Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
To this day, devout Jews observe the "day of atonement" as we read of it in Leviticus 16 and in 23:26-32. On that one day of the year, they thought of final judgment: "The tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement ... a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. ... Any person who is not afflicted of soul on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people."
The "afflicting" was not wearing a hair shirt, or self-torture in any way; it was a 24-hour fast, a closing of their shops, a time for deep heart-searching and prayer and humbling of one's soul before the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, a time to let the Holy Spirit bring the conviction of sin, a time for repentance.
And this happened every year, on the same day. But it all meant nothing, just as the offering of a lamb for their sins meant nothing, unless the people saw through the ceremonial "works" involved, and discerned that the slain lamb was a type of the Lamb of God slain for our sins on His cross, and that there is a cosmic, antitypical Day of Atonement for the world itself.
We are living in that "Day" now. It's the time when Jesus says, "Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day [the final judgment] come upon you unexpectedly. ... Watch therefore, and pray always ..." (Luke 21:34, 36).
This is the "Day" when we are not motivated by selfish fear, but by heart concern for Jesus that He be glorified by his people before the world and before the universe of God, and that He come from the great controversy with Satan triumphant.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 24, 2005.
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