Leviticus 23: 26-32
26 And YAHUVEH spake unto Moses, saying,
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto YAHUVEH.
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before I, YAHUVEH.
29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and concludes the Ten Days of Awe -- falling on the tenth day of Etanim (Tishri). We are commanded to 'afflict your souls on this day or be cut off from your people' Leviticus 23:29. Some interpret this to mean fasting, others argue fasting afflicts the body not the soul.
Yom Kippur is a solemn day of prayer. Yom Kippur is the "Sabbath of Sabbaths" -- the holiest day of the year. Yom Kippur is the day to seek forgiveness for vows broken --- vows between man and YAHUVEH and between each other.
At shul on the eve of Yom Kippur, men wear their tallit and the cantor sings "Kol Nidre" three times -- getting louder each time. This reminds people of the importance of keeping their promises to YAHUVEH and other men. This is a time of confession and prayer -- admitting the guilt of our sin and asking YAHUVEH for forgiveness.
When the temple still stood, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur and offer the blood of the sacrifice for the people. The high priest would offer solemn prayers that YAHUVEH would receive the offering and forgive the sins of the people. YAHUSHUA is our high priest -- He entered the heavenly Holy of Holies and is currently making blood atonement for our sins. We are so grateful we have YAHUSHUA who is the only intercessor before our Heavenly Father YAHUVEH.
However, many Messianic Jews are not sure what to do with regards to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Traditionally, those with Jewish backgrounds were raised to believe that on that day they atone for their sins against YAHUVEH, through prayer and fasting. However, since the Bible has revealed to us that YAHUSHUA was and is the atonement for our sins, what is the purpose of observing Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is a High Holy Day that reminds us that we are still indeed Jews through the shed blood of YAHUSHUA we are all grafted in and observing the Holy Days brings us closer together in understanding the Jewishness of our Messiah. It is a solemn, holy day of prayer, prayer being a central aspect of Messianic Judaism. Fasting is an excellent way to get closer to YAHUVEH – many prayer warriors who are speaking to Almighty YAHUVEH about serious issues will take a day or two to fast and pray. Anything that brings us closer to YAHUVEH and YAHUSHUA is definitely positive.
There is but one way to get forgiveness of sins, and it is through the name of YAHUSHUA, and putting YAHUVEH and YAHUSHUA first in your life and love, asking forgiveness of your sins, turning away from your sins, and making Him LORD of your life. Obeying YAHUVEH and YAHUSHUA to bring Glory to their names and proving how much you truly love YAHUVEH and YAHUSHUA. Fasting will not save you, only the Name and Blood of YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH saves us!
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