YOM KIPPUR (THE DAY OF ATONEMENT)
Leviticus chapter 16, Lev 23:26-32, Heb chapters 7-10
For those of you whoíve already read the section entitled ĎYom Kippur (The Day of Atonement)í, I neednít go in to an exposition of how Jesus Christ has already fulfilled this festival through His death on the cross. Have you not read that exposition, it would be a good idea to supplement the brevity of this web page by reading it now.
Indeed, having read those notes, itís probably been somewhat of a shock if youíve followed the festival pages to this point as youíve no doubt come upon a few places where Iíve referred to Yom Kippur as having a future fulfilment and, to be honest, itís very difficult to conceive of there being a need for one.
However, if we take the sevenfold festival cycle as being indicative of what God intends to do to bring all things back under His control and that, whereas the first four deal with the past perfectly fulfilled in Jesusí first coming and that the Intermediate Festival deals with the present (and being fulfilled as we speak), then we must look to the last three as having a future fulfilment in order that the fulness of Godís plan might be seen to be done.
When I first began studying the Festivals, I struggled with Yom Kippur (I remember that my first ever attempt at preaching on the entire subject of the festivals took two meetings and that, when I reached this part of the message I said that I felt that there still had to be a future fulfilment even though I was unsure as to just what it would be - it would now take me somewhere in the region of twenty-five messages to cover what I did then, my last attempt at delivering the Feast of Tabernacles messages took me about eleven sermons!) and though I had the conviction that I was missing something in my understanding of the festival (or, perhaps, Iím just Ďmissing somethingí?!), I didnít finally realise what it was for a number of years.
Finally, before a brief explanation of what I see as the fulfilment of this festival, it would be advisable that, if you havenít already read the notes on the fulfilment of the Festival of Trumpets, you read them now for the fulfilment of Yom Kippur is intricately tied up with it.
The Day of Atonement is sandwiched inbetween the two festivals of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles and itís only by recourse to the fulfilment of these two festivals that we can understand why there still needs to be a future fulfilment of Yom Kippur.
Before I outline what that will be, let me just say again that Christ has fulfilled the legislation of the Day of Atonement perfectly in the sense that there no longer remains a sacrifice to be offered that will remove and nullify the effects of sin.
That understood, I shall continue.
Trumpets (if Iíve understood it correctly) looks to a day in earth history when the nation of Israel will call upon the Lord not only for spiritual salvation but for physical deliverance - and the Feast of Tabernacles, as we shall see, speaks to us of a new age when Jesus Christ shall set up a visible Kingdom on this earth having returned to deliver His people.
Inbetween comes the return of the Messiah and the judgement of the nations when each manís work is tested in the light of Christ.
Itís been said in the expansive notes on the Day of Atonement (ĎRejection/Acceptanceí) that there was no failure possible under the Mosaic Law and that God intended accepting His people through the acts of this one annual event - but there does remain the possibility that a wrong offering presented to the Lord would have been met with judgment as in the case of Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-3, 16:1-2).
For the christian, the final day of judgment has already been decided upon because of the work of Jesus Christ, but for the majority of men and women thereís coming a day when each personís life will be judged before the Lord - when, like Nadab and Abihu, the acceptability of their own offering will be tested and shown to be unacceptable to God - and itís this future event that will be the final and second fulfilment of Yom Kippur.
Viewed in context, there has to be a Day of Judgment between Trumpets and Tabernacles.
If the Lord returns to deliver His people Israel and to set up a visible Kingdom from Jerusalem, then the judgment of the nations as outlined in the Book of Joel has arrived (see my notes on this festival) which must take place before the Feast of Tabernacles can be celebrated as fulfilled in that Kingdom (see the notes on the Feast of Tabernacles in section 5, though especially subsection c).
The judgment which threatens to fall upon the nation of Godís people according to natural descent (the Jews) is consumed by their repentance and the bestowal of forgiveness based upon the fulfilment of the festival in Jesus Christ and heralds the beginning of the judgment of all the nations of the world.