Illustration: “Young Girl on a Sofa (Mariaska)” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1907.
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD. And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God'” (Leviticus 23:26-28).
The road we have walked with Jesus is a long one with many obstacles. We are tired and in need of refreshment. We look in our guidebook, the Bible, for direction as we wearily look into the distance ahead. Another picture emerges. We are walking to the Feast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Just in time, God has decreed another day of rest.
Today, the day of rest is welcome, and God seems serious about us resting today. He makes it very clear that no work will be done on this day, the work is God’s. There is nothing we can do to achieve our own atonement (paying our debt of sin to make us right, or “at one,” with God). He will make atonement for us.
Lent also is a time of rest and preparation for the atoning sacrifice. During Lent, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to pay for our sins. This time of rest is God saying, “Stop! Stop trying to make Me love you. My Son, Jesus, has paid for your sins and I have brought you back to Me.”
As you walk through Lent on the path of Life, take the opportunity to consider your sin, to realize the magnitude of your shortcomings before God. It is tempting to take a side trip onto the path of good works, seeking to appease God and negotiate your own reconciliation. But the path of self-reliance leads only to death. Remain on the path with Y’shua, who is God’s sacrifice of atonement for you. The Sacrifice walks with you daily, and has already done all the work to make you right with God.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for doing all the work for me, that by Your gift of faith, we are reconciled to You. Thank you for giving me rest. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.
Ponder the path: Good works are the fruit of a thankful heart that accepts the forgiveness won on the cross by Y’shua.