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Saturday, 18 September 2010

PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

 

The Day of Atonement (or Yom Kippur) on the generally accepted biblical calendar starts this evening. Readers who are Messianic/Hebrew Roots believers observe this day, and are well-aware of the New Testament meaning of this solemn day on God’s sacred calendar. While I am aware that most modern Christians do not personally keep this Holy Day given by God on Mt. Sinai in Leviticus 23:26-32 to all the tribes of Israel, it has a very important meaning for all Christians/New Testament believers which I believe is worth passing on to all readers of this blog. Indeed, I believe it is especially important to convey the meaning inherent in this day to all readers this year. According to the biblical calendar, days are calculated from sunset to sunset so this year’s Day of Atonement is from sunset on September 17 until sunset on September 18.

The Day of Atonement was the one day of the year on which the ancient High Priests were allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple and make an “atonement” for the sins of the entire nation, to seek God’s full pardon for all personal sins, and to seek reconciliation between the ancient nation of Israel (all twelve tribes) and the Lord (Hebrews 9:7). In our Christian era, our High Priest is now Jesus Christ/Yahshua (Hebrews 9:11, 10:10-21), who “ever lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25), and it is his blood which is offered for us today (Hebrews 9:11-12). As our High Priest, Jesus/Yahshua is available to make intercession on any day for anyone who comes to God the Father (“the Most High God” in Old Testament references). However, I want all readers to consider the probability that, based on biblical precedent, God is still today especially receptive to prayers for forgiveness for nations and especially receptive to the prayers of individuals on this particular day. There is a biblical basis for such a belief. In Malachi 3:6, God states “I change not.” Hebrews 13:8 states that “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and today and forever.” Because God was especially receptive and approachable on the Day of Atonement to the prayers of his people and to entreaties for reconciliation to him in the past, perhaps our God “who does not change” remains especially approachable to believers who approach him in humility and faith on this most solemn day of the biblical Sacred Year.

Perhaps this year’s Day of Atonement may be especially auspicious for such approaches to God as it is a rare “Double Sabbath.” In other words, it represents a day when the Day of Atonement, an ”Annual Sabbath,” also falls on a weekly Sabbath (which always occurs from sunset Friday night until sunset Saturday night). We stand at a time when all the people and nations of the modern tribes of Israel (the USA, Canada, Scandinavia and many mainland European nations, Australia, New Zealand, the Jewish State of Israel and portions of many other nations) are uniquely in need of God’s forgiveness and intervention in our nations to restore us to national and personal righteousness.

On this Day of Atonement, I urge all readers who “fear God” in whatever Christian denomination or community of faith that they are in, to pray and ask God for the forgiveness of our national and personal sins and to ask him for whatever personal needs we have in our individual lives. II Chronicles 7:14 would be an especially important scripture to pray while asking God to forgive our national sins and to “heal our land.” I will be offering prayers based on II Chronicles 7:14 this Day of Atonement. I hope all readers of this blog will offer similar prayers to God for your nation on this day. I believe that my nation, the United States of America, is in need of God’s mercy, forgiveness and help more than at any previous time. Let us hope that God is especially receptive to our prayers on this year’s Day of Atonement, which will precede by a little more than 40 days what may be the most pivotal election in our nation’s history.

God’s blessings upon you all!

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