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Atonement

Evite, the self-described "world's leading FREE online invitation service," made Business 2.0's (www.business2.com) top ten list in their fourth annual, "101 Dumbest Moments in Business," for calling Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, a "reason to party." 

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The Day of Atonement, as instituted in Leviticus 16, certainly didn't have a party atmosphere. It was a somber, sacred day. Easton described it as "the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins of the nation." 

The nation of Israel followed specific instructions on this day. It was observed on the tenth day of Tisri, just five days before the Feast of the Tabernacles and lasted for 24-hours, from sunset to sunset.

The highlight of the day came when the High Priest, dressed in his priestly garb would take two goats to sacrifice for the sins of the people. The goats constituted one sin offering, though only one of the goats would actually die. The priest would cast lots to determine which would be the blood offering and which would be released into the wilderness.

After killing one goat, he took a portion of the blood into the holy place and put some of it on the horns of the altar. He also went into the holy of holies and sprinkled some of it on the mercy seat. In doing so, he was purifying the tabernacle "from the uncleanness of the children of Israel" (v. 19).

After purifying the tabernacle, the high priest would confess the sins of the nation as he placed his hands on the head of the other goat and lead the goat into the wilderness. The "scape-goat," who had escaped death, would symbolically, bear the sins of the people and be banished into the wilderness.

Ultimately, Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Day of Atonement. The Psalmist put it this way, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps. 103:12, NKJV).

No, the Day of Atonement isn't, "a reason to party," It is a reminder of the gravity of our sins and the ultimate price Jesus eventually paid to forgive them. 
 

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