I know, that as Christians, we have a Jewish heritage. I know Jesus Himself was a Jew. He followed the Hebrew calendar and observed the festivals of the year. I have a decent familiarity with the Old Testament. And yet, apart from our recent Seder meals, I have never observed the festivals of the Old Testament.
Tonight, Jews around the world have begun observance of Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. This feast is decreed by God in Leviticus 16. And, just a few chapters later:
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.”
This is a holy day that the Lord Himself observed. Though we are not bound by tradition, but free in Christ, I think there may still be value in returning to the heritage of the Jewish people. God, who spoke into the midst of the His people in the wilderness, speaks into our lives today. The atonement He required, He fulfilled in Jesus. How will you observe Yom Kippur?
I suggest the following: Consider the word of God above. There may yet be benefit in rest and repentance. Also, let us praise God that He made right where we had wronged. Pray that Jews might come to meet anew their brother, Jesus — that on this Day of Atonement, they might come to believe in Jesus as the Lamb who suffered and was sacrificed for the salvation of both Jew and Gentile — that our names might be sealed in the book of life.
גמר חתימה טובה
Joshua, I think there are many, many blessings in store for us when we pause and see the story of God alive in our hearts today. Thanks for the reminder!
Certainly. I think I need the reminder just as much as any other. May He write renewal in us today.