(By Eddie Hyatt) The atoning death of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift God has given the human race. It offers forgiveness, freedom and peace with God that cannot be attained or achieved from any other source. It is, therefore, necessary that we understand the truth concerning the atonement for many false teachings abound today, which are based on a distortion of this wonderful act of grace. Since the Jewish “Day of Atonement” begins this past (Friday) at sunset, and Christ is the fulfillment of this Jewish holy day, this seems an appropriate time to examine this truth. After all, we will not preach the gospel unless we have a Biblical understanding of the atonement.

Understanding the Atonement –  Yom Kippur, or “Day of Atonement,” is the most holy day of the year on the Jewish calendar. Yom means “day” and Kippur is probably derived from the Hebrew kofer, meaning “ransom.” It falls on two of our calendar days because the Jewish day begins and ends at sunset. It was on this Day of Atonement that the Old Testament high priest went into the holy of holies, and with animal sacrifices, made sacrificial atonement for the sins of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16). Interestingly, there was to be absolutely no work on this Day. This Day was God’s idea and God’s work, with the high priest being the one carrying out the proceedings. CONTINUE