What is the Day of Atonement (a.k.a. Yom Kippur)?
The Day of Atonement (Hebrew: Yom Kippur) is one of seven annual Sabbath days which God commanded His congregation to keep.
- The Feast of Passover (Pesach – Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16, Exodus 12:18) foreshadowed the shedding of Christ’s blood, the Passover Lamb of God (1 Corinthians 5:7).
- The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matzot – Leviticus 23:6-8, Numbers 28:17-25, Exodus 23:15) foreshadowed Christ’s condemnation of the sin in our flesh which puffs us up like leaven (Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8) and the final removal of sin at Calvary (1 Corinthians 5:8).
- The Feast of Firstfruits (Reishit Katzir – Leviticus 23:9-14, Numbers 28:26-31) foreshadowed Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) as Jesus was resurrected on this very day.
- The Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot or Pentecost – Leviticus 23:15-22) foreshadows the giving of the Spirit to the church (Acts 2:1-4).
- The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah – Leviticus 23:23-25, Numbers 29:1-6) foreshadows the trumpet-announced gathering of Christ’s congregation at the Rapture (Numbers 10:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52) and the 2nd Coming (Matthew 24:31; Revelation 11:15).
- The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur – Leviticus 16:2-34, Leviticus 23:26-32, Numbers 29:7-11) foreshadows elements of Christ’s crucifixion, i.e., Christ is both our sin-offering (Hebrew: chatta’h) and our sin-bearer (Hebrew: azazel) who takes away the sins of the world. Yom Kippur also foreshadows the day when a fountain that will be opened to Israel for her future cleansing from sin and uncleanness at Christ’s Second Coming (Zechariah 13:1; 12:10)
- The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot – Leviticus 23:33-43, Numbers 29:12-39) foreshadows Christ’s Millennial reign when He comes back to earth to tabernacle among men (Zechariah 14:16-19, Revelation 21:3).
In addition to the weekly Sabbath observance required by Exodus 20:11, God (in Leviticus 23) revealed seven of His annual appointed times or feast days which He commanded His congregation to observe. Though two of these seven annual feast days are not Sabbaths (i.e. Passover & the Feast of Firstfruits), the other five annual feast days express themselves as seven annual Sabbaths. In relation to God’s religious calendar (Exodus 12:2), the Yom Kippur is the sixth of God’s seven annual feast days, and the fifth of the seven annual Sabbaths. Its celebration occurs on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month of Tishrei. Continue reading