Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, dates back to Leviticus 16. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month.

Yom Kippur is meant to be a Sabbath of Sabbaths. This day was created as a day in which people would fast and cleanse themselves before God from their sins. It was a day where the people would do no work but reflect on their sins. This day is meant for the people to repent and ask for forgiveness.  

Leviticus 16:30 “For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the Lord from all your sins.”

High priest lamb sacrifice During the time of the Temple this was the only time of the year where the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. While in the Holy of Holies the priest would sprinkle blood from animal sacrifices on the Ark. It is also at this time that a perfect unblemished goat was taken as an offering for the sins of the people. This is the scapegoat. The priest would place the sins of the people on the goat. 

The image of the scapegoat is where we see Christ. In Yom Kippur a perfect lamb was needed to take away the sins of the people. This sacrifice was done every year. When Christ came to earth he lived a perfect life. He was without blemish. He came as the scapegoat for the world. He came to take away the sins of the world. This time, with his sacrifice, he did so once and for all. Christ giving up his life was once and for all.

Hebrews 10:10 “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” 

Like with Passover, Christ came to the world to take the sins of the world upon his shoulders. He came to take the place of the sacrificial lambs. He came to fix a broken system, of offering animal sacrifices. The blood from the lamb was only temporary but the blood of Christ is permanent. Christ came to set people free from the bondage of sin and the bondage of offering sacrifices. Also with Christ we should not be asking for forgiveness just one day a year but it should be a continual process. Christ offers forgiveness at any point. 

Behold the Lamb of God

When Yom Kippur is next celebrated, September 27th and 28th 2020, take time to reflect on the ultimate scapegoat that came to take your sins. Think of Christ and his work on the cross. Thank God that you no longer have to do sacrifices each year to cover your sins. Because God sent His son to die for your sins a scapegoat is no longer needed. More importantly year-round you should be looking at the sacrifice of Christ.

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