Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (the word for “kippur” is kafar potentially derived from the word kofer which means “ransom”) or in English, “the Day of Atonement”, is the holiest day of the Jewish year. This was the only day the Jewish High Priest was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice to God to atone for the sins of His people.

God’s command to observe this holy day is recorded in Leviticus 23:27-28: “on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and present an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” The word “afflict” originates from the Hebrew term anah which means “to abase or humble”. It was this same quality in little children to which Jesus referred when he was asked how one could enter the kingdom of God and he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

This sacrificial system God initiated for the substitutionary atonement for the sins of the Israelites was a symbolic foreshadowing of the finished work of the Messiah as our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:10) in the person of Jesus Christ.

On Yom Kippur, let us humble ourselves before the LORD and give thanks that our hope is not in the things of this world but in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ!


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