The Day of Atonement
By Companion Jack A. Holloway
Illustrous Associate Grand Chaplain, Grand Council of Florida
Photo Credit: getyourimage.club
It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath. Leviticus 23:32
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
Companions, each year our Jewish brothers celebrate Yom Kippur, referred to in English as Day of Atonement (in Hebrew Yom is Day and Kippur means to atone). It is called the Sabbath of Sabbaths and is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. It is the only festival that requires fasting to "afflict the soul" as Leviticus 23:32 calls them to do. This idea should give us all pause to reflect on the concept of repentence; it is a major point in the Super Excellent Master and is not an outmoded idea.
The Jewish day starts at evening and therefore Yom Kippur ends the nine day celebration that started on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishri and is New Year's Day on the Jewish civic calendar. This is one of the circumstances in the Old Testament that gives the number nine the biblical connotation of completion or being finished. It is interesting as completion is carried on when at the ninth hour Jesus declared that "it is finished" and gave up his spirit.
O God, you ask us if we will repent and become obedient and we answer you with our thoughts, words, and actions. We ask you O Lord to lead and guide and help us in all we think, say, and do. Amen.