At our Messiah's House Messianic Center in Greenwich, Connecticut, we encourage all believers both Jews and Gentiles alike to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord. It is on these special dates assigned by God Himself that the portals of heaven are heaven are opened that much wider that His children may experience a greater closeness in the kingdom, as these are actually divine appointments with the Godhead (Leviticus 23:1).
And, each Feast has a spiritual fulfillment in Yeshua/Jesus and reminds us of different aspects of the kingdom that are significant to us today. So, why shouldn't we celebrate them today as believers when they so richly connect us to our God?
It is on Yom Kippur, which occurred this past week, that we are reminded of the holiness of God. As New Covenant believers, we know that Yeshua/Jesus is our Kippur, our atonement who opened the door for each of us to have intimacy with God so that now we can actually call Him friend. But sometimes in our familiarity and closeness with God we can forget that He is most holy as well as being a consuming fire, which Yom Kippur quickly reminds us of, when we reflect on its significance.
When Yeshua/Jesus hung on that tree and cried out it is finished, as He gave up His Spirit, at that very moment the veil hanging in the Temple in Jerusalem that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies that housed the Ark of the Covenant was split in two. Beforehand, only the High Priest was aloud to enter the Holy of Holies, and only once a year on the Feast of Yom Kippur to atone for the sins of Israel.
Jesus' obedience unto death and resurrection to become our atonement for sin opened the way for the Spirit of God whose presence dwelled over the ark to be released into us through His sacrifice.
Fifty days later, on another of God's Feasts known as Shavuot/Pentecost, that Spirit of God was released in fulfillment of the New Covenant prophesied through Jeremiah that the temple of God might reside in each of us. This happens now when we believe in Yeshua/Jesus and His message and surrender our lives to him through faith, so that the Father and the Son may take up residence in our spirits through the Holy Spirit, where we now become the temples of the living God. Wow! (Jer. 31:31-34; John 14:23; 1 Cor. 3:16).
On this most holy of days it is a wonderful thing for us to be reminded of this and the transaction that has taken place between God and ourselves in the New Covenant through Yeshua/Jesus.
This Yom Kippur we invited special guest Teacher Pastor Nick Uva from Harvest Time Church in Greenwich, Connecticut to teach us some of the deeper insights of the Feast and how they apply to us today. Pastor Nick has a great love and appreciation for the Jewish people and the heritage of our faith and points out to us some very relevant connections between the Ark of the Covenant, the ark of Noah and the Ark of God in each of us.
Here's a small glimpse of Pastor Nick's teaching on the atonement of God and how the covering over the Ark with blood points to Yeshua's atonement for us:
"In the days of the Holy Temple, the word atonement signified a covering—meaning that you are covering something by smearing something on it. Back when Noah built his ark, he covered it with "pitch," like a tar or resin, so that it would be watertight. And what Noah did and what the High Priest did on the Day of Atonement are very much related.
In Hebrew, "covering with pitch" and "making an atonement" are actually the same Hebrew verb, kaphar. In much the same way that Noah covered the ark with resin, protecting the people inside from God's judgment, the High Priest would cover the ark of the covenant with sacrificial blood. Those who trusted in that atonement were likewise preserved from judgment. In both cases, we have a powerful word picture of the Messiah. God invites us to enter into Messiah, trusting in the atonement He made.
To view the rest of Pastor Nick Uva's teaching, please click on the link above:
Grant Berry is a Jewish believer in Yeshua/Jesus and author of The New Covenant Prophecy and The Ezekiel Generation. He has founded Reconnecting Ministries with the specific focus to help the church reconnect spiritually to Israel and considers it vital to the kingdom of God in the last days. His website is reconnectingministries.org.