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The Day of Atonement
by Wayne Blank
What Does The Day of Atonement Mean To Christians?
The observance of the Day of Atonement originates all the way to the time of Moses:
"And The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] spake unto Moses, saying, 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 [see Where Is Your Soul?], and offer an offering made by fire unto The Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before The Lord your God." (Leviticus 23:26-28 KJV)
The Lord commanded the Day of Atonement as a solemn annual observance of the Israelites (see also Physical and Spiritual Israel), past and future - as plainly evidenced by the example of the Christian apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament that Christianity is based upon, and who never stopped observing the Day of Atonement (e.g. Acts 27:9). It's unique in that it's the only of the annual God-commanded Biblical Holy Days in which fasting was required. The fast was such a strict requirement that anyone who failed to do so would be cut off from the community.
All of the Biblical Holy Days are significant to Christians because they individually symbolize the steps in God's Plan of Salvation (the very purpose of Christianity) for all humanity. There is only one God, and only one Way (see The Way) to eternal life. Just as, for example, the Passover's slain lamb symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (the "Lamb of God"), or The Feast Of Trumpets which pictures the future return Of Jesus Christ, the Day of Atonement also has its significance to the Christian world - so much so that many Christians observe the Day of Atonement as a Holy Day, including the fast.
The fact that the Biblical Holy days will all be observed by everyone, not just Jews or other Israelites, in the future after Christ's return, or face God's wrath (e.g. "the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles," see below) is proof that the Biblical Holy Days were not "done away" by Jesus Christ. What will be done away is all of the pagan "Christian" holidays that have replaced the actual Holy Days in the lives of many Christian-professing people.
"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, The Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, The Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith The Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16-19 KJV)
There are 3 elements of the Day of Atonement that apply directly to Christians:
The Day of Atonement signifies the 3 most vital aspects of Christianity:
1. Willing repentance on the part of those to be saved (see also Your Pardon).
Fact Finder: Does the Word of God plainly warn that faith alone is a dead faith?