Yom Kippur – Tishrei 10, 5780/October 9, 2019
For the ancient Israelites, Yom Kippur was the one and only day of the year when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle to make atonement for the sins of the nation. This was to insure that the names of the individuals were written in the Lamb's Book Of Life (Exodus 32:33, Revelation 13:8). One bull, one ram and two male goats were to be offered. It was also to be a day of affliction and remorse for sin. (Leviticus 16)
In the days of Isaiah the prophet there was plenty to be remorseful about. The nation had fallen far from God, steeped in wicked idolatry and divided. The idolatry of Baal worship involved debauchery, sacrifice of babies and children, slavery and sexual rituals, (much like promiscuous sex, gender confusion, drunkenness, abortion, human trafficking and Satanic ritual sexual abuse and sacrifice of humans of all ages that are all taking place today). Their sacrifices to Yahweh were useless. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. ~Isaiah 1:14-15
Because of the intercession by Moses and other prophets for this people, Israel, that God had chosen to use for His purposes and plan, God as always in His infinite mercy, calls for repentance and obedience, and promises abundant life.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. ~Isaiah 1:18
The yearly sacrifice to Yahweh included two male goats. One of them would be offered as a sacrifice on the alter and the other would take the confessions of sin upon its head along with a scarlet cord and be set free into the wilderness. According the Talmud, another scarlet cord would be hung on the door of the temple, that would turn white when the goat reached the wilderness indicating that the sacrifice was acceptable. The scarlet cord continued to turn white each year until AD 30.
What happened around that time? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As believers, we know that the sacrifice of animals was and is no longer necessary.
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’ ”Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. ~Hebrews 10:5-8
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. ~Hebrews 10:16-18
Rahab’s Scarlet Cord
Not only was Rahab a harlot, she was an idolator. She lived and conducted business in Jericho just before the time God called the Israelites to destroy it after their time of wandering in the wilderness with Moses. The stories of the miracles surrounding the children of Israel and their God had spread far and wide. They were coming to Jericho and because of the extreme wickedness (Baal worship) of the city, they were not taking captives. She hid the spies in exchange for her safety and that of her household marking her dwelling with a scarlet cord. (Joshua 2, 6:22-25) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. ~Hebrews 11:31
She repented of her former life and sought to became one of God's people, eventually marrying into the line of Judah and becoming a direct ancestor to Messiah Yeshuah. Yeshua/Jesus Was and Is God's plan (Revelation 1:8) for the salvation of the whole world. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:14-16
Today we have the same choice as we look forward to Christ's imminent return. That return could be today, tomorrow or 100 or 1000 years from now, but this life here and now is short and even the youth are not guaranteed tomorrow. God will not continue to tolerate the wickedness of the world, but he desires that people would repent and be saved.
Jesus became our scapegoat, and once and for all sin offering. However you choose to celebrate Yom Kippur, let it be a reminder of this gospel.