. Jesus came to preach this liberty at His First Coming (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:17-21).

From Adam to now is about 6,000 years, which is 120 Jubilees (50 years). The number 120 marks the end of the age of the flesh and the reign of the life of the spirit (Genesis 6:3). The ultimate fulfillment of the year of Jubilee will take place at the Second Coming of Messiah. The earth will be redeemed and entered into the full and complete rest from the curse brought upon it by Adam's sin.

Complete restoration of man's lost inheritance will take place. God's people will be totally set free from all sins, sicknesses, diseases, curses and death. Satan, the originator of all sins, will be bound. Earth will enjoy true rest. The Tabernacle of God will be among men as He dwells with us (Revelation 21:1-4). Thus the year of Jubilee and the Day of Atonement speak of the fullness of the redemptive plan of God for man.

God told the Israelites to sacrifice an animal as a substitute to die on their behalf for their death penalty. This "a life for a life" principle is the foundation of the sacrificial system. The Torah allows a monetary ransom be paid for an individual deserving death (Exodus 21:28-32). The guilty person therein was the owner of an ox that had killed a person. The owner of the ox was responsible for the death caused by his ox. The money paid in place of the death of the owner was the ransom price.

Jesus died on the tree as the Substitute for us. We deserve death as we have sinned against God. Jesus paid the ransom price for us to God (Mark 10:45). The ransom price was 30 pieces of silver (Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:14-16). In the case of a thief or murderer, there is no atonement for them (Exodus 22:1-2; Numbers 35:31). This is why there is no atonement for Satan (John 8:44).

The Day of Atonement is the tenth day of Tishri. It is significant that the season of repentance (Teshuvah) precedes redemption (Yom Kippur). Animal sacrifices were only appropriate when presented with a contrite and repentant heart (Psalm 51:16-19). God divinely placed Yom Kippur before the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) - The Season of Our Joy. The children of God could only rejoice when they were redeemed with their sins forgiven. Repent >> Redeemed >> Rejoice!

For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; so shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider. Isaiah 52:12-15

Within the above four verses, we witness the First and Second Coming of Jesus. The First depicts a Lamb going to the slaughter and a Man so marred that He did not resemble a man. The Second depicts a High Priest sprinkling many nations. This is in reference to the sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat of God by the high priest during Yom Kippur.

The garments of the high priest were stained with blood after he had performed this sprinkling task. The high priest would hang out his garments. When God accepted the sacrifice, a miracle would take place. His garments would turn from bloodstained red to white. This showed that God had forgiven their sins. When Jesus sprinkles His blood on us (1 Peter 1:2), though our sins are scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

Jesus' garment was stained with His blood when He died upon the tree but His garments are pure white today. White garments represent righteousness before God (Revelation 3:4-5; 7:9,13-14).

God has promised to sprinkle Israel when they return to the land of Israel from the Diaspora (Ezekiel 36:24-27). Jesus will also sprinkle the nations so that their sins will be forgiven, and they will be whiter than snow before God.