[Today is Yom Kippur, which began last night at sundown, so I offer this post from the archives.]
On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, the priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sacrifice. It was a place visited only once per year, only by the high priest, and only for the purpose of seeking forgiveness of sins for all of Israel. (Leviticus 16.)
If the priest afterward emerged from the innermost room of God’s holy temple, the people of God knew the sacrifice was accepted and their sins were forgiven. They also knew that if ever he did not emerge, their sins remained with them and they were then an unforgiven people.
In all the centuries of temple sacrifice the priest always emerged, a living symbol of God’s acceptance of the sacrifice and forgiveness of all his people’s sins for the past year.
Yet this temple sacrifice – as grand and wonderful and full of grace as it is – is merely a symbol of the sacrifice to come, a sacrifice for all sin for all time, one presented by a high priest who never dies.
Jesus and the Final Sacrifice
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. (Hebrews 10:1-18.)
He is the sacrifice on the cross, he is the one who entered the tomb, and he is the one who then emerged from it giving proof that his sacrifice is completely acceptable for the forgiveness of all sin.
There is no need for any further sacrifice, not from you, not from me, not even from Jesus. (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12.)
The Day of Atonement is past.
The Day of Life is here.
Live it in Christ.
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full. (John 10:10.)