Day of Atonement
Yom Kippur is a reminder of God as El haKadosh, our Holy God. It is a reminder to remain forever humble and repentant before our Holy God, because Yeshua perfected this day on Pesach (Passover) two thousand years ago, buying Redemption for all mankind as the Final Lamb sacrifice for sin––paying with His Own Holy Blood.
God originally designated Yom Kippur as a day in which “you must humble yourselves before Yahweh” (Lev. 23:27, 32).
It was a day when all the Hebrews took a long look at their lives over the past year. They were to humble themselves before Yahweh in repentance, and bring two goats: one to transfer their sins onto, and one to sacrifice to Yahweh to atone for their sins.
Before the Tabernacle existed, atonement was done in the Yisraelite’s own doorways (gates) (Deuteronomy 12:13-15, 12:21 & 16:5)––which doubled as their altar to God.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) represents the main day of sin offerings, and because it was also perfected by Yeshua at His first coming on Pesach (Passover), we still celebrate it.
In Yoma 39b of the Talmud it states that the priests determined that God no longer accepted the sin offerings on Yom Kippur for the forty years following Yeshua’s death (although they do not use His death as a point of reference). They claim that several peculiar things happened to cause them to believe this during the forty years before the Temple was destroyed.
Although we know because of the gospels, and Hebrews 9:26 and 10:18, that Yeshua did in fact perfect the sin offerings as the Last Sacrificial Lamb for sin, this little paragraph in the Talmud is proof positive that the sin offerings were no longer accepted by God, nor needed.
Past Yom Kippur Offerings
This was an especially significant (and busy) day for Yisrael’s High Priest. On this day only, the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place and was the only one who stood in the presence of God’s glory. Many animal sacrifices were offered on this day––all done by the High Priest––in addition to the daily burnt offering with the required grain and drink offerings, additional offerings were made, including a bull, a ram and seven lambs for the people, and a ram for the priesthood as well (Num. 29:7-11).
When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies he wore a white outfit made of pure linen (Leviticus 16:4). He did not wear the garment with the bells and pomegranates on it, so the common story about a rope being tied around his ankle so one can hear if he dies, is only a myth. If the High Priest has done everything God has written in the Torah, and worn the correct clothing according to the Torah, he will not die.
But what most don’t realize, or know, is that the blood of the main sin offerings was not only sprinkled upon and around the cover of the Ark, it was also put on the horns of the Altar of Incense (Exodus 30:10 & Leviticus 16:13, 18). That means the High Priest had to move the Altar of Incense into the Holy of Holies on this day only––through the veil which had no opening. Remember, the Altar of Incense represented the prayers of the people, so this has much significance, yet to be determined.
There were two goats offered for the sin offering on this day. There are actually two different stories for these goats in the Talmud (since there are actually two Talmuds): one is that the High Priest tied a piece of scarlet string or cloth to the horn of one of the goats (Barabas), and another around the throat of the goat for God (Yeshua/Jesus).
The goat for God, whose blood is shed, symbolized the substitutionary death of the Messiah to come (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, 1John 2:2 & 1John 4:10). The goat for God was to be sacrificed, and had to be spotless. The goat symbolized the finished work of the future Messiah (Yeshua) in taking away mankind’s sin, never to be remembered again. Just as the High Priest took the blood of the unblemished young goat for God into the Most Holy Place to make atonement for the people each year (Vayikra/Leviticus 16:15-16), Yeshua entered the heavenly Most Holy Place with His own Blood as the last Sacrificial Lamb––the once and final payment for all mankind’s sin (Hebrews 9:28 & 1Peter 3:18). Then the High Priest would come out of the Holy of Holies, remove the linen clothes, immerse himself, and put the garments of the High Priest back on.
Next the High Priest would go out to offer the burnt offerings on the Bronze Altar out in the court of the Tabernacle. He also burned the fat of the sin offering on the altar. According to one of the Talmuds, the scarlet string or cloth tied to the horn of this sacrificial goat would turn white. In the other Talmud, this scarlet string or cloth was tied to the door of the Temple. It makes more sense to me that the scarlet string was tied to the goat. Either way, the Talmud suggests that if the sacrifice was accepted by God, the scarlet string would turn white. After Yeshua died, this cloth never turned white again ((no matter where or if it was really placed).
This scarlet string is never mentioned in Scripture––this practice is completely based on Jewish Talmudic traditions, which for the most part have nothing to do with Scripture––or God. If this was true, God would have written it into the Torah. If the offering was accepted by God, the people knew because it was wholly consumed by Yahweh’s glory. Keep in mind that those things that were written in both the Talmuds were because the Rabbis no longer understood God’s Torah, and thus they wrote about the matters of God, that only a three-dimensional human would need in order to understand them.
