Do you see God opening doors for you, doors of opportunities? Repentance is key to walking through those doors and seeing the new beginning on the other side. Yom Kippur is a time of repentance. And it is the kindness of God that leads us to it. It is the kindness of God that gives us new beginnings through the act of repentance. Repentance clears the way for us to enter into His presence and experience refreshment.
Discover how God opens doors to us on the feast of Yom Kippur as we repent–shaking off the old and receiving the new!
Repentance | Yom Kippur New Beginnings
Yom Kippur is a biblical holiday when God’s people could return to a place of intimacy with Him due to the repentance, and ultimate forgiveness found there. Despite the ways in which we, as Believers, seek God’s forgiveness being different than those originally utilized, Yom Kippur still acts as a moed—an appointed time—where we can draw near to God in repentance, and He can draw near to us with His forgiveness.
Also known as the ‘Day of Atonement,’ or even the ‘One Day of the Year,’ Yom Kippur is a Jewish Fall Feast. A day of fasting, repentance, and seeking atonement in the Courts of Heaven and on Earth. A feast not of food but of time spent with the Lord which shifts us into our new beginnings!
- “…the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work… for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God… it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”—Leviticus 23:27-28, 31
Yom Kippur is celebrated on the 10th of Tishrei in the Hebraic/biblical calendar—in September or October in the Gregorian—and just over a week after Rosh Hashanah, the biblical new year.
Through Yom Kippur repentance, people reflect on their behavior, engage in abstinence, and make supplications to God. Further, many people not only repent to God, but to one another for any wrongs or issues they have with one another. Because of this focus on God and repentance, Yom Kippur is deemed by many to be the holiest day of the year…
Yom Kippur repentance goes against our fleshly desires. However, the importance and what repentance does in the spirit during this High Holy Day cannot be ignored.
God set Yom Kippur in place as an everlasting ordinance, and He uses it to resync us to Him! To remind us of who we were made to be and all that He is! It is how we step forward and tabernacle with Him!
- “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’”—Genesis 1:26
Repentance Benefits | Yom Kippur New Beginnings and Opened Doors
Ideally, every Believer should be familiar with repentance. Not because of legalism and not because of overzealous self-condemnation but because we desire to be in the right standing with God. We desire a relationship with Him and the ability and honor of being in tune with our Creator.
Still, repentance can seem intimidating or even scary. By repenting, we are admitting our faults directly, taking ownership of our failures, and trusting God to forgive us.
Yes, as Believers, we understand that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and we realize that God will forgive our sins if we confess and turn from them… but having mere knowledge does not secure trust (see Romans 3:23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:9). If that were so, all who have ever heard of God would trust in Him and the salvation found in Him…
So, what causes us to trust?
Our relationship with God. Indeed, if we were all perfect, a relationship with God would be all we would require. However, as we live in a fallen world, we need to bolster our faith, hope, and trust. We need to see evidence of deliverables, be that through our testimonies or those of others…
Now, requiring deliverables may seem contrary to faith in God, and indeed, not every time something is expected or wanted will there be deliverables, but there are always going to be seasons of deliverables with God. This is because everything God says is true. God does not lie, and His promises are yes and amen (see Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 55:11; 2 Corinthians 1:20). Our faith is not meant to be based only upon what we can get from God. However, for us to trust the truth of what God says—and to understand God and His Word—there has to be a certain level of deliverables. There has to be a testimony of God’s works, not simply for those who already believe, but to draw others into a relationship with God…
It is important to see benefits related to repentance because the testimonies and truth of those testimonies speak to our spirit man (see Revelation 12:11).
Benefits that people commonly find in repentance include:
- Renewing of the mind
- Restoration of/the addition of, the ability to hear and identify the voice of God
- Sins removed from the record through the Blood of Yeshua—Jesus
- New Beginnings
- Breaking of spiritual chains
- Increased intimacy with Adonai—God
- Removing delays
- AND MANY, MANY MORE
While this list is incomplete, it does provide testimony because Believers worldwide have experienced these and other beautiful answers in their repentance!
And yes, repentance can happen at any minute, hour, or day; it is not limited to Yom Kippur. That said, Yom Kippur repentance is unique. God set it in place to bring man into alignment with Him. He used it and never gave a command for it to cease being useful. God may no longer expect us to sacrifice animals for our atonement… but that does not mean He cannot still use the moed of Yom Kippur. A moed where all who believe in Him turn their thoughts, attentions, and repentance toward Him. A time where God’s people draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us…
The Scapegoat of Yom Kippur and Jesus:
Traditional and biblical repentance included the slaughter of a bull for the priesthood, a ram as a burnt offering, the sacrifice of one goat, and the shifting of the sins of the people onto another—a scapegoat (see Leviticus 16). This scapegoat, chosen from the two goats by lot, would have the sins of all the people placed upon its head before it would be taken and released into the wilderness…
According to the Talmud (a compilation of Jewish oral law and rabbinic writings), there was a time during the Second Temple period when a strip of scarlet-dyed wool tied to the head of the scapegoat would, at times, miraculously turn white during the Yom Kippur service at the Temple. This was perceived to be a supernatural sign—not only to the priests but to the massive crowd of all who journeyed to Jerusalem for Yom Kippur—of God’s acceptance of their offerings and His forgiveness of their sins.
Many say that after the crucifixion of Jesus, the scarlet thread used at Yom Kippur never again turned white. While biblical proof is not given, as with certain accounts of miraculous signs after Jesus’ death, this does not discount its likelihood. As John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”
Yes, John was writing more of the things Jesus physically did in this passage than the things He caused—as John himself could not know them all. However, John’s statement in this verse reminds us of an important fact. Jesus, our God and Messiah, did more than could be written, and said more than we can know on earth, and His death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven changed the physical AND spiritual realms.
Jesus, no matter what the truth is of the scarlet thread turning white, He is our scapegoat. He took away our sins by dying, resurrecting, and even ascending into Heaven. He is our Passover Lamb. Our Scapegoat. Our Redeemer and Bridegroom.
Knowing all of this, the importance of Yom Kippur, and the importance of repentance, we should be eager to confess our sins before God and change. We should be ready to transform into the bride of Christ, white as snow, and ready to walk through life on earth and eternity with Him!This moed of Yom Kippur, let us kneel before our God not out of condemnation but out of love. Not out of fear, but out of the knowledge that the best is yet to come! Through our God's forgiveness, we can walk in union with Him!