More Symbolisms Of Yom Kippur
The Book of Hebrews declares Yeshua to be the Eternal High Priest of Israel (3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5, 10; 7:26, etc., see also Ps. 110:4 and Zech. 6:12-13). Aaron’s bathing pictured the purity and moral cleanliness of Yeshua. Aaron on this day wore only the simple, white linen garments, a picture of Yeshua as humble and pure. Yeshua, God the Son, became a Man and He further humbled Himself by His sacrificial death to truly atone for Israel (both Jew and Gentile who believe in Him).
Aaron needed a sacrifice for himself before He could offer the sacrifice for Israel. This spoke of the mediator himself needing to be cleansed from sin so that he could be sinless before Yahveh, in order to reconcile Yahveh and sinful Israel. Yeshua, sinless (2nd Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15), only needed to offer Himself as the Sacrifice (Heb. 9:11-15; 10:12), for sinful Israel.
Aaron could only come into the Holy of Holies one day a year. And in this, he had to stand and perform his duties and leave. Yeshua, once He gave His own life’s Blood, is now seated in the very Presence of Yahveh (Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 12:2). Not even the angels sit in the Presence of the King of Israel. Yet this High Priest, Yeshua the Messiah, has sat down in His Presence. This speaks of Yeshua as deity, and also His completed sacrifice, once and for all. He doesn’t have to repeat it. His Work as Forgiver, Purifier and Cleanser of Israel is fulfilled (Mal. 3:3).
The goat that was sacrificed for the sins of the people pictured Yeshua as the Sacrifice. The goat symbolized His humanity and ours. We are all like goats, very stubborn. Of course, Yeshua overcame His Adamic nature by death to self. Now, in Yeshua, we die to self, that our stubbornness may not determine our eternal existence. The alternative, as carnal believers, is that we continue to be ‘god’ in our life and on Judgment Day, will be sent to Hell for not trusting in Yahveh and what He has done for us.
When Aaron would sprinkle the blood of the goat seven times upon the Ark Lid and seven times upon the ground or dirt, we see the Picture of Yahveh and Israel being brought together by the Blood of Yeshua. The Ark Cover pictures Yahveh as it’s pure gold. The dirt pictures what Israel is made from. Yahveh and Israel have now been brought together, reconciled and made one, by the Blood of Yeshua. In a very real spiritual sense, the Father has been sprinkled with the Blood of His Son to effect reconciliation in Israel.
The Mercy Seat, is not really a seat, and the word for mercy is not found in the Scriptures relating to the Ark’s Lid or Cover. Twenty seven times the word kah-po-ret כַּפֹּרֶת is used and it always refers to the cover that was upon the Ark of the Covenant. It’s a cover of pure gold (Ex. 25:17), called kah-po-ret zah-hav כַּפֹּרֶת זָהָב which literally is a .gold cover.’ The phrase, ‘mercy seat’ comes from the idea that God is sitting upon it, and that Israel’s sins are forgiven on the Day, God being merciful.
Leprosy in Scripture is also seen as a typical picture of sin. Leprosy literally eats away or rots the flesh while one is still alive. This is an apt description of what sin does in our relationship with God. Sin eats away or rots the soul, while one is still ‘in covenant’ with God. But the relationship is not what it should be.
The goat termed azazel1 in Hebrew (Lev. 16:8, 10, 20), pictured the Israeli who said they ‘believed in God’ but he really didn’t trust Him. It was ‘just words.’ He wasn’t relying on God and the sacrifice to cleanse him. Instead, he was relying on his own righteousness, or his self-righteousness.
The symbolism for today is of the believer who says he ‘believes in Jesus’ but doesn’t surrender his life to Him, that God might mold the Image of His Son upon them. In this the believer has been stubborn (like a goat), toward the Holy Spirit. The believer at this point, like the Israeli before him, is relying on his own self-righteousness and won’t submit to God’s way of dealing with sin. Therefore he will carry his own sins upon his own head on the Great Day of Judgment in Heaven. He will then be sent into what the barren or solitary place (Lev. 16:22) symbolized: Hell.
Rabbi Eliya deVidas (1575 A.D.), in effect has said the same thing. He wrote that the meaning of Is. 53:5, which says,
‘He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities’ is that since the Messiah bears our iniquities, which produce the effect of His being bruised, it follows that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities must endure and suffer for them himself.’2
The unrighteous ‘believer’, not learning to trust God to deal with his sins, continues to bear them himself, trying in some way, ‘to prove’ that he is ‘good enough.’ This is ‘works righteousness’ a righteousness based on the doing of ‘good deeds.’ But the doing of good deeds can never transform the soul into the nature of God. Only the Blood of Yeshua can.
Another parallel of the unclean leper, with the believer who is stubborn, is seen from where the leper was sent to live; outside the Camp. In Lev. 13:46, it states this about the leper:
‘He shall remain unclean. All the days during which he has the disease, he is unclean. He must live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the Camp.’
The leper’s uncleanness or sin separated him from Israel proper. In Revelation, those who are unclean sinners won’t be allowed into the heavenly city of Jerusalem but will ‘live outside the Camp’:
‘But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the Lake that burns with Fire and brimstone, which is the second death’ (Rev. 21:8).
