In the time of Moses the Day of Atonement was commemorated ten days following the start of the New Year. These ten days were intended to be a time of reflection and soul-searching; any wrongs committed during the prior 12 months should be amended, and forgiveness asked.
Two goats were chosen and placed before the LORD. One goat was offered as a sin offering before the LORD; the other was taken to the limit of the camp of Israel. Then Moses would lay his hands on the goat and transfer the guilt of the nation. The goat then would be released into the wilderness. The blood of the goat which had been offered as a sin offering would then be taken by the high priest into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled upon the mercy seat. In this way atonement was made for the nation.
On the cross Jesus took all of the guilt for our sin when He bore the divine punishment from heaven. Every day should be our Day of Atonement. Nevertheless, it is good for the soul to humble itself before God, with fasting, and ask Him, as did king David, “Search me, oh God; see if there be any wicked way within me.”
In our time Yom Kippour is considered to be holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Throughout the world Jews will pray and fast and seek God for forgiveness of their sin. The problem is that they no longer have any blood sacrifices for atonement. The book of Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness.
We would like to consecrate this day to pray for the Jewish people who are still waiting for their Messiah. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:2, God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. And again in verse 23, And even if they, if they do NOT continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. And finally in verse 25 and 26 he wrote, Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brother: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved.
Paul makes it very clear here, that God has not rejected His people! And that before the end of time, God will fulfull His promise to them by bringing all of Israel into salvation in Jesus. But the church has been among the greatest sources of persecution of the Jews throughout these past two thousand years. And still many Christians believe that the Church has replaced Israel in regards to Biblical promises.
We believe that the doctrine of grace to the non-Jewish peoples of the world is our salvation, and we should not “judaize” those who are not Jewish. We believe also that there is salvation only in the person and the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we believe that there are divine promises given to Israel that we shall see accomplished before the end of times. And the greatest of those promises is for her salvation.
So we consecrate this day to pray to pray for the salvation of the Jewish people and for the peace of Jerusalem.
Today we pray for the salvation of all Israel.