Why Yom Kippur Is the Most Important Day of the Year


Image result for Yom KippurIn 2008 the Olympics were held in China. The ceremony began at 8:00 p.m. on the eight day of the eight month. This was purposeful as 8 is considered a lucky number.
Coincidentally, tonight just after 8:00 p.m. begins the commencement of Yom Kippur, commonly known as the Day of Atonement, the culmination of ten days of awe that began with the blowing of the shofar just over a week ago.
Though not on the calendars of many people in the West, the day stands as the ultimate day of importance, recognizing God’s forgiveness. When the Temple stood it was the one day in which the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and make a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
As Ole Anthony shares, “It was believed that if the process didn’t go right while he was inside the Holy of Holies, the world would be destroyed. Therefore, there was a great sense of awe connected with this feast. According to the Talmud, all feared for the High Priest’s life.”
On this High Holy Day there was also a goat labeled the scapegoat who was identified by a red strap and then sent off into the wilderness. It is said that during the forty years Simeon the Righteous served as high priest the strap would turn from red to white.
This was in fulfillment of the words of the prophet, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Fascinatingly it is stated that the strap ceased to turn white after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
It is also understood that in Hebrew 364 represents the numerical value of Satan. It is said that on the Day of Atonement he is powerless.
While many people associate the day as a Jewish holiday, in reality the feast is a living parable for all people so that the grace of God may be known.
While on Yom Kippur sacrifice was made for Israel, less than a week later the High Priest would make a sacrifice for the entire world as long as his offering was acceptable on the Day of Atonement.
And while many people in the modern world have little association or interest in ancient festivals, the main thing they are designed to do is turn our hearts to contemplation and gratitude.
So may this Yom Kippur lead you to take some time to consider all that you are grateful for, to perhaps mend some fences and right some wrongs, to love a little more those you have in your life, and above all consider that by God’s grace you can be washed white as snow.


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