The biggest objection we hear to our way of life is that we are trying to earn our salvation through works. When people look upon us from the outside, some perceive a very legalistic atmosphere with a list of do’s and don’t’s and then conclude we are trying to make God happy with us. To a degree, that’s true and I am not ashamed of it. God is our Father and who among us does not want to please our Father? Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement looks like the most “worksy-est” observance we do. But that’s actually the opposite message of this day.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. “You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. “If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. “As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. “You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. “It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.” Leviticus 23:26-32
On the Day of Atonement, we are to do absolutely nothing. We are to abstain from food and from drink and have a complete cessation of all activity except to get together with other brethren. The other verses about this day detail what the High Priest did. On this day, we will hear messages about bulls and goats, the specific activities of the people and the High Priest, and how all this parallels Yeshua’s sacrifice and His work as our High Priest at the right hand of the Father. But when this day is distilled down to its most basic meaning, the conclusion is that we simply cannot save ourselves. We can’t stop sinning on our own and are in dire need of a savior. Those of us who study and have had our knowledge increased are in a worse way than those who haven’t – NOT the other way around.
Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. Hebrews 9:6-7
Look at those marvelous words. Meditate on them. Praise Yahweh for them! There is a specific day and a specific method that our God has made to forgive even the sins we commit in ignorance. He desires for us to be with Him so much that He gave His only begotten Son that those who believe in Him may not perish. And that Son, Yeshua, made atonement for ALL of our sins once and for all at the cross. We can’t do it ourselves, we know it, God knows it, and Yeshua solved it. And because we believe, we obey. We stop everything once a year and acknowledge our need for a Savior.
And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. Matthew 8:6-10
Look at the example of this Roman Centurion. He was a man of great authority possessing the power to decide whether many people lived or died or were free or in chains. He was not of Israel but one of the nations. In fact, the Romans were dictatorial overlords of Judah. Yet this Roman had more faith than anyone in Israel. Think about how we are in the same position of this Roman Centurion: we are simply not worthy. And all Yeshua has to do is to say the word and we will be healed, too. In fact, He has. He has made atonement for us! Praise Him and His Father!
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:22-24