In this community we have times in this blog where we pause deliberately and turn our faces to JESUS.
That is our lifeline -- Our way of surviving some of the intense things we face in a spiritually mismatched marriage.
Well, one way of fixing our eyes on him is to commemorate important markers in the year. We have the Christian liturgical calendar that formed in the early centuries of the church. That calendar helped early Christians commemorate the life and message of Jesus. Lent and Advent, for example, are helpful seasons there.
But then there are the Jewish holidays detailed in the Old Testament (e.g., Exodus 12, Leviticus 23), and these days symbolized what was to come. Oh, how I love those. When I look at those days I also see 'Jesus' all over them.
Today is the Day of Atonement, known as Yom Kippur by the Jews. It is all about Jesus. So I thought we could look at some aspects of that today:
The Day of Atonement, described in Leviticus 16, was a day given to the Israelites by God when they were in the wilderness, after they left Egypt, and they were told to keep it forever. It occurs once a year, and on this day the High Priest, Aaron (Moses' brother), enters the tabernacle and sacrifices a series of burnt offerings, first to clean himself, and then to 'atone' for all the people.
Atone: To make reparation or amends as for injury done; reconcile.
There were some extensive rituals prescribed for Aaron here. One of those things was he was to put his hand on a goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and then release it into the wilderness.
Another is that he goes alone into the tabernacle to offer the burnt sacrifices, and no other man is present. That speaks very much of the aloneness of what Jesus did.
If you have the energy, you might like to read the account of the Day of Atonement today, and see Jesus in it? It's in Leviticus 16:1-34, and it is richly symbolic.
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.
And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father's place, shall make atonement (Leviticus 16:30 & 32, NKJV)
So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins (v. 16)
My friends, as I read the above today, I thought how grateful I am, and thought "Jesus was a high priest who was human like me, like Aaron. He knows exactly what he's interceding for on my behalf. I do not have a high priest who can't sympathize with all my weaknesses, problems and things I'm tempted by".
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16, NKJV).
If we know the above passage, we likely know what comes next: We can therefore boldly approach the throne of grace in our times of need, to find mercy from God.
Thank you, Jesus.
With that in mind, here's a beautiful worship song that speaks of that ability we have to approach God because of what our high priest, Jesus, did on the cross.
Love to you all,