“Bond. James Bond.”
“Very good, Mr. Bond. Here’s your martini, just the way you like it!”
He doesn’t bother saying what way because everybody in the world knows precisely how he likes it: _ _ _ _ _ _ not _ _ _ _ _ _ _!
Well, I’ve never liked martinis. And we won’t be drinking any during today’s Day of Atonement! But unlike 007’s drinks, we need to be:
Stirred not shaken
We want to learn the lessons of this special Holy Day of God and be stirred up spiritually so that we will not be shaken by all the challenges to come on this earth leading up to the return of Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom on earth.
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim. 1:6).
The Day of Atonement is one of God’s commanded appointments (Lev. 23:2)—holy days that reveal His plan of salvation! It’s not Jewish—it’s Christish! It focuses on the work of Jesus Christ, in both His first and second comings. It actually proclaims the Gospel. Christ is right in the center of the meaning of the Day of Atonement. Paul referred to it as a critical time marker in Acts 27:9. God expects us to show up! Today is my 49th Day of Atonement and each one just gets more meaningful.
Passover and the Day of Atonement both picture that Christ’s shed blood atones for past sins. Passover pictures it for individual firstfruits God is calling and working with now—probably you if you’re reading this blog with understanding! The Day of Atonement pictures becoming at-one-ment with God for ALL MANKIND after Christ returns and establishes the Kingdom on this earth. We do our part for this by striving for unity in our marriages and families.
So why fast
just before feasting in the bountiful Feast of Tabernacles starting in five days? Well, Jews call it Yom Kippur not Yum! When we shorthand the day to DOA, I hope you don’t feel dead on arrival!
Today’s the only day when the Bible commands us to “afflict our souls” by going without all food and drink (Lev. 23:27). That should stir us up because it should tell us that this day is so special!
Fasting is one of the four tools in our spiritual toolbox which we probably don’t use enough. Guideline I’ve always heard and aimed for: about once a month.
Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights to be ready to face Satan for rulership of the earth. I have to wonder if the last day of His victory over the devil might have been the Day of Atonement.
Peter says to “be clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5-9) and we like to dress ourselves. To stir ourselves we must choose to fast so God and circumstances won’t have to humble us. Pride is what lifted Satan.
Our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He picks off stragglers, fringers, sheep that wander off from the flock, just you-&-me-Lord loners.
“Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” So we keep the Day of Atonement so we can empathize with this suffering world, feel their pain and comfort them (Ezk. 9:4).
Satan & demons put away!
The Day of Atonement pictures not only the forgiveness of sin but
the removal of the primary cause of sin—Satan and his demons!
Although our human nature plays a big role in our sins, Satan bears great responsibility.
In the Day of Atonement ceremony of Lev. 16, the High Priest selects two goats for a sin offering for the people. The first goat is “for the Lord” (v. 8) and represents Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of all of us.
The second goat represents Satan the devil. The two goats are selected by lot because people really can’t tell the difference without revelation since Satan and “his ministers” appear as sheep and lights (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
The High Priest was to “lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel … putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land” (Lev. 16:21-22).
The second goat is correctly called the “goat of departure” [Green’s Literal Translation] not a “scapegoat.” Satan is not being dumped on! Not being unfairly accused! Satan is guilty of all the sins the High Priest laid on him, and is the only good reason for him having the big head.
Even some respected sources wrongly claim the second goat represents Jesus not Satan. But the second goat is not killed, like Jesus was crucified at Passover. Rev. 20:1-3 shows conclusively that it’s Satan and the demons being put away for 1,000 years by an angel—undoubtedly Michael. Complete global reconciliation cannot take place until the cause of sin and suffering is put away.
In the Lev. 16 solemn ceremony the High Priest was the only one who could go into the Holy of Holies and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. It pictures
Jesus Christ as our High Priest now
Jesus is both the first goat sacrificed and also the High Priest doing the sacrifice. By His own blood (Heb. 9:11-12), He rent the veil of the temple in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51) and gave us 24/7 access to come boldly before the throne of God in prayer (Heb. 4:16).
In praying daily according to the Lord’s Prayer outline [deliver us from the evil one]—we don’t have to wait for Christ to remove Satan at the onset of His Kingdom—surely the first Day of Atonement after His return. A Jubilee year begins on a Day of Atonement (Lev. 25:9-10).
We must stir ourselves up to resist Satan now. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8).
An idiomatic expression for the Day of Atonement is “face to face.” The High Priest met with the Shekinah glory. “Beloved, now we are children of God … we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself” (1 John 3:2-3).
Stirred not shaken
James Bond wanted his martini shaken not stirred. We want to be stirred so we’ll not be shaken by trouble to come.
Our anchor in the coming storms is Jesus our Melchizedek High Priest (Heb. 6:18-20). We rest on the unchanging promises of God—the anchor we need most when we’re pushed and pulled in all directions.
No matter what comes—even when God shakes the heavens and the earth [Hag. 2:6 is the only verse of Haggai quoted in the New Testament]—we need not be shaken and we can endure until the Kingdom which cannot be shaken! (Heb. 12:26-28).
“Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled” (2 Thes. 2:2).
Unless we’re talking about being shaken like this (Acts 4:29-31). I hope this Day of Atonement grabs us by the shoulders and stirs us up to have the best Feast ever!