Yom Kippur is the day of atonement. It is a day of fasting and prayer, where we ask God to atone for our sins. It is also a day of no work. Now, you may be thinking that Yeshua (Jesus) already atoned for my sins, but as my pastor likes to say, “We need to keep short accounts with God.” This is a great day (as is any day, but especially today) to remember this, and ask God to forgive us. You need to remember, the ministry of Yeshua started with repentance (baptism of John was a baptism of repentance) and ended with obedience (not my will but yours be done). This day each year is a good reminder to slow down and spend some time in prayer, fasting, and repentance for yourself, your family, your church, your community, your state, your nation, and the world. Even so, come quickly.
Over the past few years, I have spent many hours studying four Hebrew letters. These four consonants form a word and actually a sentence in the Hebrew language. They have produced much controversy over the ages and still do today. The four letters are the yod-hey-vav-hey (יהוה) and they appear over 6,800 in the Hebrew Scriptures. What they represent is the divine name of Father God. Now I have heard all kinds of things about this name, from many different teachers and teachings. I have even heard it called the ineffable name. It is true today that there is a strong ban on the name (although people are waking up to the fact that we can know the name based on Hebrew sources available and not on scholarly guesses). It is also true most synagogues and churches are, honestly, afraid of the name. I could go into the sources, I could show you where and how the name was used, I could show you why the name was banned, but that is not what this is about. It’s Yom Kippur!
History gives us some amazing insight into the fact that the name of God was still being used in second temple times. Not only that, but it shows us what would happen when the name was used on the day of atonement or Yom Kippur. So what happened? I’m glad you asked…During the ritual, the high priest would speak the name not once or twice, but ten times. You may be thinking, “He probably just said it under his breath.” Did the people even hear him say it or was it just for the priest? History shows us that when the people HEARD the high priest speak the name, the people bowed down on their knees with their heads to the ground. They then would say, “Blessed is the glorious name of His kingdom forever.” Again, they did this ten times when they HEARD the name being spoken or proclaimed by the high priest.
When I started this journey I didn’t know where it was taking me. But after a few years, I asked myself the question, “What has this produced in me?” The answer is intimacy. It is my prayer that you would find more intimacy with the creator of the universe this day and every day as you celebrate and thank Him for the atonement He has provided. No matter where you are in your belief, everything starts with the Father of all creation and flows from there. I finish with a prayer that Yeshua prayed to the Father…”I made known to them Your name and I will continue to make it known that the love with which You have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)