By Debbonnaire Kovacs, Sept, 24, 2015 This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute. Leviticus 16:29-31
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Hebrews 9:27, 28
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her. Rev 18:20
Those who know I celebrate the Old Testament Feasts sometimes ask why. I hasten to assure them that I (and a growing number of other Christians) celebrate them as having been already fulfilled by Christ, rather than as a shadow of things to come, as God’s people did for many centuries.
I first became interested in the feasts because of the language: phrases like “it is a permanent statute,” and “throughout all your generations.” It’s exactly the same language used of the Sabbath, which we Adventists often use to try to convince others that they ought to keep the seventh day as Sabbath.
The only two differences I could find—and these are important differences—are that the feasts are not in the Ten Commandments, as the Sabbath is, and they were not instituted at Creation. But them, why would they be? Unlike the Sabbath, these feasts were given by God specifically because of sin.
And yet…there are several places that speak of feasts being kept in heaven, and it is clear from the biblical and extra-biblical records that the apostles and the earliest Christians, at least the Jewish ones, did still keep the feasts. In our own tradition, Ellen White said that the spring feasts were fulfilled by Christ’s first coming, and the fall feasts would be fulfilled by his second coming.
Dr. Samuele Bacchiochi (I tend to either agree strongly or disagree strongly with Dr. Bacchiochi’s opinions) felt that, rather than living in the “antitypical Day of Atonement,” we could see ourselves as living during the “antitypical” (if you will) Ten Days of Awe. This makes a lot of sense to me, since those are the days of preparation, of seeking and giving forgiveness, of a New Year’s examination of one’s life, getting ready for the Day of Judgment coming up.
When I read that an ancient Jewish tradition is to wear white on that day in trust that God will acquit us, I was strongly struck. All my life I’d been taught that Judaism had fallen completely into legalism, but here was Grace. From that day, I’ve spent the Ten Days between Rosh Hashanah examining my life, and I’ve fasted from both food and work and worn white on Yom Kippur, joining millions in prayers of repentance for myself, my family and friends, and even for the world, praying for peace, justice, and for the Deliverance. Soon! Please!! And thanking God from the bottom of my heart that judgment has been made for me by Jesus, even though I in no way deserve it.
I have no burden to try to convince others that they or anyone else should keep the feasts. I can only say it’s been an enormous, immeasurable blessing to me.
Happy New Year, and may God richly bless you and yours. Maybe, just maybe…next year we’ll celebrate in the New Jerusalem??
O Lord, let it be so!