‘Also on the tenth [day] of this seventh month [there shall be] a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict* your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.  And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it [is] a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

For whatsoever soul [it be] that shall not be afflicted* in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

And whatsoever soul [it be] that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

Ye shall do no manner of work: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.  It [shall be] unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict* your souls: in the ninth [day] of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.’

(Leviticus 23:27-32)

*afflict oneself = to humble oneself

In the midst of the description of the Lord’s feasts, is the description of the Day of Atonement.  Interestingly, this day carried warnings that the other feast days didn’t:

‘For whatsoever soul [it be] that shall not be afflicted* in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

And whatsoever soul [it be] that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.’  (Lev. 23:29-30)

This ties in with Paul taught:

‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Day of Atonement foreshadows the salvation that comes to us, by Jesus Christ. As this passage shows, we are to come to God on bended knee–not proudly, with our head held high.  We do not come to God by being ‘good enough’.  Our own works could never save us. We have no right to come to Him, believing in our own goodness.  It is only when we are afflicted . . . humbled by the weight of our sins . . . that we are able to come to Him with the right attitude.

The idea that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and we’re saved, is missing the most important things:  humility and repentance!

The predominant theme among ‘Christian’ evangelism today: that we are good, and God was lonely and made us for companionship, and that He’s totally accepting of us just the way we are, is baloney!  God loves us, not because of any goodness we have, but because His goodness surpasses understanding.  Nevertheless, He requires that we approach Him with the right attitude.

As these verses foreshadow, all those who do not approach Him in humility and repentance will be cut off.  Likewise, he who trusts in his own works to justify him with God, will find himself cut off.

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