Friday 3 October 2014

1 Peter 5:6-7 « Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. » ASV

Today marks the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.  In Israel this is a national day of prayer and fasting.  It is a day to humble one’s soul before God, repent for evil deeds, and commit to seeking Him more ardently.

Yom Kippour is also called the Day of Atonement, and the Day of Forgiveness.  It began in the time of Moses when God ordered His people to set this day aside for a solemn feast – prayer and fasting. The high priest would go before the ark of the covenant and pour out the blood of a sacrificed animal, to cover the sins of the people of God (See Hebrews 9:7).

The prophet Isaiah wrote, It is your sins that have made a separation between you and the Lord.  It is not our trials, our weaknesses, nor our difficulties that bring a separation with God.  It is our willful disobedience.  It is our determination to do what we want to do, when we want to do it, and how we want to do it.  Our conscience could be screaming out at us to stop, turn around and go in another direction.  But we have made up our minds and we are just going to do what we want to do.  And such rebellion is never far from our hearts.

Even after we have received a mighty visitation from God, seen angels, or received a miracle, the carnal nature is never so far away that it ceases to present sources of temptation to us.  As long as we are on this earth we will fight against the desires of the flesh to rebel against God.

Jesus is our Sacrifice.  His precious blood was poured out on the heavenly altar (Hebrews 9:11-14) providing for us an everlasting covenant of forgiveness.  Blood never needs to be shed again.  His offering on the cross accomplished all the law and satisfied all the divine demands for justice.

If we confess our sins (i.e. we agree with God concerning our sins) He is faithful and just to forgive us AND to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)  The text does not say He is faithful and compassionate.  It says He is just when He forgives us.  That is because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.

Jesus is our everlasting sacrifice for sins.  The feast of Yom Kippour points directly to the cross of Christ and His redeeming sacrifice.  God doesn’t judge the quality of your repentance before He decides to forgive you.  He already forgave you at the cross of Jesus.  All you need to do now is come to Him.  Agree with Him regarding your sin.  Receive your forgiveness.  And walk now in the light of truth.

We encourage you today to allow God to search your soul deeper than you have ever allowed Him to do in the past.  And allow Him to put His finger of love on anything He deems necessary to change.  And then receive His power of grace, joy and hope.  He is transforming you. And it is for His glory.

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