Yom Kippur in Messiah’s Light By Guest Writer Patrick Gastgeb

Please have a look at this wonderful description of Yom Kippur, compiled by our guest contributor  Patrick Cobbett Gastgeb. 

Patrick is a native of Pittsburgh PA and has a unique prospective seeing how he is an Jewish Christian who is washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

We hope that he will provide us with even more insight in the weeks and months ahead, so read on and please let us know what you think.


According to the Bible Calendar the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri) is the Day of Atonement. Jews call it Yom Kippur. In Hebrew Yom means day, (marked from sunset to sunset, as instructed by God), and Kippur means to pardon, or condone. The word atonement carries the meaning to English-speaking people. It means to make amends or to reconcile – to become “at one.”

What Does The Day of Atonement Mean To Christians?

The observance of the Day of Atonement originates all the way to the time of Moshe (Moses):

“26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
27 But on the tenth of this seventh month, it is a day of atonement, it shall be a holy occasion for you; you shall afflict yourselves, and you shall offer up a fire offering to the Lord.
28 You shall not perform any work on that very day, for it is a day of atonement, for you to gain atonement before the Lord, your God.
29 For any person who will not be afflicted on that very day, shall be cut off from its people.
30 And any person who performs any work on that very day I will destroy that person from amidst its people.
31 You shall not perform any work. [This is] an eternal statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
32 It is a complete day of rest for you, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth of the month in the evening, from evening to evening, you shall observe your rest day.”  – Vayikra (Leviticus) 23: 26-32

The Lord commanded the Day of Atonement as a solemn annual observance of the Israelites, past and future – as plainly evidenced by the example of the Christian apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament that Christianity is based upon, and who never stopped observing the Day of Atonement (e.g. Acts 27:9).



It’s unique in that it’s the single annual God-commanded Biblical Holy Day in which fasting was required. The fast was such a strict requirement that anyone who failed to do so would be cut off from the community.

All of the Biblical Holy Days are significant to Christians because they individually symbolize the steps in God’s Plan of Salvation (the very purpose of Christianity) for all humanity.

There is only one God, and only one Way to eternal life. Just as, for example, the Passover’s slain lamb symbolizes the sacrifice of Moshiach Yahshua (Jesus Christ) the “Lamb of God”, or The Feast Of Trumpets which pictures the future Return Of Yahshua, the Day of Atonement also has its significance to the Christian world – so much so that many truly repentant Christians observe the Day of Atonement as a Holy Day, including the fast.

There are 3 elements of the Day of Atonement that apply directly to Christians:


The first element is the fast itself. Going 24 hours without food and water is not easy (anyone who has ever done it can tell you that it can be a very uncomfortable experience).

It takes genuine determination and willingness, just as does truly repenting in a world that is largely defiant of genuinely obeying God. An Israelite’s refusal to fast, which resulted in the offender being cut off from the community, Leviticus 23:29 is the Old Testament’s equivalent of a New Testament Christian refusing to repent, which will result in the offender being cut off from eternal life Luke 13:3.


Fasting is an outward sign that the person doing the fasting is serious about repentance, which is vital for forgiveness. It’s very significant that the first Christians, those closest to the Messiah, including the apostle Paul himself observed the fast of the Day of Atonement as a Christian Acts 27:9.


The second element involved the high priest. Only once per year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest (Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first high priest, Aaron’s descendants thereafter) entered the Most Holy Place of The Tabernacle to offer ceremonial sacrifices for the forgiveness of the people Hebrews 9:7.


That Old Testament observance was a direct fore-picture of Yahshua Ha Moshiach, our High Priest, Who, after His Sacrifice, entered the very Throne Room of God The Father in heaven to make atonement for all humanity Hebrews 9:11-12.


The third element during the Day of Atonement involved the Azazel goat, or scapegoat which was taken out into the wilderness after having had all of the sins of the Israelites ceremonially placed on it Leviticus 16:10, 21-22.


The scapegoat symbolized the condemnation of Satan for the sins of all humanity, and his being put away in an eternal wilderness from which he will never return Revelation 20:10.


The sending of the azazel goat out into the wilderness as done by the Old Testament high priest after he returned from inside The Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle is a ceremonial preview of Jesus Christ (Yahshua Ha Moshiach) sending Satan into the abyss which will be done after His Return from the Throne Room of God The Father.


The Day of Atonement signifies the 3 most vital aspects of Christianity:

  1. Willing repentance on the part of those to be saved.
  2. The completed sacrifice of Jesus Christ formally presented to God The Father to make atonement for the sins of humanity.
  3. The final guilty verdict upon Satan as the source of all evil, and the sentencing of him to eternity in the abyss.