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Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement

Radio teaching notes from Rabbi Jeremy Storch


Today I would like to continue to speak to you about the biblical feasts of the Lord, in particular, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in Hebrew).

Yom Kippur is observed on the 10 th day of the 7 th month, the month of Tishrei (Lev. 23:27 ). It is the highest of all the holy days in Judaism.

On Yom Kippur (according to Lev. 16) the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses and offered the blood of a young bull for his own sins and for the sins of his family. Then the High Priest offered the blood of a goat for the sins of the rest of the Israelites. It was the blood of these animals that made “atonement” for the Israelites, thus fulfilling the scriptures in Lev. 17:11 and Heb. 9:22 that says, “It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul”, and “without this shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”.

The blood that Yeshua (Jesus) shed on the “tree of sacrifice” made the final “atonement” for our sins, putting an end to the Mosaic sacrificial system. He also entered the Holy of holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and as our great High Priest presented His own blood to His Father signifying that it was finished, having obtained once and for all, eternal redemption for our sins (Heb. 9:11,12).

The Book of Hebrews ( 2:17 , 18) also tells us that Yeshua is a merciful and sympathetic High Priest and can identify with all or problems and temptations, though He Himself never sinned.

Hebrews 7:25 says that He is always interceding for us at the right hand of God. No matter what you are going through, He's interceding for you right now!

The book of Hebrews also tells us that the priesthood of Yeshua is unchangeable. Other priests died, but Yeshua rose from the dead and lives forevermore!


Yesterday we began to take a look at the biblical Jewish feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and how it pointed toward the ministry of Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah). We saw how Aaron, the High Priest of Israel, presented the blood of bulls and goats as atonement for the sins of Israel . The blood of these animals was sprinkled on the "mercy "seat in the Holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses, year after year.

This, or course, pointed toward Yeshua, our Great High Priest, who shed His own blood on the tree of sacrifice as the final atonement for our sins, and after being raised from the dead, presented His own blood to His Father in the Heavenly Sanctuary, having obtained eternal redemption for us all (Heb. 9:11,12). Through Yeshua, the Son of God, God's “mercy” was extended to all of us!

Yom Kippur is called the “Day of Atonement” in English, but the Hebrew word “Kippur” came from the word “Kipporah”, which means “covering” or in its deepest translation, means “a ransom by means of a substitute”.

The shedding of blood as a “Kapporah” (an “atonement” or covering for sin”) goes way back in the Bible, even back to the Garden of Eden

After sinning against God, by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve, realizing their nakedness, made their own “covering” for their sins by sewing “fig leaves” together as a “covering the themselves”. But God didn't accept their covering, their own idea of “atonement”, so He made garments of skin for Adam and Eve. The skin of these animals required the “shedding of blood”, and without the “shedding of blood” there is no forgiveness of sin. For the first time in history, blood was shed to “cover the sin” of man.

People today (like Adam and Eve) still come up with their own idea of a “covering” or “atonement” for their sins, such as “I'm a nice person and I never hurt anyone". "Surely God won't send me to Hell.” Some people think, “If I just give enough to charity, I'll go the heaven.” Some of our Jewish people cast “stones” or “pieces of bread”, which represent their sins, into a body of water (called Tashlich in Heb.) thinking that God will forgive their sins this way. Some, in Orthodox Judaism, swing a dead chicken over their heads on Yom Kippur (called “Kaparot” in Heb.) saying “this is the atonement for my sins.” Some believe that “just because I'm Jewish” I'm going to go to heaven”. Well, I'm Jewish also, but let me tell you something…”

Unless you receive the “blood atonement” that was shed for you by Yeshua the Messiah on the “tree of sacrifice”, you're not going to make it into heaven – whether Jew or Gentile, because God says in the Torah (First Covenant) and in the New Covenant scriptures “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin”. Yeshua the Messiah clearly said, “I am the Way the truth and the light, no man comes to the Father but by Me! Whether you are Jewish or Gentile, don't rely on the “traditions of men” for your salvation, but on the word of God which endures forever!


Today I would like to continue to speak to you about the Day of Atonement, a biblical Jewish feast called Yom Kippur in Hebrew.

