Have you heard about the Day of Atonement? Do you know what this day signifies? Most importantly, what are the lessons we can learn from this Holy Day?
The Day of Atonement is the fifth Festival of God listed in Leviticus 23. While the majority of the Christian world doesn’t celebrate the Day of Atonement, it doesn’t change the fact that this Festival teaches us vital lessons about God’s plan of salvation. In fact, Jesus Christ (Yahshua), the Apostles, and the first-century Church kept this Holy Day. This also shows us the need of Christians to fast.
The purpose of this blog is to show you the many significant lessons of the Day of Atonement. Let us now take a deeper look to what this Day teaches.
Lesson no. 1: The Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of man to God
The word Atonement came from the Greek word, “Katallage.” It means restoration or reconciliation. In Hebrew, atonement is “Kaphar,” which means to cover, cancel, and reconcile.
Based on these meanings, we can see that the Day of Atonement signifies the day when man will finally be reconciled with God. It is the Day of At-One-Ment of men to God.
Why do we need reconciliation? From the time Adam and Eve committed the first sin of humanity, we were separated from God. Because of sin, our perfect relationship with God was destroyed, and we were alienated from God’s family.
However, Because of Christ’s sacrifice during the Passover (the first Festival of God), we were redeemed by His blood. Jesus made it possible for us to once again form a relationship with Him and God the Father.
So, what’s the difference between the reconciliation we get from Passover and the reconciliation we get from the Day of Atonement? The Passover has only a personal implication, but the Day of Atonement has a universal implication. ALL HUMANITY will finally be reconciled to God and not just the few firstborn of God.
Lesson no. 2: The Day of Atonement pictures the removal of Satan
Who is the instigator and originator of sin? It is Satan. He is the deceiver, accuser of the brethren, and father of lies. He was the one who tempted Eve and Adam and encouraged them to sin.
While it is true that our human nature plays a vital role in committing sin, Satan bears a greater responsibility for influencing us to disobey God’s commandments.
Until Satan is put away, mankind will continue to fall into rebellion and disobedience.
We read in Revelation 20:1-3 the future removal of Satan:
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Lesson no. 3: The Day of Atonement teaches us humility
In the Day of Atonement, we are commanded to fast – to go without food and drink for one whole day, 24 hours.
As you go through the Day of Atonement, you feel hungry and weak. In the process, we realize how dependent we are to God.
Observe a newborn baby. From the moment that baby is born, he is dependent on his parents. That helpless child needs attention, care, love, and nourishment. Without the parents or someone to take care of that baby, he will not survive for even a day or two.
In the same way, we are helpless without God. We are entirely dependent on Him.
However, as we grow physically and accomplished many things in our lives, pride starts to take root in our hearts. We think that we are something, but in reality, we are nothing without God. We forget that no matter how great your accomplishments are, we are still made of dust. We are just a hunk of dirt waiting for our final breath before we return to the earth.
But with God, we have the incredible potential to be part of His Kingdom. The Day of Atonement reminds us that we cannot do anything without God. It is through His grace and love that we are still living and breathing.
Our lives are in the hands of God, and through fasting, it makes us realize that we are still humans, who need His help.
God is the Giver and Sustainer of our life.
Lesson no. 4: The Day of Atonement helps us to seek God’s will in our lives
Few people don’t properly understand the full significance of fasting. When we fast, it is not to force God to fulfill our desires and will. We must SEEK GOD’s will in our lives and not the other way around. This is the proper way of fasting.
In the purest sense, we don’t really deserve anything. We are wretched, hopeless people who need God’s abundant mercy and grace to lift us from our terrible sinful condition. While there’s nothing wrong in asking a favor from God, we must always make sure that God is the ultimate Authority in our lives.
Lesson no. 5: The Day of Atonement reminds us of Jesus as our High Priest
Jesus Christ died for our sins. However, He did not remain dead. He rose from the dead and became our High Priest. His redemptive death made it possible for us to come before the Throne of God. Jesus intercedes for us and ensures that we have all the help to overcome until the end.
We read in Hebrews 9:11-12:
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
And because we have Christ as our High Priest, we can now ““come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The Day of Atonement pictures the day when we will finally be reconciled with God. This Day pictures the removal of sin and the originator of sin, Satan.
While we still see suffering, death, and pain in this life, we can have the comfort knowing that time will finally come when God will directly intervene in human affairs. The Day of Atonement is rich with valuable lessons that we must remember and learn.
We can have the full confidence that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
May God speed that day!