This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year. (Leviticus 16:34)
Today, I’d like to focus on the word “everlasting” and consider what it means. In my simplistic mind it means that something is intended to last forever — it is to endure for all time. That this word is used in relation to the service connected to the Day of Atonement, it would suggest — strongly I might add — that the principles and concepts God embedded within this most Holy Day were never to become antiquated and obsolete. I say this because, unfortunately, many Christians don’t really know a lot about Yom Kippur. Most of what is known is how Messiah “fulfilled” this and all of the other so-called “Jewish feasts.”
Now it is true that the service performed on Yom Kippur points us to the suffering of the Messiah and it is also true that, with His death, we obtained a better covenant. Meaning that our atonement was accomplished, not with the blood of bulls and goats but “with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). Knowing this, it is easy for us to now dismiss Yom Kippur as something of the past that no longer has any bearing on us because Messiah “fulfilled” it. However, there is that word used in our passage — everlasting.
The point, then, is that even though Messiah “fulfilled” certain components of the Yom Kippur service, the concepts and principles contained within the day have not vanished — they remain for all time. In fact, I am convinced that Matthew describes a scene in the future that parallels what we see within the teachings of Yom Kippur. When Yeshua returns and “all nations are gathered before Him, He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:32-33).
In other words, it sounds as if there is a time in the future when Messiah, as High Priest, will judge the nations and set those assigned as “For the LORD” on His right giving them entrance into the Kingdom. As for those who are on the left — the goats — they will be sent away with the words, “Depart from me!” Therefore, let us not disregard the principles God teaches us through these important feast days because, as we see, they were always intended to be everlasting. I would add that they are everlasting because the One who authored and ordained them is everlasting.
So then, let us live today with an eye on eternity that we may be among those who hear Him say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Amen.
Blessings and Shalom,