As Yom Teruah (aka Rosh Hashanah) has ended and we now approach Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), there are some things we need to do in preparation for the Day and for Yeshua Messiah, our Bridegroom. This intermediate time between holy days is commonly called the Days of Awe, or Days of Repentance. It is a time given so that you can make things right between you and your fellow neighbor and you and G-D.
Like usual Shabbats, there are readings assigned for Yom Kippur and they are found in Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:1-34, B’Midbar (Numbers) 29:7-11, Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 57:14-58:14, The Book of Yonah (Jonah), and Michah (Micah) 7:18-20. The Brit Chadashah readings are found in Sha’ul’s letter to the Romans 3:21 – 26 and Hebrews 10:1 – 14.
In the beginning of the Torah portion, the first three verses say this,
“Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died; 2 Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover. 3 Here is how Aharon is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering.”
You may need to read this a few more times.
I say that because, at first, we immediately focus on the fact that G-D told Moshe to tell his brother that he could no longer come into the Holy of Holies anytime he wanted to in order to meet with G-D. And this makes us sad. How sad that the sin of Aharon’s sons further widened the gap between the people and AD-NAI that he could no longer come into His presence at will. He had to wait for an invitation to come. And then we remember when Yeshua was killed on the execution stake (cross) and the curtain was torn so that people could once again come into the presence of AD-NAI. And that is wonderful! Praise G-D!
But, I think we overlook the third verse.
Now, someone correct me if this connection my brain made is incorrect or inaccurate or if anything else I say is incorrect, but here goes. It says that G-D told Moshe how Aharon was to come into the Holy of Holies. He was to come with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. The point: he had to come with sacrifices. And the sin and burnt offerings in particular. For one, there was sin that needed to be atoned for, and two, the burnt offering often went hand-in-hand with other offerings as a means for atoning for general sinfulness.
One thought I read about on offerings and their role for the offerer is that they were meant to bring the offerer closer to the One receiving the offering. They bring us closer to G-D. The animal chosen for sacrifice is killed and the sin is transferred onto it and it dies for the sin of that person. Understand, G-D doesn’t need sacrifices. He doesn’t need bulls, rams, birds, etc. No. WE need sacrifices. Think about it: you’re bringing a valued animal before the altar to be killed, chopped up, and burned. You see all the blood and guts and smell the horrid burnt flesh. You are reminded that this should be you. You are the sinner. You deserve this death. But G-D provided a way so you don’t have to die, but rather this animal in your place. Therefore, WE need the sacrifice.
So, with that in mind, what is this connection that I’m thinking of? Well, since it was required of Aharon to come with offerings (sin and burnt) into G-D’s presence (because that’s what is asked), and our G-D never changes and has not changed His mind about this, then Yeshua became that offering brought before AD-NAI to atone for the sins of the whole world, so that we could enter into the Holy of Holies…and EVERYTIME we come before Him (in prayer or song or dance, worship) He sees this offering – He sees Yeshua! Don’t get me wrong – I do NOT mean that Yeshua is being sacrificed each time. That would be heresy. No. I mean that He is reminded of Yeshua’s offering and therefore we, who have placed our faith in Yeshua and believe in Who He is and what He did, can freely come into His presence!
Isn’t that awesome?! I think so!!!
So, instead of being sad whenever you read this passage, you should rejoice, remembering that Yeshua’s blood atoned for YOUR sins so that YOU could come before the Holy One! Halleluyah!