The “Day of Atonement” is the holiest of the great God-appointed holidays, the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is so holy that it is called the “Sabbath Sabbath” (Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 23: 1-2; Leviticus 23: 26-32; Numbers 29: 7-11). It is a day when one must afflict his soul for supernatural redemption; a day that determines whether the name of God’s people remains in the “Book of Life” (Leviticus 23:26, 27, 31-32).
In Hebrew, this day is called Yom Kippur and is usually observed in the time frame of September (the 10th day of the seventh month). Like all Jewish holidays, the exact day fluctuates from year to year according to the Hebrew calendar that coincides with the lunar cycles. So in some years it can be observed in October instead of September. By the way, September is the most significant day of the year for the God of the Bible since most of the holy holidays occur during this month; but that’s another lesson for another time.
In the New Testament, the Day of Atonement is known as “the fast” (Acts 27: 9). The fact that this day was referred to in that way (or even at all) is an indication that it was observed by the early Christian church after the resurrection of Christ. The Bible also clearly shows that other Jewish holy days, such as Pentecost, were observed by Christians after the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2: 1).
What is the biblical and prophetic significance of this holiday?
Let’s explore the key parts of this most holy ritual so that we can better understand its prophetic significance. The details of this rite are explained in Leviticus 16: 3-34.
The ceremony begins with the preparation of kosher animals for sacrifice by the temple priests. After presenting them to the lord, the high priest would cast lots for two goats; one lot to the LORD, and the other as azazel (a scapegoat). The first goat is sacrificed and the second is set free.
This second goat to be released is a symbol of Satan for two key reasons:
1) Azazel is a term that some Jews have historically attributed to Satan.
2) What happens with the scapegoat and with satan is quite similar, if one compares Leviticus 16: 20-22, 26 with Revelation 20: 1-3. A great angel is given the key to the abyss; grabs the dragon (the devil) and throws him into the abyss. So the devil represents the scapegoat, the one who escapes death but is thrown into the desert. The desert here is a picture of the bottomless pit.
For Christians, the first goat is an image of Jesus as our atonement, the sacrificial lamb, and Satan is the scapegoat; or the one who escapes. This is similar to Barabbas the sinner (scapegoat) being released while Jesus, the blameless lamb, would be led to the slaughter.
Let’s review a few points before continuing.:
Why a goat and not a lamb? The Bible does not distinguish between sheep and goats, so the goat can be attributed as a “sacrificial lamb.”
In Leviticus 16:21 notice that it is a fit or fit man who sets the goat loose in the wilderness. What man more apt than the angel referred to in Rev. 20: 3? The scholars of prophecy believe like I do that this great angel is the archangel Michael; the leader of the angelic host.
Why is blood sprinkled seven times on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:14)? Seven is the number of completion, so the sprinkling seven times indicates that the sins are completely blotted out by the sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God who blots out the sins of mankind (1 John 2: 2)
The Day of Atonement reveals the two roles of the Messiah!
Christ is represented as a lamb and a high priest during this ceremony, because as most Christians know, Christ has two distinct roles during this age.
1) The first lamb to be killed represents Christ, the suffering Messiah, the slain lamb, who is led to the slaughter.
2) The high priest who presides over the sacrifice represents the risen Christ, the triumphant High Priest of heaven who fulfills his function of atonement.
The high priest performing the ceremony represents the risen Christ going behind the veil to the mercy seat, an image of Christ ascending to the throne of God in heaven. The work he did while in the Holy of Holies symbolizes the work of Christ during these 1900 years interceding for our sins, presenting His shed blood before the mercy seat in heaven.
When the high priest returns from the holy chamber after sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat, it is when he places the sins of the people on the head of the scapegoat. This is an image of the return of Christ, who will place the sins that He bore on the author of all sins, the devil, and will send him alive into a desolate and uninhabited desert, the “bottomless pit” or abyss of Revelation 20: 3. . Notice how the act of placing sins on the head of the scapegoat does not take place until the high priest returns from the Holy of Holies within the veil. This is because the latter will take place after the Second Coming of the Messiah.
Herein lies the discovery of a great mystery.
For everyone who has asked God “why must mankind pay the price for the sins caused by the author of sins, Satan”? Well, the above reveals that at the end of this age, satan will be responsible for all sins throughout this age! Does that mean that we are all blameless? No, it means that God and only God can and will judge with justice; And yes, there is hope for all of us sinners, when we repent and accept His blood sacrifice!
Can you see now how GOD’s great plan of redemption will finally be completed by placing the original guilt and guilt in their rightful place? A just God will put his blood guilt on the devil’s head, not ours. The devil will bear all the sins of humanity once and for all and will no longer be the accuser of the brothers. Although we were also guilty, our sins were borne by the blood of Christ 1900 years ago on the cross. So Christ, who bore our sins throughout this age, will not have to bear them for eternity. Sin must be completely removed from heaven and from the presence of the Almighty, and it will be.
The high priest entering the Holy of Holies symbolized the return of Christ to heaven. The work he did while in the holy chamber symbolized the work of Christ during these 1900 years interceding for our sins, presenting His shed blood before the mercy seat in heaven.
When the high priest returns from the holy chamber, it is a picture of Christ’s return to earth.
Once this rite was completed, the goat bore the sins of the people, just as Christ bore our sins on the cross. But Christ rose from the dead and ascended to the throne of God in heaven. After Christ died, He went to the heavenly mercy seat interceding for us, as our High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 6: 19-20).
At the conclusion of this rite, the scapegoat takes away the sins of all people already forgiven. The power of satan, the accuser of the brethren, was based on sin. When all these sins, of which he is the author, are put on him, after being taken from us by Christ, Satan will have lost his right over us and his accusatory powers will be quenched.
The Day of Atonement is important to both Jews and Christians. Although it is a great Hebrew holy festival, it is a clear picture of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. It demonstrates the role of Christ as the High Priest of heaven, and reveals that after the second coming of the Messiah, Satan will be responsible for all the sins of mankind and will be bound, chained and thrown into the abyss, for a period of time, until that it is finally sent. to his permanent home – the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)
This great holiday, like all holidays and prophecies, all point to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In Revelation 19:10 it is revealed that Jesus is the spirit of all prophecies. They all point to him as the Lord!