All these have a prophetic meaning, a literal meaning, and they give us principles that God himself has told us to live by. “What what does this have to do with me, Paula?” Well, God tells us in the book of James, we are not released from these divine appointments, that we do not practice them the same in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, a high priest would go into the Holy of Holies, one time a year, and make atonement that would cover for the sins of man. When Jesus Christ came, He became our Atonement. So why are we celebrating this?
We celebrate to remember what the blood can do. And if you ever need the blood of Jesus Christ, if you ever need God’s blood to cover you, if you ever need to remember, to honor, to respect the blood covenant that you have… because during these days, it’s the only thing that is keeping us, separating us, knowing that I am in covenant with a holy God because of the blood of Jesus Christ.
This is not something that we can buy. This is not something we can earn. This is only something we can honor. And that’s what God says to do!
“…these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year”(Leviticus 23:4).
“Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:27).
In Leviticus, chapter 23, God lays out the Day of Atonement, he lays out the Feast of Tabernacles, he lays out these holy days that we’re coming into now. And He says, “honor Me, respect Me, reverence Me.” Starting with the “10 days of Awe.”
“What is 10 days of Awe, Paula”? God gives us 10 days of repentance. Now, we know that we’re to repent all the time, but we get occupied with life, we get burdened, we get heavy, “the kids are sick, the bills are due, I’m in a fight with this person. Boy, I can’t even turn on the news. I’m full of anxiety and worry…”
And God says, “Halt, stop, hold it! I want you to remember I am God, I am sovereign. And I have you. I have a covenant with you that is different than anyone who doesn’t have a covenant.” And that’s what God was telling His chosen people. He told the Israelites that, he said, “stop hold it! You’re surrounded by enemies.”
Remember that the feast for the Jewish people was looking for the year ahead. It was not looking behind them. It’s looking ahead, that’s very important for you!
So as they would look ahead, they would have to circumcise their heart, they would have to be introspective. Where did they miss it? Where did they not get things right? Where was their life out of alignment with God’s instruction, and they would have to align themselves. It was very important that God gave this 10 days to look at yourself, to look at everything in your life. “Am I in covenant? Am I bringing my tithe to the storehouse? Am I honoring God? Are my children right? Is my household right? Is my heart right? It’s my life right? Do I treat people right?” All of those things vitally important!
As we forgive, as we repent, as we get our heart right, then we come to the Day of Atonement. God says, “Do not stand before me empty-handed,” Deuteronomy 16:16, “But you must bring an offering every man according to his ability.”
Now you say, “well, I’m under the New Testament I can just slack…” NO! In the New Testament, it was much stricter. In the book of James it says, “We’re not held to the ritual of the law, but we are not released from the principles of it.” That’s vitally important because on God’s most holy day, it’s about righteousness. It’s about prayer. It’s about fasting, it’s about implementing His Word in our life.
This is a time where me and my family bring a very sacrificial offering. Because I say to you, and to myself, “what is the price of the blood? If I was the richest person in the world, it wouldn’t even be a drop in the bucket for what I could or should give to God. All the money in the world could never honor for what God has done for me.”
What has God done for you? How valuable is the blood? How valuable is that precious blood, that atoned for your sins, that redeemed you, that covers you, that keeps you, that hedges you in?