After atonement had been made (Leviticus 16:20), the High Priest would then symbolically transfer the sins of the congregation and all their transgressions onto the second goat (with the scarlet string or cloth around its neck). It was then released into the desert (a land uninhabited) to wander forever (Leviticus 16:22), eventually to die in the desert as a representation of hell.
Interestingly, this second goat was called Azazel, which in the literal sense means a male goat, but it is also supposedly the name for an evil angel (see the book of Enoch1).
The Symbolism complete: the unblemished goat was sacrificed, as was Yeshua. The other, blemished goat was released, as was Barabas.
There are some that question the number of the sacrifices showing in the Bible, not only for this day but for other times as well, such as when Solomon dedicated the Temple. We have to remember Who is involved in these sacrifices––if God can cause the High Priest to go through the veil into the Holy of Holies with no apparent entry in the curtain, then He can certainly cause all the sacrifices to be done in one day.
Before Yeshua came, Yom Kippur was a long and drawn out ceremony. Today, after a couple thousand years of following the Talmud instead of God’s Torah, the Jews have forgotten that blood is the only way to atone for their sins (Leviticus 17:11).
The Talmudic traditions also state that they are to make atonement with ten days of reflection of their lives before the Day of Atonement. They also atone for their sins with tzedakah (charity or good deeds).
Jewish tradition also commands them to fast on this day. The Hebrew word anah is today translated as afflict oneself in the Hebrew Bible. The Rabbis take this to mean that they are to fast on Yom Kippur. However, Yom Kippur is really a day of humility and repentance before Yahweh (the true meaning of anah)––it is not a day of fasting.
During the exile in Babylon, many fasts were added to the Jewish traditions of man (although they were not called Jewish at the time) the fast on this day being one of them. These fasts do not exist in Scripture until after the Babylonian exile.
Zechariah scolded the Israelites for this in verse 7:5, because these fasts were not for God, but for themselves. He then states in 8:19 that these days they have declared as fasting days will become days of joy. These fasting days were days to remember the bitter and bad things that had happened to them just as they were being exiled. But God plans to make them days of joy in the future.
Jewish tradition states that Yom Kippur will be a dark day, but this already happened two thousand years ago, when this dark day first happened on Pesach, the day Yeshua died on the cross. He was the Final (permanent) atonement for sin, and therefore also perfected Yom Kippur.
On that day the sky grew dark (from Noon until 3pm), the ground shook, the dead rose from their graves and walked the streets of Jerusalem (Matthew 27:53). At the same time, the veil in the Temple was torn in two, which represented Yeshua’s flesh being torn resulting in death as the last sacrificial Lamb for sin (Hebrews 10:20), in order to give all mankind entrance into the Most Holy Place (Hebrews 4:16 & 10:19)––reconnecting them back to God.
If you ever think that God does not understand your pain, think about this: Yeshua’s flesh is God’s flesh––God had His veil torn (His actual flesh dying) in order to make an entrance into His Holy Place for all mankind. This tearing of His veil (His death, pouring out of HIs Blood) represented mankind’s reconnection back to Himself.
Upon repentance and humility, mankind can now go into the presence of God in His Holy Place because of the very fact of what God did in order to reconnect mankind back to Himself.
Although Yeshua came and died, was buried and then rose from the dead, on the Appointed Seasons of God called Pesach, Matsot and Yom Bikkur respectively, as mentioned above He also perfected (made whole or fulfilled) Yom Kippur.
All of the Appointed Seasons of God point to Yeshua, but this day especially is what it all meant. Yeshua gave His Own Blood as the final offering on the altar in the Heavens, to atone for all mankind’s sin.
Israel’s prophets warned of a coming day of judgment for the nation: Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-16, and Joel 2:31. All these verses speak of a day in which Yahweh will turn off the Heavenly lights (stars), pour out His wrath on the wicked, and bring Yisrael to repentance and into the Restored Covenant. Much evidence suggests that this dark day will happen again on Yom Teruach, and of course this is yet to happen.
It is really hard to say what Yeshua will do on this day when He returns, since He already fulfilled and perfected the sin sacrifice on Pesach (Passover). As far as I can see (so far) there really isn’t anything to fulfill on this day anymore––but His Way is not our way.
Although some of God’s Feasts were played out a bit different, Yeshua did perfect the other feasts on the very days of the Feasts, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when He returns (perhaps it will be revealed to us before He comes)?
Yeshua, Who will have already revealed Himself to the Jews on Yom Teruach, will be rejoicing on Yom Kippur, because of what happened to their Messiah will finally be realized––they will know that their Messiah has come (Zechariah 12:10-14)!
