|By Wailing Wall by Cyclist on DeviantArt|
Kippur in Hebrew means "to cover over; to pacify; to make propitiation; to ransom by means of substitute." It should not be hard for Christians to see that Jesus fulfills the need for Yom Kippur; He is our "Kippur." Going back to Biblical times a goat was slain and its blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. A second goat had the sins of the nation confessed over it and then was led far into the Judea desert and released to "bear away" the sins of the people.
"Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before YHVH, to make atonement upon it, and let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:8-10).
Of course, Jesus also fulfilled the part of Kippur for He bore our sins on the cross. He became our sin for us and then too the punishment of death for our sins. When we confess our sins, the sins are cleansed and also carried away from us. God choses to not remembers them anymore. He see us righteous in Christ.
|By EkStenseth on DeviantArt|
The goat that "bore away" the sins of the people was considered damned/cursed. Jesus because cursed for our sins; he died a cursed death on the cross. Today in Israel a common curse word contains "azazel" which is the Hebrew word for "scapegoat."
In 70 A.D. the second temple was destroyed and the shedding of the goat blood ended. The Jews confessing their sins today simply remember the shedding of the goat blood. A child or seeker might ask, "Where is the shedding of the blood today? How are my sins forgiven or carried away?"
Hebrews 9:22 states "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness"