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    by Sandy Shaw

The Spiritual Significance of Yom Kippur
Date Posted: September 18, 2023

That most solemn day for Jews, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is remembered this week. The day begins on Sunday 24September and last for 25 hours. It is Predictive and Prophetic. (We take a brief break from our readings in Philippians.)

The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron - that is, Moses two nephews. Aaron was Moses’ brother - the priest – and he is told – "Not to come whenever he chooses" - he could not run into God whenever he wanted to, if he did not come at the set times.

He is to come with a sacrifice for his own sin – Leviticus 16 verse 3. We know that Jesus did not have to do that - Jesus is our Great High Priest – and Jesus is sinless – without sin.

Look at how he is to approach God – there are elaborate preparations - the detail in verse 4 - the importance of underwear for the High Priest - Exodus 28 verse 42 .

God knew where the danger area lay. In the Garden of Eden when man fell when - they fell - remember it was fig leaves they sewed together to make aprons - not gloves or hats or socks.

Verse 5 – He is to bring two male goats.

Verse 6 – He is to make atonement for himself - Yom Kippur - KPR or KIPPUR means to cover.

Verse 15 – Sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat in the Tabernacle - on the chest in which were kept the Ten Commandments - in the Holy of Holies. Every time God looked at the mercy seat He saw the blood - and there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. Every time God looks at us what He sees is someone covered with the Cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible is a love story written in Blood.

Verse 16 – This is done because of the rebellion and sin of the people.

Verse 17 – The High Priest goes in alone. Jesus died on the Cross alone - even deserted by the Father - something Jesus had never previously experienced - "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" The veil was torn from top to bottom. It was four inches thick.

Verse 21 – Then he will bring out the live goat - note the detail again.

Why do we read the Old Testament - because it provides an inexhaustible supply of material for spiritual meditation.

It is said that on this day - after Jesus died and rose again - when this was done in the Temple - the scapegoat returned to Jerusalem.

Verse 27 – Destroy the remains of the sacrificial animal. It was not to be eaten - and cleansing again is so vital.

Verse 29 - The Jews will remember this day later this week throughout the land of Israel - they remember this ordinance. For over 24hours in Israel there will be silence - no cars - no traffic at all - silence. Men do not wear leather shoes on this day - they wear the thinnest of plimsolls to feel the roughness of the roads - the cobbles - to remember the wilderness - the suffering - the forty years of wandering.

Leviticus 23verses 26 to 32 - There will be services in the synagogues for 24hours – with Prayer and Fasting - people will go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray. 24hours of Prayer and Fasting - and this is one of the Ordinances that has kept the people of God together for over 3,000 years.

It is a time of Repentance - Contrition - Reconciliation - naming sins - sorting things out - specific relationships.

Hebrews 9 verses 11to 17 - Jesus entered the sanctuary in Heaven - through his own blood - not just that of animals - and what he bought and purchased is eternal - and not just for one year, as under the old system.

Verse 13 – Jesus offered HIMSELF. He was the lamb or the ram - a life laid down - and that always involved the shedding of blood - verse 22 .

Verse 23 – Not a 15 foot cube - but heaven itself.

Verses 27,28 deal fully with any silly thinking regarding re-incarnation. These are two appointments which we will all keep one day.

Hebrews 10 verses 1to 4 - full or solemn warnings - that is the New Testament - the law is only a shadow.

Verses 11to 14 – The writer compares the better with the former - not that there was anything wrong with the former - but the people could not obey. That is what had to be dealt with - disobedience.

Verse 19f ….as a result of all that I have just said - only one man then could go into the Holy of Holies - now we can all go. Think of what that must have meant to the Jew - to Peter and to Paul and the others.

Verse 26 – A verse which some might wish were not there. Neglect leads to unbelief - then to apostacy - then to falling away - which in turn can lead to willfully continuing to sin.

UBRIS means to have flaunted. A knowledge of the truth makes us accountable.

God has a fire reserved for His enemies.

Verse 35 – Do not throw away what you have in Christ - PERSEVERE – verse 36 - in the present conflict. Do not throw away your confidence. The Roman soldier regarded his shield as his confidence - and the ultimate disgrace was to throw away your confidence - your shield – and give up and run away. A mother would rather see her son come back from battle dead on his shield, than learn he had thrown his shield away and had deserted.

We speak about the shield of faith. Never throw it away.

Yom Kippur - the day of atonement - a day for repenting - coming back to God and being reconciled with HIM, and with our neighbours.

Here we have an inexhaustible supply of material for spiritual meditation.

“Loving Father – we worship You – we remember the Children of Israel – the Jews – that people You have called and chosen – and kept over these four thousand years. We thank You for all we owe that people – we thank You for our Jewish Saviour, Jesus Christ Your Son – we thank you for our Jewish Bible – we thank You for engrafting us wild olive branches into the holy root. We pray for Israel, in Jesus’ name, as she solemnly approaches Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement.” Amen.

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Biography Information:

Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!

Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.

Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at

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