Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy Holy Day

Sundown today was the beginning of Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. Fortunately, I thought to look up when the holiday falls this year earlier today and discovered that it began this evening. I found out just in time.

I have often wanted to celebrate this holiday and have marginally a few times, but my fasting was often in conjunction with work. Tomorrow I have the opportunity to really take some time and focus on what the day is all about. However, I wonder if I should do the fast like Isaiah 58 suggests.

The day is technically supposed to be a complete sabbath to the Lord - working takes away from being able to focus on how you have fallen short of God's standard. I think the point being that God wants our undistracted attention on this, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

So how does a Christian celebrate the Day of Atonement? That's a good question. I mean our sins have been forgiven by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. I suppose a good use of the day would be to reflect on His sacrifice for me. But I think that it is also helpful to remind myself of just how much I need a Savior. Would it also not be a good day to do some things that show sacrificial love for others too? I will continue to ponder this question through the night and into tomorrow. I hope that the Lord will give me a clear picture of how He wants me to celebrate this day.

I have often wondered why the Day of Atonement was so far removed from the Passover. Perhaps it is so that God's people would have a semi-annual reminder of their need for God's grace. I guess Christ's sacrifice came at the Passover because the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread is a more joyous one - one that shows not only the crucifixion, but also the resurrection, and the cleansing that God's people display after He has justified them.

Regardless, I am looking forward to celebrating this day tomorrow. I truly hope that my Jewish brothers will come to know the truth that Y'eshua (Jesus) is their Messiah - the final, perfect atoning sacrifice for all that will receive God's gracious gift. I look forward to seeing the days that Isaiah foresaw so many years ago. May they come to pass in my lifetime. And may God richly bless you today and draw you to Himself.

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