Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Last evening and this morning, we have been reading Scripture, praying and confessing. It is a day of humbling ourselves before
the Lord. But, is it a day for Christians? Many, even most, believe that the Feasts of the Lord do not apply to them. What does Scripture say?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
So, what does ‘all scripture’ mean? Does that include Leviticus?
Lev. 234:26-32 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.”
Now, we might be inclined to casually overlook that little phrase ‘forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings,’ but doing so would be taking away from from God’s Word. Maybe we hope this is the only place that is stated and its impact can be minimized? Here is another passage to ponder.
Lev. 16:29-34 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.
Three times in five verses we are explicitly told, not only that it is a statute forever, but that it applies to the native-born and the stranger that is grafted in.
Christian may think this no longer applies, and I would point out two verses: ‘All scripture is profitable for doctrine,’ (previously cited) and
Mal. 4:4-6 “[a]Remember the Torah of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will [b]restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a [c]curse.”
Please note: BEFORE ‘the great and terrible day of the Lord’ we are to ‘remember the Torah of Moses… even the statutes and ordinances…’
Folks, that includes the Day of Atonement. Christian tradition may teach otherwise, but that tradition is entirely contrary to the Word of God that is profitable for doctrine and instruction in righteousness. Christians are accountable! Scripture clearly teaches that we are to keep the Day of Atonement.
If you have read this far, you are without excuse before the King of Glory, the Holy One of Israel. Maybe you never realized or understood this truth because of the blinders of Church tradition. Thankfully, we have a forgiving God who though our Messiah Yeshua offers forgiveness of sin. Repent and begin to learn what it means to walk in His ways.
A final note: Some have questions about the verses dealing with sacrifice. Here are multiple posts addressing the topic: