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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Yom Kippur

Jonathan Bernis - Yom Kippur


Jonathan Bernis - Yom Kippur
TOPICS: Yom Kippur

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome to Jewish Voice, where we help you to understand the Jewish roots of your Christian faith, Bible prophecy, and why you should stand with Israel. I'm rabbi Jonathan Bernis, and today my co-host, Ezra Benjamin, is joining me as we observe Yom Kippur. This week we're observing the holiest day of the year in Judaism, but it also means something to you, or should mean something to you, as a follower of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. Ezra, this is such an important week. We're observing the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, but it's more than the Jewish calendar, it's God's calendar.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And Jonathan, the word in Hebrew is "Moed," or appointed time, and we call these days on the Jewish calendar the moedim, the appointed times. But, who is it appointed for and why does that matter to our audience?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, that's a good question. It's appointed for all time. It's a heavenly appointment.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: And these are days, specific days, that God ordained before the foundation of the world. That's what I want you at home to understand. It's no coincidence that Jesus died as the Passover lamb on the Passover, at the very times that the lambs were being killed according to the scripture.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It was a direct fulfillment of prophecy. It was an appointed day. The Holy Spirit was poured out on those first believers in Jerusalem, not at a random time, but an appointed day, an appointed moment the Lord had ordained that directly connected to Shavuot, to the first harvest of wheat, but now this is the first harvest of souls. This is really important. We're talking, Ezra, about divine intersections, being at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow!

Jonathan Bernis: And that's what we're observing this week, an appointed time, the day of atonement, that God ordained, first for the people of Israel to observe, but then for all the nations that would come into the commonwealth of Israel, which includes you at home, because you are a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham. Ezra, I just want to highlight why this moed, why this appointed time is so important.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: It's so important, first of all, because you can't understand the book of Hebrews without understanding what Yom Kippur is about.

Ezra Benjamin: Without the context.

Jonathan Bernis: Sure. If you don't have the context... You can read Hebrews and gain quite a bit from it, of course. I'm not saying that. But I want people to understand that if you really want to understand Hebrews, then understand that the writer of Hebrews wrote in the context of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. So, he was writing it to those that understood Yom Kippur.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: If you understand Yom Kippur, you're gonna understand the book of Hebrews in a whole new way.

Ezra Benjamin: He was writing to Jewish believers who would have lived and grown up in the Jewish holidays, the moedim, as a part of their life, as a part of their experience.

Jonathan Bernis: And they understood, as they read the words of Hebrews, whoever the author was, I have my own opinion. I think it was Luke. But if you understand the context of Yom Kippur as the early Jewish believers did, then you understand what the book of Hebrews is saying. Without it you get the surface meaning, but you don't get that in-depth meaning. But, it's available to us. If you'll understand Yom Kippur, if you'll understand this day of atonement going back to the law, going back to the Torah, then you'll understand the meaning of Hebrews in a whole new way.

Ezra Benjamin: So important for you at home to understand. Jonathan, in order to understand the meaning of the book of Hebrews, maybe we can go to the Hebrew itself. Now, Yom Kippur, correct me if I'm wrong, literally means the day of the covering.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. Let's put it on the screen. So, "Yom" is day.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: But then, also in Hebrew, "Kippur". "Kippurot" is a covering. You know, here's a very interesting analogy. Israel has a defense system.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They call it the iron dome.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But, it's the "Kippah". It's the "Kippur," it's the covering.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the same as Yom Kippur. It's the covering against missile attacks, but this is a covering against sin attacks.

Ezra Benjamin: A protective covering...

Jonathan Bernis: This is a protective covering that actually cleanses us. This is the whole idea of Yeshua as our covering. He covers us from sin and he covers us from the penalty of sin. He's covering us eventually from the presence of sin itself.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow! Yes, amazing.

Jonathan Bernis: That's the idea. So, this is a very significant event, moment, appointed time of the Lord.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. So, the day of covering, or the day of the covering, Jonathan, what is the covering itself? I know in the past it was the sacrifice of animals in the temple, but what's the heavenly significance or meaning of this whole idea of covering?

Jonathan Bernis: So, it goes back... And let me expand this, Ezra, because you can't understand the atonement of Jesus, Jesus dying and shedding his blood for us, unless you understand the Torah requirement from Leviticus 17:11 that, "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you as an atonement for your souls".

Ezra Benjamin: Or a covering.

Jonathan Bernis: A covering which is provided in the atonement. Without the shedding of blood we're told there's no remission for sin. So, why didn't the Lord just say, I pardon you?

