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Sunday, September 15, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Leviticus 23:26-32, Numbers 29:7-11(NASB) Sundown tonight kicks off Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It's worth looking at these verses this morning.
26 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "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. 28 "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. 29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 "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."
Monday (Jewish days start at sundown rather than midnight) is that 10th of Tishri. It's a day of rest for observant Jews. Baseball fans will remember the story of Sandy Koufax having to miss World Series starts due to Yom Kippur. This is for the collective sin of the Jewish people as well as for individual sins. A look at the mechanics is useful-here's the Numbers section.
12 'Then on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work, and you shall observe a feast to the LORD for seven days. 13 'You shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire as a soothing aroma to the LORD: thirteen bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old, which are without defect; 14 and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths for each of the two rams, 15 and a tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; 16 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.
The male goat in verse 16 was used as a ceremonial scapegoat. Here's a Jewish web site's description of how the goat was used
The ritual continued with the High Priest sprinkling blood on the curtain of the Holy of Holies as an act of purification. Next, the remaining goat was slaughtered and additional blood sprinkled on the curtain and around the base of the altar. The scapegoat was then led through the temple's gate to a waiting priest whose job it was to take it to predetermined spot about ten to twelve miles away. Along the way, there were ten stations with food or drink in case the tired priest needed to break his fast. When the priest came to the final station, he pushed the goat off a cliff. Using a system of signal flags, the priest leading the animal would message back to the temple that the sins of the people were forgiven as the red wool around the goat's horns turned miraculously white.
The goat died to take away the sins of the people. Sounds like Someone you know? To modern Jewish consternation, the Talmund has the story of when the red cord stopped turning white-it was the Yom Kippur after Jesus was crucified. He was the scapegoat for all time, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Today and tomorrow, lets take some time to reflect on our sins and what Jesus' death means to us. For the Jew, the Day of Atonement comes each year in the fall. For the Christian, the Day of Atonement came on Good Friday two millennia ago; we simply commemorate the day each spring. The chorus to Kim Hill's When I Remember comes to mind
When I remember what You've done; When I remember the shedding of Your blood; I can't help but worship You For all You've done.
Let's worship and thank him for that singular Day of Atonement on Golgotha.

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