First off, I want to say to everyone the traditional Jewish greeting we pass to each other on Yom Kippur, which is:
May you have an easy fast.
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So often over the years, I have heard Christians tell me that because we are saved by faith in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we do not have to fast on Yom Kippur, or even obey any of the Moedim (Holy Days) that God gave to the Jews, all of which are specified in Leviticus 23.
My response is to ask if they understand what Yom Kippur is about. They say it is the Day of Atonement when we ask forgiveness of all our sins. For those who really know Judaism, they add that we do this by afflicting ourselves (the traditional method is fasting) and pray that God will move from his Throne of Judgment to his Throne of Forgiveness, and inscribe us in his Book of Life.
So, I ask you: if Yom Kippur is how God said to ask him to forgive you of your sins, who doesn’t have sin?
If you are sinless, then you don’t need to ask forgiveness, right? But, then again, refusing to afflict yourself on Yom Kippur, in whichever way you feel afflicted, is rejecting a commandment from God, which is a sin. Yeshua never said to reject any of God’s Holy Days, and even Shaul (Paul) never said to reject any of God’s Holy Days. So, by saying we have forgiveness through Yeshua so we don’t have to fast or observe Yom Kippur is, by definition, a sin.
And that means you need to ask forgiveness on Yom Kippur.
Here are my two reasons for Christians to observe Yom Kippur:
- It is a commandment from God; and
- No one is without sin, so why not ask for forgiveness?
Christianity has been professing that Yeshua did away with the law, but if he did, then that means there is no law. If there is no law, then we have no need for a Messiah, right? I mean, the law is what defines sin, so if there is no law there is no sin, and if there is no sin, there is no need for forgiveness, so we don’t need to practice any religion.
The conundrum Christianity has created is that believing Yeshua, who obeyed every law in the Torah, is the Messiah God sent to bring us into communion with him makes you a Christian, and Christians don’t have to obey God’s laws in the Torah, which means they obey man-made laws that reject God, which is the opposite of what Yeshua came to do!
God gave us laws, credos, doctrines, Holy Days, etc., but if Yeshua set us free from the Torah, then shouldn’t we also be free from the man-made traditions, holidays, and commandments that are in Christianity? Doesn’t it make sense that if we can reject what God said we must do, then whatever men say is even less important? Isn’t God more powerful than humans? So, if what God said doesn’t count, then certainly a human-originated commandment or law has no power or value, at all.
I am Jewish: I was born Jewish from Jewish parents of Jewish parents, and I even have the Levitical DNA marker in my genes. When I accepted Yeshua as the Messiah God promised, I was reborn- not as a Christian but as a renewed Jew. My faith was stronger than it had ever been, my life became more in alignment with the Jewish lifestyle that Yeshua lived, and I have been blessed beyond belief since doing this.
Yeshua celebrated every single Holy Day that God commanded us to obey, and even though he was given the authority to forgive sins on earth, he still fasted on Yom Kippur.
Hold it a minute! There is not one mention in the New Covenant Gospels about Yeshua observing any Jewish Holy Day or holiday (the former being God-ordained, the latter being man-made) other than Hanukkah and Passover. So how do I know he celebrated Yom Kippur? Because he was resurrected, which proved his sacrifice was accepted by God. And if his sacrifice was accepted, that means he died sinless, a spiritual condition which could only have existed if he observed every commandment God gave in the Torah.
The only difference between the sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sin God created in the Torah and the current means of forgiveness of sin through Yeshua is that Yeshua replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple in Jerusalem, the only place where God said we could make a sacrifice. Other than that, we still need to confess our sins (a part of the Yom Kippur service called the Ashamnoo prayer), repent of them and ask for forgiveness from God, which we do during the Yom Kippur service when reciting the Al Het (All sins) prayer.
Yom Kippur is not just something that we can throw behind us because we can receive forgiveness through Yeshua anytime we ask for it. The Sabbath, Passover, Shavuot, Yom Teruah (now called Rosh HaShanah), Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are Holy Days that God commanded us to observe as part of the way we worship him. Throwing them behind our back is a direct rejection of God. Period.
Unless you can find someplace where Yeshua said once we accept him as the Messiah it was OK to reject everything that his father said, then you had better reconsider rejecting the observance of God’s Holy Days. And I am not talking about what Shaul said, or more accurately, what people over the millennia have misinterpreted what Shaul said because God is more important than people. Yes, even more important than that nice Jewish tentmaker from Tarsus.
Too many Christians I have met don’t realize that they are not obeying God but instead a bunch of ex-Pagans who made up a religion of their own, with their own rules and holidays to replace the ones God gave, justifying this new, man-made religion by misinterpreting what Shaul said in his letters to ex-pagans learning how to be Jewish.
Think about it: God gave instructions on how to worship him and treat each other, as well as many other regulations regarding civil and criminal law, business ethics, and appropriate interpersonal relationships in order to teach us how to live righteous and holy lives. He did this in the Torah, so nu? Does that sound like something you should ignore?
Look…if you still aren’t sure if Yom Kippur is something you should celebrate as God commanded, I will leave you with one last question: do you really think that the Messiah, sent to bring us back into communion with God, would do so by telling us to reject everything God said?
Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with everyone you know, and check out my books, as well. Please remember that I always welcome your comments, so don’t be shy about letting me know what you think, even if you disagree. Hey, I’m not always right and I do respectfully listen to what people tell me they believe. All I ask is that you be respectful of me, as well.
That’s it for today, and remember that it is easier on you if you do NOT eat a big meal tomorrow night before sunset.
L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!