Today is Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, which is probably the most important Jewish holiday of all. In fact, the Day of Atonement was so important to the Jews that traditionally they would spend 40 days preparing for it. (30 days as an introduction to the Feast of Trumpets, and then 10 more intense days after) This is a time to examine yourself and repent. Fasting is a common part of this holiday, because it helps you to focus on the spiritual world.
“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.
…And You will be Clean
This is the one day each year when the priest would enter the Holy of Holies and bring the blood sacrifice that forgave the people from their sin. This Holy of Holies, which was in the tent to begin with and then transferred to the temple, was hidden behind a thick curtain. Shrouded in mystery and awe, this was literally Heaven on Earth – where God told the Israelites that He made his home. (Although He made it clear that He was much bigger than their puny building.) So on this day each year the priest would enter into God’s presence and make atonement for the sins of the entire nation. To cover them.
This is still an incredibly good annual reminder, but the cross changed everything! We should still approach this day with humility and awe, but no longer do we have to live in fear. As we look back on that day we can joyfully know that our sins have been taken far from us. Because of Jesus’s once-for-all sacrifice of atonement, we are “as clean and pure as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Because of His sacrifice we are clean from ALL of our sins before Him. Do you believe it?
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I hope you are able to take some extra time after reading this to truly focus in and humble yourself before God. Clear your mind and search for any and every sin that is left. Repent and leave it behind you, because God has thrown your sin to the bottom of the sea and you are as clean as fresh snow!