‘and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it’ (the holy City), ‘but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life’ (Rev. 21:27).
‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the City. Outside are the dogs’ (male prostitutes), ‘and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying’ (Rev. 22:14-15).
The second goat on Yom Kipor pictured the sinner who didn’t trust in the first goat to make them clean before God. As such, they were symbolically removed from the people of God. This is what will happen to all who profess Yeshua, but have denied the cleansing Work of His Spirit in their lives.
Many have thought that this goat was sent or given to Satan. This makes azazel out to be a proper noun (a name), for a goat headed demon god. But this is not acceptable. On Israel’s holiest day of the year, would Yahveh have them offer a goat to Satan? And in the very next chapter after the ceremony for the Day of Atonement in Lev. 16, Yahveh expressly states that Israel was not to offer up any sacrifices to goat headed demons:
‘They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot. This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their genera-tions.’ (Lev. 17:7)
The perverse understanding, that azazel was a fallen angel, comes from a Jewish tradition, prevalent in Yeshua’s day. It was adopted by many ancient Christian theologians and is still with us today. Azazel was not a fallen angel or satyr (goat headed demon) but an ancient technical term that means, the ‘entire removal of sin’.3 In this case, azazel should be translated as, ‘the goat of total removal of sin’ from the Camp of Israel. In the days of Aaron the High Priest, they would take this goat far out into the Wilderness and leave it there. It wasn’t part of Israel any longer.
The King James Version and the New American Standard Bible, following Davidson4 and others, comes close to this when they translate azazel as, ‘scapegoat.’ It’s one that bears another’s sin. As such, it was a picture of the Israeli who didn’t trust Yahveh. But scapegoat, in one sense, could be used for any general sin sacrifice as it bore the sin of the person offering it. What was different about this goat was that it wasn’t sacrificed and that it represented those who didn’t trust in God for their sins to be dealt with. As such, it pictured total removal of these Israelis from the Camp. So ‘scapegoat’ is not a good term for it.
In the days of Yeshua, they’ take this goat and lead it over a cliff. What it prophetically pictures is the departure or total removal of all carnal believers from the Bride of Messiah on the Day of Judgement.
Yeshua is not the scapegoat, as many unfortunately teach and believe. The scenario for Lev. 16, the Day of Atonement, has Israel’s sins already being forgiven by the death of the first goat (a picture of Yeshua), whose blood is sprinkled on the Ark and the Earth in front of it. This allowed Yahveh to reside in the midst of Israel.
The second goat, not sacrificed (and therefore not able to atone for anyone’s sins), is led out of the Camp of Israel (Lev. 16:22), separated from Israel, to ‘live’ in a place ‘cut off’ from God and Israel. This goat pictured the Hebrew who, although ‘believing in God’ with his mouth, didn’t really believe or trust God with his heart. This goat pictured the Hebrew whose sins remained upon himself, for the sins of Israel were placed upon this goat and it says that it would bear those sins upon itself (Lev. 16:21-22). This Hebrew didn’t accept God’s way of forgiveness, symbolizing the believer that trusts in himself, who will be condemned to Hell.
Aaron would finish by offering dedication sacrifices for himself and Israel, having bathed again to appear before Israel in his glorious priestly clothes. This pictures Yeshua being raised by Yahveh to His present glorified state. One day we shall all see Him as He is (1st John 3:2).
The bull of Aaron’s was taken outside the Camp and burned. This is what the writer of Hebrews speaks of, in us joining Yeshua outside the Camp, in His shame. Yeshua was sacrificed ‘outside the Camp’ meaning the city walls of Jerusalem.5
Being ‘outside the Camp’ meant that one was not part of Israel. Yeshua was rejected by the sinful leadership of Israel that day. Yet God used something ignominious, the rejection and death of Messiah, to call all those who desire to be cleansed from their sins, to identify with Messiah in His rejection and death (Heb. 13:7-16).
The dating of the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh Hebrew month, conveys total and full, holy completion. Seven is the biblical number for holiness and completion (e.g. the seven days of Creation week), and ten conveys the unity and strength of the number one, multiplied or magnified (the zero on the end simply amplifying the one). Both numbers together convey a sense of total completion, fullness and holiness that rids Israel of sin in its entirety. Hallelu-Yah! The Day of Atonement symbolized the total removal of sin from Israel, both in terms of those who trusted Yah-veh, and those who didn’t.
Original holiness was restored on this day. And Yahveh was able to continue to dwell among His people. This was the reason for the sacrifice and death of one, so the other could be freed (from sin), and live.
Yahveh is very serious about our observance of this day. His mentioning that people would be cut off, is the most powerful way for Him to express the importance of this Day for all of us. It’s a time for us to renew our faith and trust in Him. It’s a full day of fasting, praying, praise and Scripture that we might see afresh our position or place in Yeshua, and what He’s done for us in forgiving our sins and making us holy. It’s a time of reaffirming, of receiving from Yeshua our High Priest, a greater understanding of Who He is, and what He has done for us. And then we can pray for Jews and Gentiles to come to believe in Messiah Yeshua, along with our friends, relatives and anyone else the Lord brings to mind.