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. (Leviticus 23:27)
As I had previously mentioned, the seventh month is to the year what the seventh day is to the week. The holiest of the holy days fall within this month and the holiest of them all is the Day of Atonement. Jewish tradition teaches that it was on this day that Moses came down from the summit of Sinai carrying the second set of tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. That God responded favorably to Moses’ entreaties to forgive the people of the sin of the Golden Calf was made evident by this second set of tablets. Consequently, this day became the eternal day of forgiveness.
Most people have heard this day referred to as Yom Kippur but, actually, it is called Yom Ha’Kippurim. Interestingly, the Hebrew letters that form this word could also be read as “A day like Purim.” Purim is, of course, the story of Esther and refers to the day that God delivered His people from the wicked edict engineered by the enemy of God, Haman. What the enemies of the Jews had intended for God’s people was turned around on them. Therefore, in a manner of speaking, what the Adversary has intended for God’s people — death because of sin — is overturned on Yom Kippur.
For all who would hear the call to repentance, forgiveness is available on any day. As Paul said, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Nevertheless, this Day of Atonement holds significance as it relates to the salvation and deliverance of God’s people as a whole. In fact, I am convinced that this is alluded to in the Gospels, specifically where it is says that all nations will be gathered before the Son of Man and “He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32).
The greater significance of that day is that He says to those who are His, “Enter into the Kingdom.” It will be on that day when we truly realize the benefit and reward of answering the call. Until that day, let us be diligent, steadfast and faithful for the sake of our King and His Kingdom and encourage others to heed the call.
Blessings and Shalom,