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: I, the God of creation, pardon you from all sin. And the answer is that God, in his sovereignty, which means he can do whatever he wants when he wants, he doesn't have to ask anyone permission. That's my simple definition of sovereignty. God decreed that there has to be the shedding of blood when there's sin, to cover sin. Here's the first example. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. They disobeyed God. They eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They're hiding in the garden, right, because they know they've done something wrong now, and they cover themselves with leaves, with fig leaves. God says no, and he replaces their covering with the covering of a skin, an animal skin.

Ezra Benjamin: Implying there had to be the death of an animal to get that covering.

Jonathan Bernis: No question. It's not only implicit, it's explicit, "The life of the flesh is in the blood". So, beginning with the very first sin of mankind, God covers that sin, literally covers them, with a death, the death of an animal rather than their own death.

Ezra Benjamin: So important to understand.

Jonathan Bernis: So important.

Ezra Benjamin: Now, if any time man sinned, God would provide a covering, why do we have a day of covering? I guess my question is why is there only one day a year on the Jewish calendar, one moed when covering can be made?

Jonathan Bernis: Because we're told that one time of the year, the high priest was given access to the holy of holies.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: Remember in the tabernacle, the pattern of the tabernacle, which later becomes the pattern for the temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 a.D., is that there's an outer court where everyone could go. There was an inner court, where only the priests could go. And then, there was the holy of holies. This is where the very shekinah, the glory, the presence of God dwelt, so that God could dwell among his people. But, here's what we also need to see. There was clear boundaries, clearly defined boundaries where, okay, the people have to stop here, the priests have to stop here. But once a year, the high priest was given access, and it was a very prescribed plan where this human could enter into the very presence of God. It had to be with blood. It was only once a year, and this was such a terrifying moment that the high priest was waiting all year, I think in fear for this, and they had a rope. According to the rabbis it was a rope tied around his ankle, because nobody was gonna go in there to drag him out if he was struck dead.

Ezra Benjamin: So there were bells on the rope, right? And if they heard the bells stopped jingling, he was dead.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes. This was a life and death situation, and he would first have to make atonement for himself, and then go into the holy of holies to make atonement for the people once a year. Had to be on that appointed day, at that appointed moment, in that appointed way.

Ezra Benjamin: Serious business.

Jonathan Bernis: And all of this ties into what Messiah, what Christ has done for us. In a very prescribed manner, he lays down his life for us, and then he takes his blood into the holy of holies, not on earth, but in heaven. Incredible. We have to take a quick break. Lots more to talk about on the day of atonement, so don't go anywhere.

Jonathan Bernis: I just want to say how grateful I am to all of you who have stood with this ministry. I get messages all the time that you're praying for us. Many of you already support this ministry financially. We are so grateful for you. Well, Ezra and I are taking a look today at Yom Kippur, or the day of atonement, which is happening, Ezra, this week. And it's so important to talk about this, because this is not just for the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: This is not part of the law that's been done away with, this is a universal, eternal, heavenly appointed moment in history that we get to be part of in Yeshua, in Jesus.

Ezra Benjamin: So important for you at home to understand. Now, Jonathan, I have a question. We know that Passover, the Passover lamb, was fulfilled in Jesus' dying, his death and his resurrection. So, what does the day of atonement have to do with that? If Jesus died in Passover, what does Yeshua, what does Jesus have to do with the fall feast of the day of atonement?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, I'm glad you asked that, and there's a number of answers. Let me give you just a few of them, okay? The first thing is, not only is Jesus our Passover lamb, but something else happened on Yom Kippur in addition to the high priest going into the holy of holies and making atonement. Another thing that the high priest would do is he would take two goats. They were scapegoats. We all know what a scapegoat is. And he would lay his hands on the two goats, and by faith, he would transfer the sins of the people into these scapegoats. Now, one of them would be sacrificed, but the other, and I think this is the one that represents Jesus, Yeshua, and you can read about this. This has been lost because most Christians don't even read the Old Testament. But, that other scapegoat would be sent off into the wilderness, after the laying on of hands, after the transfer of the sin into the scapegoat. The scapegoat would be led out into the wilderness, and would wander in the wilderness and eventually go over a cliff and die. That's Jesus. He's being led into the wilderness. This is a picture of him being led to the cross outside of the city into the desolate place, and then bearing our sins. So, he's not only the Passover lamb, he's also the scapegoat.

Ezra Benjamin: The one who suffered outside the gate...

Jonathan Bernis: Right! He's the scapegoat of the day of atonement.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow.

Jonathan Bernis: Amazing symbolism. You don't get that unless you understand Yom Kippur. That's number one.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: Number two, Yom Kippur also connects to his return, and I want to say something. I've never said this publicly. This may follow me for years to come, but I'm gonna make a prediction right now.

Ezra Benjamin: All right.