In taking a closer look at the ministry of Aaron, the High Priest, on Yom Kippur, he did the following according to Lev. 16: He entered the “mikvah” (the bronze laver filled with water in the outer court of the Tabernacle of Moses) and washed his entire body. He then put on special holy garments, presented special incense before the Lord and sprinkled the blood of a young bull on the “mercy seat” in the Holy of holies as “atonement” for his own sins and the sins of his family.

Aaron also presented two male goats before the Lord. Lots were cast for the two goats. One goat was sacrificed for the sins of the people and the blood of that goat was sprinkled on the “mercy seat” and on the horns of the altar, along with the blood of the bull. However, the other goat (called the “scapegoat”) was released into the wilderness. One goat represented God's judgment, the other God's mercy.

Later on in Temple history a certain ritual was added to all of this, using three scarlet woolen ropes. One scarlet rope was tied to the horns of the sacrificial goat, one was tied to the horns of the scapegoat and one hung from the front of the temple. After all the Yom Kippur sacrifices were completed by the High Priest a mighty miracle took place. The scarlet rope hanging from the temple supernaturally turned “white”. This was God's sign to the Israelites that their sins were forgiven, conforming to Isa. 1:18, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow”.

However, immediately after the crucifixion of Yeshua (Jesus) and for the next 40 years until the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., the scarlet cord never turned “white” again. This, too, was God's answer to the Israelites - that there was no need for that to happen any longer because the sacrifice of Yeshua, the “blood of atonement” that He shed on the tree of sacrifice, put an end to the Mosaic sacrificial system.

In addition, just as Aaron offered special incense before the Lord, Yeshua offered Himself as a “sweet fragrance to God” (Eph. 5:2). As High Priest, Aaron made intercession for the people in the Holy of holies on Yom Kippur, pointing toward Yeshua, our Great High Priest, who always interceding for us at the right hand of God.

On Yom Kippur, Aaron appeared before the glory of God, which dwelt between the cherubim above a "horizontal mercy seat in the Holy of holies. According to John 20:12, two angels stood where the body of Yeshua had laid horizontally in the tomb, one at His head and one at His feet, with the glory of God in between them, a picture of God's “mercy” through the death of His son. For one brief moment that tomb became the Holy of holies for all of us!

Today we still have access into the Holy of holies through the blood of Yeshua. “Let us therefore come boldly to the “throne of grace” that we may find mercy and grace in time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)


Over the last few days we've been speaking about Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a biblical Jewish feast of the Lord, observed on the 10 th day of the 7 th month, the month of Tishrei (Lev. 23:27).

We have also been taking a closer look at the ministry of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel, on Yom Kippur and how it pointed toward the ministry of Yeshua (Jesus) our Great High Priest. In addition, how the blood sacrifices of bulls and goats pointed toward the final and perfect “blood atonement” of Yeshua, the blood that He shed on the tree of sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.

In many ways the feast of Yom Kippur has been fulfilled in the 1st coming of the Messiah, but there is a further fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the 2 nd coming of the Messiah.

As we all know, Yom Kippur is a day of national mourning in the Bible, a day of fasting and prayer and of afflicting one's soul (Lev. 23:29).

The prophet Zechariah speaks of another national day of mourning in the land of Israel that is coming in the future. Zech. 12:10 says, “They will look upon me whom they have pierced, they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only Son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for their firstborn.” Zech. 13:1 goes on to say, “In that day, a fountain shall be opened for the House of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem , for sins and for uncleanness”. This is clearly a picture of a national “Day of Atonement” for Israel in the future. It is connected with the 2 nd coming of the Messiah, for the prophet Zechariah goes on to say in chapter 14:2-9, “For in that day, I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem….then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle – and in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…and the Lord shall be King over all the earth…In that day it shall be, the Lord is One and His Name One!

The apostle Paul confirms this in Romans 11:26, 27. “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, the Deliverer will come from Zion and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins”.

What a beautiful picture of God's mercy and forgiveness extended to the whole House of Israel in her greatest time of need.

Surely it will come to pass that Israel will see her Messiah and that all though out the land they will cry out:

“Baruch ha ba b'shem Adonai”

Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”.

Friday – Overview of the week











Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.  Peace be within your walls.  Prosperity within your palaces.
Psalm 122:6


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