On occasion I explain the Gospel story to someone who is not a believer by using the Old Testament Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. I have seen people come to Christ this way and it be that moment when they say, “I have never heard that before.” You see Jesus wasn’t a blonde haired blue eyed American boy. He was the Jewish Messiah and the completion to the Jewish faith. He was born into a Jewish family and lived a human life without sin. He understands us and empathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
The way I explain the Gospel using Yom Kippur is I talk about the people of Israel gathering. I talk about the sacrifices of animals that were made. I also talk about the high priest going behind the curtain to sacrifice the bull. I talk about the blood shed. Oh what a bloody salvation!
Men, women and children who came to look on corporately as Israel (those who have wrestled with God and overcame) would look on and experience that their sin cost something. Their shame cost something. The sins committed against them also cost something.
In the New Testament we have lost that. I fear that we do not take part in looking on the sacrifice any longer. We have been told in Hebrews that the blood of bulls and goats are no longer required (Hebrews 10). The requirement was always the sinless Son of God. It would always be the sacrifice of the only one who was or ever will be perfect inside and out.
As Jesus was brutally executed on the cross for us. He began to quote Psalm 22. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Psalm 22:1a) (Matthew 27:46).” He also gains strength from other Psalms on the cross. “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God (Psalm 31:5).” Jesus spoke this verse in part while on the cross (Luke 23:46). Fascinating enough the Psalm he started to quote in His suffering he didn’t get to end, but He was using it to endure the pain. It was a great choice because the Psalm was about Him! When He says, “It is finished.” Ponder how this psalm ends. “Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it (Psalm 22:30-31).”
Today is the celebration of the end of Yom Kippur for the Christ follower. Today look back and declare it is finished. Declare it to today’s generation, and plan on declaring it to the next that is still yet unborn, so long as Jesus tarries. Today we look back solemnly on the sinless Son of God. It is the day we are atoned for. It is the Day of Atonement. Our Sin cost something. Our pain cost something. The sins committed against us cost something. But, It is finished! We commit our spirit, He has redeemed us, He is our faithful God.
Thank you Jesus for paying for it all!