Yom Kippur, the Biblical Day of Atonement, begins at sunset tonight. It is the most somber night of the year for Jews–a day of rest, prayers, fasting and repentance. The observance began as a direct command from the LORD:
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:26-28, NIV
As a Christian, I believe that the Levitical laws have been replaced by a new covenant established by Jesus.
“For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said [Jesus] belonged to a different tribe [not the tribe of Levi], and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests…The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God…Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.” Hebrews 7
I believe that the LORD himself took on human flesh in the body of Jesus, and offered his own blood as a once-for-all-time atonement for the sins of humanity. Because of this hope, I trust that my sins are forgiven through faith in his sacrifice, apart from any acts of righteousness I may or may not offer.
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.“ Romans 3:21-25, NIV
Do you observe Yom Kippur? Tell us about your understanding and your traditions.