Jonathan Bernis: Okay, you ready? I predict that Jesus is coming back, drumroll please, on Yom Kippur. I'm not gonna give you the date. I'm not gonna give you the hour. I don't do that. I'm not gonna tell you that it's 2021 or anything like that, but I believe personally that he's coming back on Yom Kippur.

Ezra Benjamin: Now, why do you say that, Jonathan?

Jonathan Bernis: I say that because of... And I'm gonna put it on the screen. My basis is Zechariah 12:10, which talks about Israel recognizing that Jesus is the Messiah and crying out to him, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". And it says in Zechariah 12:10 - look at this, I'm putting it on the screen. It's so important. "They will look upon me whom they have pierced, and they'll mourn for him as one mourns for an only son".

Ezra Benjamin: Wow.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, that's Yom Kippur. That's the day of atonement. I'm feeling goosebumps as I share this. This is the moment when Israel recognizes who Jesus is, because he's returning now. They've cried out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," or they've cried out, "Come, Messiah. Come, Lord Jesus". Jesus said, "You will not see me again until you say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," but now they're recognizing him and they're in repentance.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Because the one that they helped put on that cross, and we all put him on the cross, is recognizing him and they're going into this repentance. I believe that's why he'll return on Yom Kippur.

Ezra Benjamin: Amazing, Jonathan, and not just repentance, but you see sorrow in what Zechariah is saying. And for those at home who may not know this, the majority of our Jewish people worldwide reject the idea that Jesus, Yeshua, is the Messiah, but yet the scriptures are saying that when Israel beholds him, they're gonna mourn for him, not only in repentance, but in this national awareness, right? That the one we've rejected is actually the cornerstone.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, the missing link of Bible prophecy, of last days Bible prophecy, is the return of the Jewish people, and the fact that according to the words of Jesus himself, Israel, the Jews in Jerusalem must cry out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," and he said you won't see me again until that happens. And then, this day of national mourning that the one that they've rejected for almost 2.000 years is in fact their Messiah, and then look what it says in Zechariah 13:1. "In that day a fountain will be opened for sin and uncleanliness". That's the blood of Messiah. That's the establishing of Yeshua's kingdom, of the Messianic age, of the millennial kingdom, and that's why I believe that Jesus, Yeshua, is going to return on Yom Kippur. I'm not gonna give the date, but the day itself I believe is Yom Kippur.

Ezra Benjamin: I love that passage, Jonathan, "A fountain of grace and supplication," I think the new King James says. What a fantastic image.

Jonathan Bernis: So, hold me to that. I'm sure I'll be reminded of this as I travel, "You predicted". Well, I am predicting and we'll see if I'm right.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. Now, if Jesus, Yeshua, is the Passover lamb and that scapegoat that fulfilled Yom Kippur, Jonathan, why celebrate it today? What's the significance now?

Jonathan Bernis: I think there's a few reasons. One, it's an opportunity to intercede.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: We've been called to stand in the gap. In fact, there's a responsibility that rests on every Christian to stand in the gap. The Lord said, "I searched for a man, a woman to stand in the gap, and I found none, and therefore, I had to destroy them". Well, standing in the gap for our loved ones, for our family, for the Jewish people, for Israel, for our neighbors, and friends, and co-workers, is mandatory. It's not just optional, it's mandatory! This is a great day to do that. It's also a great day just to rejoice at the high priest going into the holy of holies and recognizing that Yeshua, Jesus, is our high priest who went into the holy of holies in heaven, presenting his blood for us. The third thing that I want to mention is this is an appointed day of the Lord to observe for everyone who knows him. This is not a Jewish event. This is a universal event that involves God's redemptive plan for you and for i, and I believe that there's healing, there's miracles, there's restoration that God wants to pour out upon you and your family as you set this day aside for the Lord and just seek him with all your heart.

Ezra Benjamin: What an awesome opportunity, Jonathan, for our audience at home. Imagine what would happen if you and all Christians around the world spent Yom Kippur praying and fasting - for you, for your families, but also for the salvation of our Jewish people. What would happen?

Jonathan Bernis: We do it as a family, but we also like to do it as a ministry, where we fast and we pray, and we see results. Guess what? Fast and pray. Just spend a day without eating, spending it with the Lord, and watch what happens. It will change you. It really will.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. You know, the scriptures command our people, kind of as an everlasting commandment, to deny ourselves, to afflict our souls, which we translate to mean to fast food on Yom Kippur, but most of our people, Jonathan, do it not knowing what we're even fasting or praying for.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, absolutely. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to send in your prayer requests, and if you e-mail us, I want you to write on it, "Yom Kippur prayer request," and we will fast and pray over your need. I want you to do that. I want you to just get online and I want you to send me a message and say, "Yom Kippur prayer request". If it's family restoration, if it's healing, if it's divine provision, we will fast and pray over your need, and I believe God is going to answer prayer. Hey, we have to take a short break, but I'll be right back with our "Ask the rabbi" segment, so stay with us.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back. Today we've been talking about the importance of the day of atonement - in Hebrew, Yom Kippur, to usher in reconciliation with each other and God. We've got some fantastic questions, Ezra, connected with Yom Kippur. This is really an important holiday. I can't say I love it, but it's sure part of my life. What a great opportunity to intercede for our friends, for our family, for our co-workers, for our neighbors. Anyway, let's go to it.

