“‘And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.’ And Moses did as the LORD commanded him” (Leviticus 16:34).
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
We pause in our journey at the city walls. The sacrifices are complete. The carcasses of the animals are being burned outside the city. The priest is cleansed. The scapegoat has been banished. Another year has come and gone. It is a new beginning. We are reborn…for another year.
Spring is the time of new beginnings as we seasonally see the birth, life and death of God’s creation. Though Yom Kippur is a fall festival, we see something of the Spring in it. For we are born anew. But the covenant God made with the Israelites required yearly sacrifices, yearly trips to the temple for atonement. Cleansed from our sin to live our lives, only to come back to the temple again, dead in our transgressions, seeking reconciliation with God again. But God has a better plan for us than this yearly trek. God sent a prophet, Jeremiah, to announce the new covenant that would make complete atonement once for all. “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant … I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. … For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more'” (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jeremiah proclaimed this new covenant 600 years before Christ–the fulfillment of the covenant–was born.
The new covenant is not like the one in Leviticus, that requires annual sacrifices. The sacrifice is once for all, and through this sacrifice the law is written on our hearts and in our minds. Jesus announced this new covenant at his last supper with the disciples, just hours before he was lead away to fulfill it. The benefits of this new covenant are ours every time we confess to a fellow believer and receive the assurance that indeed we are completely forgiven. Now every day is Yom Kippur.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the complete forgiveness You have given me. I love you Lord. Help me to give myself completely to You. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.
Ponder the path: Is there something that you feel God could not possibly forgive you for? Go to your pastor today and know that all of your sins are forgiven completely by the shed blood of God’s sacrifice, His Son Jesus.