The Jewish holiday that is known as Yom Kippur (The Day Of Atonement) is a feast day which can be found in the Old Testament, but which has been clearly FULFILLED already in Jesus Christ. You can find the details of this Old Testament feast day in Leviticus 16, 23:26-32 and Numbers 29:7-11. The New Testament fulfillment of Yom Kippur in Jesus Christ can be found by reading Hebrews chapters 8,9 and 10.
” . . .IT IS FINISHED . . .” (John 19:30)
which signified that Jesus the Christ (Messiah) had completed and finished the work that the Father had called him to do. It was no coincidence that the veil in the temple was torn in two, the moment that Jesus Christ died. It was no coincidence that it was torn from top to bottom either, because that was a sign that the Lord from above had done this thing.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (two) from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (Matthew 27:50-51)
In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the writer describes the Old Covenant along with it’s tabernacle offerings and sacrifices, mainly because he is about to show us the ultimate FULFILLMENT in Jesus Christ.
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. (Hebrews 9:1-6)
The writer describes the Holiest of All (Holy of Holies) which is behind the second veil, in the tabernacle, and which also contained the Ten Commandments, the manna and Aaron’s rod that budded. He spoke about the service that the priests did in that tabernacle. The high priest would take the blood from the sacrifices, and put it upon the “mercy seat” which was the lid that covered the Ark of the Covenant.
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:7-10)
In this passage of scripture the Day of Atonement is being described, because that is the day when the High Priest, and him alone went behind that second veil, once a year with the blood offering which would be sprinkled upon the mercy seat. Today we can look back at those events and those sacrifices as types and shadows which pointed to the ultimate BLOOD sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself. Mercy is available for ALL of us today because Jesus Christ became the PROPITIATION (mercy seat) for ALL our sins, (Jewish and Gentile). These are described as carnal ordinances here, and it is speaking about the earthly animals, which were sacrificed, and the earthly ordinances which were meant to point to the HEAVENLY realities, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-14)
Here is the point that I want you to see right here ladies and gentleman. Jesus Christ is described here as the High Priest, and the PERFECT tabernacle. Jesus “tabernacled” among us almost 2000 years ago, and his purpose in coming was to die for our sins, and thus become the ultimate atonement. The Greek word kaphar is what is used here to translate the english word atonement and it is defined as follows:
to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel:– appease, make (an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile(-liation).
The death of Jesus Christ was meant to cover our sins, and to cancel them out in the sight of a holy God. We have been shown the greatest mercy that can possibly be given to any living human being, and what a terrible and soul damning thing, it is to reject this offer of mercy and forgiveness. The Bible makes it very clear that it is the BLOOD alone, which can atone for our souls.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)
As you take a look at the land of Israel you will notice that there is no longer a Temple standing there where animal sacrifices are being offered. The last temple was ultimately destroyed in 70AD, a judgment which was prophesied by Christ in a parable. (Matthew 22:1-14) The Jewish people still celebrate the feast of Yom Kippur, but they do it in a way, that is obviously unbiblical. I have read that some Jewish people celebrate the feast of Yom Kippur, by killing roosters or hens as atoning sacrifices, which they then swing around their head as a symbol of expiating sins. Others take their money and place it inside a handkerchief, and then give it to the poor.
As a former Roman Catholic I can remember the little “Gold colored Tabernacle” that sat inside the church, which contained the “consecrated hosts” which were the bread communion wafers. Those wafers were changed into the ACTUAL body and blood of Jesus Christ through “transubstantiation” according to Roman Catholic teaching. That could be done only by an ordained Roman Catholic priest.
There was a little curtain which covered the tabernacle, which would be opened up by a string, which would then reveal a locked door, which the Catholic priest would open up with a key. The “consecrated hosts” which were not used during the Mass would be placed inside that “tabernacle” and that was known as the “Blessed Sacrament,” where the Roman Catholic people would often come to kneel and pray. This “Blessed Sacrament” was believed to be the “real presence of Jesus Christ” and sometimes a “consecrated host” would be placed inside a monstrance, and be carried in an indoor or outdoor procession. After I was born again the Holy Spirit showed me that this was pure idolatry.
The bottom line is that there is no atonement for sin for any person in the world, outside of the BLOOD that Jesus Christ shed almost 2000 years ago. A person can gain access into the very presence of God through simple faith in Jesus Christ.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:6-9)
The good news is that God is willing and able to save even the most wicked and vile among us, solely because of the perfect BLOOD that his Son Jesus Christ shed for us. There is no longer a need for an “earthly priest” to bring a sacrifice before the Lord anymore, because Jesus Christ, our great high priest has paid the price in full. Any person, man or woman, rich or poor, black or white, Chinese, or Spanish, Korean or African and every other ethnic group in the world is invited to come to Christ, and have their sins atoned for (covered) because of what Jesus Christ did almost 2000 years ago. When you trust Jesus Christ with your soul, you then become part of the “royal priesthood of believers” in Jesus Christ.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)