Ezra Benjamin: We'll jump right in. Jonathan, Randall from Lafayette, Indiana, asks, "I have heard that most people who practice the Jewish religion take Yom Kippur very seriously, even though they may not live a conservative lifestyle afterwards. Why is this holiday such a big deal"?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, Randall, it's true, but it's no different really than Easter Sunday, you know, Easter mass or going to church that one time on Easter, or twice, on Christmas and Easter. It's just an important observance for Jewish people. It's kind of ingrained - Passover and Yom Kippur, or Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, the high holidays, and Passover with your family is just part of the observance. Now, I will say that that has been diminishing over the years as Jewish people have become more and more secularized, sadly, and so that's not as strong a tradition anymore. But biblically, Yom Kippur is extremely important. This is the day, the moment where the high priest makes intercession by going into the holy of holies, just that one day. Read the book of Hebrews. It's fascinating. And, read Leviticus 23, and as you understand Yom Kippur, you'll understand Hebrews. I know I've said that over and over again, but it's so true.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure, it can't be said enough. Jonathan, Margot from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, asks this. "One of my Jewish friends told me that the term "Scapegoat" comes from the observance of Yom Kippur. Is this true, and if so, can you explain what the term means in the context"?

Jonathan Bernis: Margot, it's absolutely true. I talked about it earlier and I'll just repeat it again, and most Christians aren't even aware of this. One of the big events of Yom Kippur in times of old is that the high priest would lay hands on two goats. One would be sacrificed, but the other would carry the sins of Israel into the wilderness, into a solitary place. That's exactly what Yeshua, what Jesus does for us, carrying the cross outside the city into a desolate place and dying for our sins. He is our scapegoat. He literally fulfills that by becoming the scapegoat and "Bearing in his body," as it says in the scriptures, your sin and mine, the sins of the world for all eternity. Thank you, Jesus, for doing that. What a great question.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, awesome.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, the scapegoat.

Ezra Benjamin: The scapegoat. Camden from Hartford, Connecticut, asks, "I'm confused by the similarity of Passover and Yom Kippur. Why was Yeshua sacrificed during the observance of the Passover instead of Yom Kippur"?

Jonathan Bernis: Passover and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, are bookends. Jesus comes as the Lamb of God, not only to take away the sins of the world, but to fulfill or to bring to fullness, just as it says in Hebrews, that these things pointed to the Messiah, greater fulfillment. He fulfills this Passover lamb that provides the blood for the covering against the angel of death killing the firstborn. So, he comes as the Lamb of God, but he returns as the lion of the tribe of Judah on the day of atonement, on Yom Kippur. I'm jumping ahead, but I believe that's his return when the people of Israel look upon him and recognize that he's the Messiah, and they go into mourning, into repentance. So, these are bookends. He came the first time, he'll return again. It's not two Messiahs coming once as the rabbis theorized, but it's one Messiah coming twice. He has to return, and he'll return in connection with Yom Kippur. Great question, Camden! Wow, deep!

Ezra Benjamin: One last question, Jonathan, while we have the time. Tina from Petersburg, Virginia, asks, "What are some ways that I can incorporate the observance of Yom Kippur into my life as a non-Jewish believer in Messiah"?

Jonathan Bernis: This is about repentance, this is about intercession. This is an opportunity, first of all, to thank the Lord that Yeshua is our high priest and paid the price once and for all. So, he goes into the holy of holies and he makes atonement for us once and for all. Thank him on that day. But also, I take this opportunity to fast and to pray for my family, for my loved ones, for my friends that don't know the Lord yet, and for Israel and the Jewish people in general. It's a great time of intercession and it's a time to stand in the gap, and also to rejoice that atonement has been made for us. I go into some details in other materials that we have on the website, so look at our website. And, it's really, really an important appointed time. Hey, if you have prayer needs or you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to jewishvoice.tv - again, one word, Jewishvoice.Tv. I just want you to know God loves you, and so do we. As we close our program today, I want to remind you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Psalm 122:6 says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love thee". So if you want to prosper this week, pray for the Jewish people, especially during this week as we observe Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Stand in the gap and God will hear and answer your prayers. Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis along with Ezra Benjamin, saying shalom and God bless you.
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