Celebrating Yom Kippur
• This Feast is to be observed from the morning of the Tenth of Etanim, until midnight on the Tenth of Etanim (Tishrei).
• On this tenth day only we are to observe a Sabbath day, it is a Holy Convocation, a miqra, meaning a rehearsal to meet with God. It is a day off from work.
• This day is a day of rest and we are to humble ourselves in repentance before Yeshua.
• We are also to give offerings out of fire to Yahweh (Leviticus 23:27). Eshah means an offering out of the fire. So what exactly does that mean? This Hebrew word is usually translated as a fire-offering or an offering made by fire, but that is not an accurate translation of this word.
Some of us have always been taught is that when one comes out of the fire, you come out refined like silver as refined in fire; in other words, Yeshua shapes and molds you into the person of God He wants you to be––usually based on Zechariah 13:8-9.
The Hebrew word for refined is tsaraf, which means to purify by fire. This means that an offering out of the fire is ourselves refined or purified by fire––a pure and humble offering of ourselves to God.
We should thank and praise Yah whenever we are brought into tribulation (or fire) because we will come out of it refined and polished like silver––a humble and pure offering for God to use.
Today to give an offering out of the fire still means an offering. Whenever we read about the offerings to God, the notion of animal offerings seems bizarre and primitive. But imagine yourself in history, back almost six thousand years ago to when Adam and Chavah first sinned. God gave them the Way to live (and instructions on how to atone for the sin they brought into the Earth and humanity’s lives).
They had actually experienced walking in the garden with Yeshua, so they knew what they had lost. The devastation of the realization of what they had done, was probably almost more than they could bear. So God showed them that the blood of an unblemished lamb (or kid) must be brought to Him in order to reconnect them to Him (Bereshit/Genesis 3:21––we are not given any detail here, but God would never have killed an animal for no reason, as He is very specific about innocent blood being spilled, according to Genesis 4:11 & Leviticus 17:3-5), because their very lives were in that blood. Adam and Chavah, of all people, understood that blood is tied to creation, thus Life.
So do you think they thought this ritual was primitive, or that they would not do it? No, they wanted that reconnection to their Father more than anything in the world! They willingly performed this Commandment, that was later designated only to be done in the Tabernacle wherever God would plant it, (before that, in their doorways wherever He planted His Name) and then in the Temple in Jerusalem. Finally in the offering of the Blood of Yeshua, poured out on His Own altar––once for all mankind––a permanent and last offering for sin by Yeshua (Exodus 20:24-25) (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 10:10 & 1Peter 3:18).
There was a tangible recognition of God’s glory back in Adam and Chavah’s lives when this simple task that God asked of them was performed. When God’s miraculous Heavenly fire descended to consume their offerings, they felt His presence, and His glory surrounding them again! They never doubted the Power of this service!
• Today, while the Jews still mourn their disconnection from God and fast on this day hoping for an answer from Him, those who know Him as Yeshua (or Jesus), God’s Messiah, can rejoice on this day. Although this day is not really a fasting day, perhaps we can still fast in answer for prayer for the Jews to know their Messiah Yeshua. This would be a way of offering ourselves to God for His people.
• Rejoice in this day! The offerings for sin were no longer accepted by God on this day for the 40 years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection (and the Temple was destroyed right after those 40 years), because He had just offered His Own Blood on the altar on Heaven - atoning for all mankind’s sin forever!
The Temple sin sacrifices are no longer needed! Yeshua has redeemed believers––forever! Though all things will still remain as they are until Yeshua returns to restore all things (Matthew 17:11––the miqra; & Revelation 21:1-5).
• Psalm 111 is a good Psalm of redemption to read.
• This would also be an excellent day to tell the Jews of the Good News of Yeshua––He is their Messiah! The One Who atoned for their sin forever! The One Who came to redeem His people forever!
Considering God’s Own altar in the Heavens: I believe that some think this is not something real, as in the actual altar and Temple that once stood on Earth. However, we cannot forget Who God is, and where He lives...He lives outside of all dimensions known and unknown to mankind. Therefore, all He really had to do was step across that dimensional line and offer His Blood on the altar of the real Temple in the Heavens (there is a spiritual dimension, that we cannot see, that surrounds the Earth and all that is on it). Just because we cannot see something does not make it unreal...
Updated June 11, 2019
(See complete Detail below Chart)
Celebrated all day on
Etanim 10, 5991
(October 9, 2019)
(Tishrei 10, 5991)
Day of Atonement
The Last Sacrificial Lamb of God for all mankind's sin