What is Yom Kippur and Why Celebrate It?

 Have you ever packed for a trip and when it comes time to leave, you can’t shut your suitcase? At that point, you need to open it, refold, and sort the priority items from the non essentials. Writing this piece on Yom Kippur has been a similar journey. There is not any way to include it all. There is so much significance to this day that entire books have been written about it.

Yom Kippur begins tomorrow night at sundown, September 15th. It will end, September 16th, at sundown. It is a day of fasting and prayer, but there is a whole lot more to it.

 For ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, Jews go into deep soul searching. People examine their actions, responses, and motives. They try to restore broken relationships that have. Yom Kippur marks the end of forty days of reflection, repentance, and restitution for the sins Jews have committed during the year.

Yom Kippur is also called the Day of Face to Face for this reason. In the days when the Tabernacle was in use or the Temple, the High Priest would meet face-to-face with God, in the Holy of Holies. He went in carrying the blood of sacrifice for the sins of Israel. It was the only day out of the entire year that he could go into the Holy of Holies. The people stood outside praying that God would receive the sacrifice. Would He forgive them for their sin?

 We may not think it is a sacred day, but our opinions don’t count. It is so sacred to God that it is the only day out of the entire year that He commands a 24 hour fast along with a Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:26-28, 31-32 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls (fast), and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 

 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

 Yom Kippur is also a continuation of the story of the Bride. The feasts are her path of righteousness.

**Passover is the choosing of the Bride. Jesus offered the cup of New Covenant to the disciples.

 **Unleavened Bread Jesus goes into the grave – a sinless sacrifice. He takes the keys of death and hell from the enemy—a gift for His Bride. 

 **The Feast of First Fruits – Jesus’ resurrection day. Jesus is the FIRSTBORN of many who will be born again into God’s family.

 Then there are 49 days or seven weeks for her ready herself for the betrothal. 

 **Shavuot/Pentecost, the 50th day after Passover, is the betrothal of the Bride. The vows of marriage or the Marriage Covenant are read and agreed to. – The giving of the commandments on Sinai happened on this day and the sounding of the First Trumpet. (Exodus 19:13, 16, 19; Exodus 20: 18

At the Betrothal, the couple is considered married, but it will not be consummated until the Bridegroom returns after preparing a place for them to live in His Father’s house.—an undetermined time. (John 14:2-3)

 **Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets announces the Bridegroom is returning for His Bride. He is on His way. (Second trumpet—also called the Last Trumpet)

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET Note: Changed but not Caught Up.

 **Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement is their Wedding Day. (the sounding of the Great Last Trumpet) 

 Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 This is the Catching Up—after the tribulation. 

 Thus, the three primary trumpets the Jewish people recognize as God-ordained. 

• “The First Trump,” is blown on Pentecost – in remembrance of the trumpets blown the day that God gave Israel the ten commandments.

• “The Last Trump,” is blown on the Feast of Trumpets/ Rosh HaShanah – Announcing the coming of the Bridegroom

• “The Great Trump,” is blown on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement –Believed by many that this will be the day of Judgement when the Lord will come with His armies to do warfare against those who have come against Israel.

It will also be the day of redemption for many of the Jews. While it is months after Yeshua poured out His atoning sacrifice, Yom Kippur will be a day for the Jews to recognize their Messiah:

 Zechariah 12: 9-10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Many of them will come to a saving knowledge of Yeshua as their Messiah.

So, you may be saying, “What does all of this have to do with me as a believer, one who has already been forgiven?”

The Great Trumpet will announce the final gathering of the Bride and the beginning of the Day of the Lord–or the wrath of god being poured out on those remaining on the earth.

How can I celebrate it? Let me make a few suggestions.  

  1. We’ve been grafted into Israel, and we are part of God’s covenant family. It is a time to gather as a family and thank Him for forgiveness.
  2. It is also a time to pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters that they too will come to a saving knowledge of Messiah.
  3. We can also pray for our unsaved loved ones and others who don’t know Jesus.
  4. And like Daniel prayed in Daniel 9, we can spend time repenting for our nation and for the unconfessed sins we have in our own lives.

 1 Chronicles 7:14— “if My people who are called by My name (Christians are included in this) will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  

And 1 John 1:9 1 says to Christians, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Repentance needs to be a lifestyle.

I encourage you to set aside time to fast and pray in repentance and thanksgiving on this sacred day. God will hear from heaven, and He will bless. Jesus is coming soon—it’s time to get ready.

In five days, September 20th at sundown to September 27th at sundown is the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.  We will cover this next.

 Shalom ♥

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