YOM KIPPUR, WHAT’S THAT? BY GEORGE AUSTIN
Author: George M. Austin
Yom Kippur? What’s that?
Oh, not much…just the granddaddy of all Sabbaths, that’s all.
A prophetic shadow picture of the coming Day of Atonement, also know as the Day of Judgment.
Yom Kippur passed recently. It’s one of YHWH’s (G-d’s) appointed times on His calendar. He says that anyone who ignores it should be cut off from His people.
YHWH calls it a holy convocation – as are all of His feasts.
The point to grasp is that the Hebrew word for convocation is pronounced mikraw. It means a rehearsal.
The Feasts of Yahweh are rehearsals for things to come. Which just points to one of the reasons it’s poor theology to say these rehearsals have been done away. Rehearsals continue until opening night.
So, if you are not practicing the rehearsals, you can’t fully understand what’s happening when the curtain rises on the real Day of Atonement – an event we should see soon.
Here’s my confession: I don’t like Yom Kippur rehearsals.
It’s a fast day which makes it a really lousy day for me. By the time it’s over, I’m feeling rough, miserable and cranky.
But, of course, I believe that’s the benefit of it. Because it’s a rough, lousy day, it makes me face the reality of the Day of Atonement in a more concrete and up-close kind of way.
It’s so easy to “believe” in certain theological concepts and still remain aloof from them. For instance, we can talk about being sinners, but deep down inside we all think we’re really not so bad. It’s all those other people who have sin problems – not us.
Am I not right?
When you practice the rehearsal of Yom Kippur, your discomfort gives you a hint of what the final Yom Kippur will be like.
The real Day of Judgment will be both a wonderful and a horrible day.
Wonderful for those written in the Book of Life.
Horrible for the hundreds of millions who are not.
The days of Noah are a shadow picture Yom Kippur as well.
For 120 years Noah and his sons prepared the Ark. The building process itself presented a huge opportunity to witness to the peoples. But none listened.
One day, YHWH told Noah to get inside. YHWH Himself then closed and sealed the door. The time for repentance was over.
For Noah and his family it was a wonderful day because they were safe as the rains and the floods came. At the same time, it was a horrible day for those outside.
As the waters rose higher, you can imagine how the people must have screamed, wailed, and begged to be let in the Ark.
For days Noah’s family heard all the pleas from the friends they left behind. They heard a scary new sound as rain pounded the ground for the first time in history. They felt the boat shake as it began to ride the waves.
No doubt they were stunned into silence as they witnessed YHWH ‘s awesome judgment.
On Yom Kippur we can begin to get an ephemeral taste of the frightening fate awaiting those not written in the Book of Life.
This should drive us to be all the more grateful for our salvation (our Ark) through the Messiah Yahshua (Jesus) and to renew our committment to living a life pleasing to Him.
Likewise, the thought of so many people lost for an eternity should compel us to be more fervent in our efforts to reach those who don’t know the Saviour.
Actually, reading about the Day of Judgment in the Book of the Revelation is how I got saved. I was stunned as I saw the fate of those who were not His people.
I guess the question now to ask is, “What kind of day will the holy convocation of Yom Kippur be for you?”
As in the days of Noah, will it be simply another day of chasing after success in this lost world, or will you be among those whose hearts are prepared and ready to go?
The rehearsal of Yom Kippur is good for us – whether you and I like it or not.
After all, Father knows best.