Tonight at sunset, members of the Jewish community will celebrate the festival of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day (yom) of Atonement (kippur). This feast was ordained by God in Leviticus as the day in which the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a lamb on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. This was the space between the golden cherubim and was called “the mercy seat.” (Leviticus 13 & 26)

While that is very interesting, what does it symbolize for us today? Glad you asked!

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; 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. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15 NASB)

In Christ, we now do not need to wait for a yearly day of atonement in order to be forgiven. Nor do we have a high priest who is continually offering he sacrifice of His blood to atone for our sins.

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28 NASB)

This is a one time sacrifice that has been offered once-for-all and needs never to be repeated. As a sacrifice of infinite value, it cannot be added to.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14 NASB)

That is why He can continually cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:9) and why we can enter into His presence boldly.

With that in mind, every day is part of the one eternal Day of Atonement for Christians. So we should rejoice in the salvation that has been purchased with the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ has fulfilled the feast, and as our high priest has completed the atonement once for all!

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