October 8th @ 7:00 pm
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most somber day of the biblical calendar. Yom Kippur concludes the Ten Days of Awe that begin with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur is a prospective holiday, when we prepare for the year ahead through fasting, penitence, and confession.
God established a Day of Atonement in Leviticus, setting down rules for it in two instances actually (Leviticus 16:29 and Leviticus 23:27)—an indication of the holiday’s profound importance. God tells Moses in the first of these passages:
29 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever. 32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.
Leviticus 16:29 – KJV
Believers spend the Days of Awe that fall between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur making amends with their fellow man, so that they enter Yom Kippur in a spirit of reconciliation and atonement for past wrongs. We learn in the Scriptures that we must be in right relationship with our neighbors if we are to love the Lord our God—the two go hand in hand.
The day of Yom Kippur itself is observed by abstaining from work and practicing self-denial, as mandated in Leviticus. According to tradition, Yom Kippur falls on the day Moses brought down the second set of Sacred Tablets of the Ten Commandments, the first set of which he had destroyed, and the repentant Israelites were absolved of their great sin: worshipping the Golden Calf.
It is customary for believers to go to the Mikvah, or ritual bath, for cleansing on the day before Yom Kippur.
We can find ceremonial cleansing when the priests would wash their hands and feet before serving in the Tabernacle or temple (Exodus 30:19). In Leviticus 16:24 it says, “And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering of the people and make an atonement for himself, and for the people;” This is a reference of the high priest on the day of Yom Kippur (Atonement) practicing ceremonial cleansing. Yeshua is our high priest and we still need to come together and ask for corporate forgiveness on the Day of Yom Kippur (Atonement). Don’t forget that John the Baptist was also called John the immerse and he was teaching a message of repentance. He followed up his message by performing mikvahs for those that wanted to repent. In Hebrews 10:22 it says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
We encourage you to come and join us for this years Yom Kippur service. If you feel the water calling you would like to reserve your Mikvah time, please give our office a call at 813-654-2222.