Jesus and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Late Preface: I actually meant to post this several days ago, as part of my ongoing investigation to the idea of korban on the other thread (see below), but I wanted to polish it a bit. But since Aaron37 posted something concerning the Day of Atonement, I decided to go ahead and post it hoping for some insightful discussion of the matter, not only in the case of Aaron37’s assertion, but also in the atonement as it relates to Christ in general.
As I was investigative the concept of korban in relation to Jesus on this thread, something came to my attention concerning the redemptive aspect of Christ that has been brought up to me before, but didn’t contemplate deeply until now. Jesus died during the Passover (celebrated in the Spring), which institutes Christ as the Lamb of God reminiscent of Israel’s freedom from Egyptian bondage as they killed the lamb and spread the blood upon the doorposts to prevent all first-born males from dying. And that freedom correlates with our freedom with the bondage of sin. But the Day of Atonement is the day in which the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies for himself and the sins of the people and this only once per year in the Fall.
Most Christians would just probably just ask, what’s the difference? In the first place, the Passover wasn’t meant to atone for sins. Its function was to hammer down the last nail in Pharaoh’s stubbornness in freeing the Jews. And it was kept as a memorial (Exodus 12:.14), not as some ritual designed to have vicarious properties intrinsic to the Levitical Law. Which leads to the question as to just what did Jesus accomplish on the Cross if the Passover is only an ordinance of remembrance of an event which occurred long before in Israel’s history?
In the second place, even if could relate the Passover with the Day of Atonement, we introduce new problems. For one, Jesus isn’t from the tribe of Levi, as the Hebraist points out, for He descended from Judah. Thus He couldn’t be made a High Priest according to the Law. And then we have the problem of the ban against human sacrifice (Deut. 18:10).
Moreover, even if we grant that Jesus is the High Priest, the blood can only be poured out in the Holy of Holies on the Mercy Seat, not on a hill on the outskirts of the city.
Such are objections from our Jewish friends, propagated on some anti-missionary websites like Jews for Judaism and Messiah Truth Project. But I believe that some of the things they object to are legitimate concerns.
So what is the solution to this apparent discrepancy?