[b-hebrew] Yom Kippur

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sun Aug 22 15:43:40 EDT 2004


Dear Yigal,

>While I might have stated some of it differently, the above is certainly a
>faithful, if simplified, representation of Jewish tradition. As far as your
>second question below, my understanding is that Christianity sees itself as
>"supplanting" Israel's special covenant relationship with God and Christ's
>crucifixion as replacing the sacrificial cult, including that of Yom
>Kippur - as well as most other commandments of the Torah (post-Temple
>rabbinic Judaism sees personal prayer and repentance as replacing the
>sacrifices). But I'm sure that others will have a different view on this.

HH: Christianity does see Christ's death as 
supplanting the sacrificial system, but in the 
sense that Christ is the reality of which the 
sacrificial system was the type. He inaugurated 
the new covenant that Jeremiah promised:

Jer. 31:31  "The time is coming," declares the 
LORD,  "when I will make a new covenant with the 
house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Jer. 31:32 It will not be like the covenant I 
made with their forefathers when I took them by 
the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they 
broke my covenant, though I was a husband to 
them," declares the LORD.
Jer. 31:33  "This is the covenant I will make 
with the house of Israel after that time," 
declares the LORD.  "I will put my law in their 
minds and write it on their hearts. I will be 
their God, and they will be my people.
Jer. 31:34 No longer will a man teach his 
neighbor, or a man his brother, saying,  'Know 
the LORD,' because they will all know me, from 
the least of them to the greatest," declares the 
LORD.  "For I will forgive their wickedness and 
will remember their sins no more."

Christianity teaches that the blood of goats and 
bulls could never take away sin:

Heb. 10:1 ¶ The law is only a shadow of the good 
things that are coming - not the realities 
themselves. For this reason it can never, by the 
same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after 
year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
Heb. 10:2 If it could, would they not have 
stopped being offered? For the worshipers would 
have been cleansed once for all, and would no 
longer have felt guilty for their sins.
Heb. 10:3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
Heb. 10:4 because it is impossible for the blood 
of bulls and goats to take away sins. 

HH: But when Christ came, he offered the 
sacrifice towards which the animal sacrifices 
could only point. As for the sins forgiven in the 
OT through the sacrificial system, Paul said:

Rom. 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of 
atonement, through faith in his blood. He did 
this to demonstrate his justice, because in his 
forbearance he had left the sins committed 
beforehand unpunished -

HH: One problem that arises with prayer and 
repentance replacing the sacrifices is that 
prayer and repentance already existed when there 
were sacrifices, and God still considered the 
sacrifices necessary. 

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard





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