Yom Kippur begins the evening of Tuesday, September 18th and ends in the evening of Wednesday, September 19th.
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the most serious, somber, and sacred holy day of all the Jewish feasts and festivals.
Two significant components of Yom Kippur observances include:
Yom Kippur is a day of repentance. Many ask if this Fall Feast is still significant today. Let’s see what God’s Word says…
The Lord instructs the people of God to keep this as a statute forever—
“‘This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.’
“‘For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.’
“‘And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.’
“‘This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.’ And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.”—Leviticus 16:29-34
The Lord takes this appointed time of the year seriously, and so should we. In Leviticus, God gives particular instruction for offering on the Day of Atonement. The detailed instruction tells us God doesn’t take sin, both individually and corporately, lightly.
At the same time, He is just and merciful to forgive. The washing and cleansing symbolizes our need to cleanse ourselves by repentance.
Why do we need to repent?
Repentance is referenced well over 1,000 times in the Bible. It must be important, as God commanded this action. But why? When we look deeper, we see the definition of biblical repentance means to ‘turn’ or ‘return.’ Repentance is a call to turn from our sin and return to God. The benefit is an overflow of blessings.
Some have argued, “If faith saves me, why do I need to repent?” This misunderstanding is incredibly unfortunate, as it seems there is a lack of knowledge about the close relationship between the two—faith and repentance—and the Jewish roots of the text.
For this reason, so many Believers today continue to have a block in answered prayer. There is an absence to fully grasp the fact that when we come before God and allow His Spirit to pull up any bitter roots, it breaks evil strongholds.
This statement isn’t a question of salvation, but is intended to tap into the inheritance that God has imparted to you.
Repentance Before Revival
Repentance to restoration leads to revival. When the Church comes to grasp their spiritual ancestors and partners with their Jewish brethren, there is a fullness of understanding. Not only does this unity make us stronger, but it also is fulfilling biblical prophecy. We can anticipate the return of the Messiah is drawing nearer!
Revival begins in your heart. You have the gift of the Holy Spirit, which allows you to turn any past disobedience into transforming power, both for you and for the nations.
Although this is a somber time, we as Believers know that this symbolizes a time of repentance and remembrance of the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua. We can be filled with joy as we come into more revelation of who we are in Christ and understand that we serve a merciful God.
This is a special time of corporate repentance, making amends in the areas where we have sinned throughout the previous year.
Traditionally, before this time of fasting and prayer begins, families will receive a honey cake, as a symbol of hope for the coming year. A festive meal is served, and then each member of the family is immersed in a mikvah. It is also a time to give extra to charity.
Later that evening, a pre-fast meal is eaten, and blessing over the children is spoken. At sundown, the first of five prayers are spoken, with the rest given throughout the following day. The book of Jonah is also read during this time of repentance.
Although it is a time of sorrow, there is much underlying joy, as Believers understand that we serve an ever-forgiving God who desires to show us mercy and forgiveness when we return to Him.
At the closing of the Yom Kippur day of fasting, the Shema is recited:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”—Deuteronomy 6:4
Traditionally, the second line of the Shema is read out loud on Yom Kippur: Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuto LeOlam V'aed, which means Blessed is the Name of His Glorious Kingdom for all eternity.
When Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai, these are the words he heard from the angels.
Yom Kippur not only looks to our past to reveal our sin, but allows us to confess and repent in the present, and is a picture of the hope we have in our future.
Don’t miss this powerful appointed time with Curt Landry Ministries. Check out our events page [HERE] for more details and registration.