Last evening, at sunset, Jews around the world started observing Yom Kippur – the day of Atonement – the Holiest day of the year for Jews. It is the day commanded by God, for the High Priest to go into the Holy of Holies, and repent for the sins of Israel.
In essence, it remembers judgement. The judgement of God for the sins of the people.
Messianic Jews – we Jews who believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua – Jesus Christ – also observe this day, but in a different way. You see, traditional Jews will greet each other with “may you be sealed for another year,” but we know that we born-again believers, we have been “sealed” forever. We are promised this – Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul writes:
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
You see, we don’t have to “renew our membership” year after year, it’s a lifetime membership – once you’re in, you’re in. Jews go back year after year, hoping not to be “written out” of the Book of Life, using the days between Rosh ha’Sahana and Yom Kippur, to make amends with those they’ve harmed – and yes, we’re to do that – but it’s not a requirement to be written in The Lamb’s Book of Life.
Note the difference – the Jews’ Book of Life … There’s no “Lamb” … They don’t know the blood atonement of Jesus – or refuse to believe. We, as true believers, are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, sealed forever.
So we Messianic Jews remember Yom Kippur as a day of Judgement – the Bemah Seat of Christ – where believers are judged for how they used their talents and abilities to further the Gospel. We’re not judged for our sins – they were paid for at the cross by the final sacrifice – Yeshua himself.
But we do remember one other Judgement – the Great White Throne Judgement – where those who die as unbelievers, will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternity. As believers, we don’t want this for anyone, which is why we are to use our talents and abilities to evangelize and spread the Gospel.
So, on this Yom Kippur, I emplore those who have not truly turned your life over to Yeshua – Jesus Christ – to be saved today. And to the believers, to do our jobs and spread the Gospel to the lost. The final and greatest command of Christ can be found in Matthew 28:19-20:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That’s our job – and a great way to remember Yom Kippur.