For We have a High Priest that Entered the Holy of Holies Once, for All (Hebrews 9:11)
Happy Yom Kippur, “Have an Easy Fast!”
15“Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Leviticus 16:15
20“When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. 21“Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. Leviticus 16:20
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11
It has arrived!
The most sacred day of the year for the Jews and for many Christians, is here. The second of the three fall feasts yet unfulfilled on earth by the Lord Jesus the Christ – Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement – begins today at sundown today (Leviticus 23:26-29). Are you ready if this is the last Yom Kippur you celebrate on earth?
Today for the modern Jew a bloodless sacrifice is made of fasting and prayer. The 10 Days of Awe are now concluded. They wear white, a kittel and their tallit. Then at the end of the 24 hours of repentance, fasting, one long blast of the shofar is blown. For the Christian, and the ancient Jew, the sacrifice for the sins of believers was much more involved and much more meaningful.
What is the Day of Atonement?
Simply stated, on the 10th day of Tishri, the High Priest entered the Holiest of Holies. Two young goats were selected and by lot and one was sacrificed to represent the sins of the Israelites. This blood was presented before mercy seat, where the Shekinah glory resided. In the presence of the Lord, only the High Priest could stand. If his life was not pure, he could be immediately killed by the presence of God. Bells hung from his High Priestly garment allowing the other priests outside in the Holy Place to know that he was still alive and walking. A cord around his foot, was a security measure, so that they had could remove his body without entering the Holiest of Holies. The fate of Israel for the next year hung in the balance. Jews, on a personal level, still believe this today.
The High Priest sprinkled the blood of the goat before the mercy seat. This blood represented all the sins of the camp of Israel. Upon the other goat sins of Israel were placed and it was carried far into the wilderness a cast and abandoned into a pit.
Today, who is our High Priest. In heaven, He entered a ‘more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made,…and not a part of this creation,’ (Hebrews 9:11) not using the blood of goats….but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.’ (Hebrews 9:12) The Lord Jesus the Christ offered Himself unblemished to God, and then cleansed our consciences from acts that lead to death. (Hebrews 9:14) Jesus appeared in the presence of God the Father. (Hebrews 9:24) Here once for all, the Lord Jesus the Christ presented himself in the Holiest of Holies, ‘at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.’ (Hebrews 9:13,26). With Christ, the perfect God-Man-High Priest, your fate never hung in the balance. God the Father was going to accept the perfect sacrifice from the perfect High Priest and man representing an imperfect earthly man.
Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 9) as He leaves the Holy Place, he removed His High Priestly attire and doned the mantle of the King of Kings. Jesus now begins the third portion of His ministry. On earth He was a Prophet, in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, He is our High Priest. With Priestly work done, the next phase of His ministry is King. With the heavens now standing wide open’ (Revelation 19:11) John sees King Jesus on a white horse, this time ‘his eyes are blazing fire and on his head are many crowns…. His name is Torah, the Word of God. The armies of heaven are following him and out of his mouth is an iron scepter with which he will rule them.” (Revelation 19:14-15) Jesus is now preparing to make war with those of the Armageddon forces who have laid siege and captured God’s Holy City, Jerusalem.
So what? What is different between the Old Covenant Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and 23 and the book of Hebrew’s Day of Atonement? The ancient High Priest went into the Holiest of Holies and came out still the High Priest. Either dead or alive, his earthly status didn’t change. Jesus, as a type of Melchezedek, enters the Holiest of Holies in the Temple of Heaven and emerges the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In the presence of his Father, the Lord of hosts, God the Father, bestows the kingship and the crowns of glory. (Hebrews 2:7-8) Yes, He is still our advocate with the Father, but God has placed everything under His feet. This is one of many reasons when we ask, we receive. At this time, according to John, “Then God’s temple in heaven was laid open, and within the temple was seen the ark of his covenant. There came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a storm of hail.” (Revelation 11:19) Prior to this, Jesus is not our king, but our high priest. Now as the King of Kings, Jesus will destroy the forces of Armageddon, (Revelation 19:15) throw the Antichrist and the false prophet into the Lake of Fire, reserved for demonic and satanic beings. (Revelation 19:20) As King of Kings, He will order the binding of Satan, who will be cast into the depths of the earth.
You as a Christian have ringside seats to the most exciting time in the history of mankind. And today, marks the Day of Atonement. Are you ready? Yom Kippur ends with a long blast on the Shofar, will it be last sound you hear?