Isaiah 53 is arguably the most clear description of the atoning work of Yeshua (Jesus) in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6) For He shall bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53:11) He bore the sin of many. (Isaiah 53:12)
The Hebrew words in the above verses from Isaiah, manifest how Yeshua fulfills the Day of Atonement.
bear: סבל sabal has the connotation of dragging a heavy load. bore: נשא nasa’ connotes lifting up and removing.
But let’s start with Torah. The priest had to lay his hands on the head of the scapegoat, thus transferring upon it the sin of the people.
He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16: 7-10, 21-22)
The Hebrew word used here is ‘nasa’. This is exactly what Yeshua did for us – lifting off our sins, sickness and sorrows and separating them from as as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103) The word used in Isaiah 53:6 is פגע [paga]` means “to lay a burden,” “cause to entreat,’ “to intercede.” Here again we see the breath taking fulfillment of Yom Kippur in Christ Jesus. God laid upon Him our sins, that Jesus would be not only our atonement, but also our intercessor. Again turning to Isaiah, we learn that God “saw no intercessor, therefore His right arm brought salvation, it sustained Him.” (Isaiah 59:16). The word translated as “intercessor” is our word פגע. Salvation is the Hebrew word ישע or “Yeshua” the Hebrew name of Jesus. Finally the word translated “sustained” is סמך which means “lay, lean, put, rest upon.” Let us also consider ‘iniquities’: עון `avon which is perversion and depravity. I simply cannot imagine the weight of the burden that Yeshua carried which the word cabal tries to express. Depravity and perversity well describe our world today. It really was not that different in ancient times. (Consider Corinth). Yeshua bore the iniquity of us all...can we really comprehend the weight of the cross? I believe it was far heavier than just the wood. It was my depravity and yours! To those who suggest that we no longer “need” or “should” observe the feasts of the Lord, I contend that it is a privilege to celebrate the wonder of our Redemption. The New Testament doesn’t describe the crucifixion. Paul certainly focuses on its result, but the Gospel writers just mention it as a fact. Could it be because these Jewish men understood Yom Kippur and its detailed and complicated rituals? Before them was, as John proclaimed, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” I simply cannot ignore this holy day, ordained by God the God and Father of my Lord Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ). In fact, I cannot NOT celebrate Yeshua on this day as I read Leviticus 16 and then the letter to the Hebrews. It is then, that I can rejoice in the better Covenant, the better sacrifice and the better and compassionate High Priest. Yes, I MUST celebrate Yeshua on Yom Kippur!
Yeshua fulfilled or will fulfill every one of the feasts of the Lord. Seeing Him in every aspect of Yom Kippur is easy; Yeshua is the High Priest and He is both sacrifices.
- Yeshua was anointed and consecrated to minister in His father’s place to make atonement,
- Yeshua was offered as a sin offering to be the propitiation for the sin of Israel and for the world,
- Yeshua carried the sin of the world into an uninhabited place.
In every aspect, Yeshua Is better. Let’s start from the beginning.
YESHUA IS A BETTER HIGH PRIEST
Aaron was not to come into God’s presence at “any” time and only with the blood of the sacrifice. (Leviticus 16:1). Before the priest could make atonement for the people, he had to make atonement for himself:
Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering. Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. (Leviticus 15:3-6) For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins…For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (Hebrews 5:13, 7:26-27)
YESHUA IS A BETTER SACRIFICE
On Yom Kippur there was a dual sacrifice for the sin of the people.
He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord atthe door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which theLord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:7-10) “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, 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; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:20-22)
Every year the same ritual had to be repeated because the blood of bulls and goats could only cover the sin of the people, it could not completely purge or atone. Yeshua provided a better sacrifice. The Hebrew word used for “bear” is ‘nasa’ which connotes “lifting up and removing.” This is exactly what Jesus did for us – lifted off our sins, sickness and sorrows and separating them from as as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). Yeshua’s sacrifice is efficacious for all time:
And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:11-14)
On this Yom Kippur, remember who God is and what He has done for us through Yeshua. The atonement has been made, not just for a year but forever; not just for Israel but for all who will believe. We have been and will always be forgiven by God’s grace through faith.