Today, September 23, 2015, is the traditional day of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonements. Most Christians will bypass this day without a further thought, but Jews and those believers of Yeshua who follow the Lord's calendar, will pay close attention. It is the holiest day of the year. When the Temple was still standing it was the day in which atonement was made:
For the high priesthood and the priests
For the holy sanctuary
For the tabernacle
For the altar, and
For the people
Today, without the Temple, we cannot keep the Day of Atonements. However, we are commanded to continually observe that day, partially to prepare for the day when the Temple again exists and we gather to keep the feast with our returned Messiah Yeshua. But we also observe the day as the foreshadowing of the atonement provided by the death and resurrection of Yeshua.
Leviticus 16:29-34 (KJV)
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:
And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.
And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Notice that atonement was made not only for people, but for objects that were incapable of sin (the sanctuary, the tabernacle, and the altar. This indicates that the atonements made on Yom Kippur were not really about the removal of sin, but were about covering the people and cleansing the Temple for the coming year in order for God to continue to dwell therein. These atonements worked!
Hebrews 9:13-14 (KJV)
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9 is a comparison. Although the atonements of Yom Kippur worked in a temporal, outward sense, the atonement of Yeshua was eternal and internal. Yeshua's death and resurrection actually removed sin from believers!
From Leviticus 16 we learn that the command to observe the Day of Atonements is an everlasting statute (verse 34). It was to be observed by God's people and any strangers that sojourned among them (verse 29). If we claim to be a part of God's people, that command is pertinent to us!