Yom Kippur, Day of Covering-- The Sabbath of Sabbaths
On the 10th day of the Hebrew 7th month, the 10th day from a visual sighting of the first new moon light, YHVH proclaims this day as the Day of Covering. That’s what Yom (Day) Kippur (covering) means. In Leviticus 23, the word used is actually in the plural –Yom Kippuriym, the plural. A day of coverings. There’s so much sin, shortcomings and so many sinners (all of us) whom God has to cover. (The word “kippur” or “Kippurim” is used in scripture in other ways besides this one day.) It’s the most sacred day on the calendar, a sabbath of total rest and absolutely no work, and a day of fasting with deep repentance. The book of Jonah was traditionally read. It was the one day that the high priest – alone – could enter into the Holy of Holies where the ark of YHVH was kept and sprinkle blood on the ark and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness on the nation. It is considered so sacred that even many secular Jews will refrain from work on this day.
We who are believers in Yeshua the Messiah, now also our High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek, understand that all our sins have been covered and atoned for by His sacrifice, one time – once and for all, for all time (Hebrews 7:29; Hebrews 9:12, 26). So we can now come confidently – in HIS name, by HIS grace – before the Mercy Seat of God, the throne of Grace (read Hebrews 4:14-16). This day reminds us of our standing with God if we have accepted His grace and live His way of Life by His Spirit. It also reminds us of the time the whole world will be atoned for, and when Satan and his demons will be locked up for a thousand years. Hallelujah!
I’ve often thought of this day as a “national Passover”. Maybe that’s just me. I think of Passover as our personal one-on-one interaction with our Creator and remember how He passed over each of our sins when He sees we have chosen to come under the blood of His Son. Then Yehoweh promised to defend us from the Destroyer and wash away our personal sins. I think of Atonement as the time the whole nation is forgiven and reconciled with the one true Living God. Kippuriym has the meaning of reconciliation as well. This holy day pictures the time when the whole world will have all their sins covered (kippur) and when Satan our Adversary (that’s what “Satan” means) is locked up for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).
For a full explanation of all of the above and more, be sure to hear the audio sermon that is also posted on the website right now. You’ll hear some points that seldom get mentioned.
Read the Creator’s instructions about this day in Leviticus 23:27-32 as well as Leviticus 16. He tells us it is a day of fasting (afflict your souls). There is to be absolute rest, no work, and total rest, from sundown of the 9th through sundown of the 10th day of the Hebrew month. It is a day of deep repentance and contrition before our Maker.
To learn more about this most solemn of days-- read the rest of the blog.
We need to also be careful to be fasting on the day Yehoweh says to be fasting on! It’s the 10th day after the sighting of the new moon. Otherwise, are we keeping the day and fasting on the right day?
On this day we are reminded that we are cleansed from all our sins committed before YHVH.
29 "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.
30 For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before Yehoweh.
"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, and offer an offering made by fire to YHVH.
28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before YHVH your God (Elohim).
29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.
30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
31 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 (Sabbat sabbaton), and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath."
In verse 32, where it says “Sabbath of solemn rest” – in Hebrew it is “sabbat sabbaton”. In a way you could call it the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”, like “holy of holies” is used. It is a most holy sabbath when the word “sabbaton” is connected with it. That second word “sabbaton” is not used here only but also for the sabbatical land rest every 7 years (see Lev. 25:4), the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) in Lev 23:24, first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th day Holyday AFTER the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:39). “Sabbaton” always implicitly carries with it the meaning of rest, as well as other things in context.
You’ll also want to read Leviticus 16 to read about the highly meaningful services performed by the High Priest on this day when there was a tabernacle or temple. We do not do this today because Yeshua’s one sacrifice covers all people for all time, and there is no earthly temple today. YOU are the temple of His Spirit. You’ll read of the two goats and all the symbolism connected with that. It will show you what the High Priest did as he came into the Holy of Holies that one time per year only, barefooted, wearing just a simple white linen garment as he stood before the shekinah glory, as he represented all the people before their Creator in a most solemn service.
Of course today we have THE High Priest Yeshua, of the order of Melchizedek, standing before God Most High in our behalf. Praise God, Hallelu Yah!
Hebrews 9:12-15 NKJV
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:24-28 NKJV
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 NOT that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another —
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, ONCE at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered ONCE to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.