by Sharon Lindsay
The prophet Daniel (Daniel 12:1-3), the psalmist David (Psalms 69:28), and John, the writer of several books in the Brit Hadasha (Revelation 20:11-14) tell us that there are books in heaven. At the end of earthly time, one of those books, The Book of Life, will be opened and there Adonai will find the names of every person who will be allowed to live a joyful life in the world to come. According to Daniel, those whose names are not inscribed within The Book of Life will experience shame and everlasting contempt.
The primary focus of Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, is to be certain that your name is inscribed in that all important Book of Life. Yom Kippur is a serious day, a day of fasting and soul searching. It is a day to petition God, to request mercy and to look for some assurance that your name has been inscribed in the Book of Life for at least one more year. It is a day to ask, “When the Creator of heaven and earth returns to open the books of heaven and judge each person, who will be able to face God’s Torah-perfect standard?”
Historically, beginning with the tabernacle of Moses, excluding the years between temples and times of oppression or captivity, and ending with the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 CE, a special once-a-year blood sacrifice was made on Yom Kippur to atone for the sins of the people. The blood of a goat was carried by the High Priest into The Most Holy Place and sprinkled on the Seat of God’s Mercy which was the gold-plated lid over the Ark of the Covenant. The presence of God Most Holy rested above that spot. In later years, after the Ark of the Covenant had been removed from the Temple, the blood was sprinkled where the Ark should have been.
This ritual sacrifice which is detailed in Leviticus 16 was believed to leave the people, at that point, in a state of purity that was acceptable to God. But, Paul, one of the best known first century Jewish rabbis, emphatically taught that the blood of animals was totally insufficient for the cleansing of sin. (Hebrews 9) Centuries before Rabbi Paul lived, King David wrote that only a work of God could blot out the many times that he had not lived up to the standards of Torah.(Psalms 51) A more perfect atoning sacrifice was required.
Now, for nearly 2000 years, there has been no Temple and, therefore, no Yom Kippur sacrifices. Instead, the rabbis have offered these six substitutions: Torah study, Torah observance, good deeds, living in Israel, a person dying for someone, or attending Yom Kippur synagogue services—all things that rest on man’s ability to perform rather than the promise of a merciful God to save.
Only God can provide the perfect atoning sacrifice. He did this through Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Both divine and human, Yeshua (Jesus) lived on this Earth a Torah-perfect life. Then, He gave up His life: our atoning sacrifice. Returning, to God the Father in heaven after His resurrection, He carried His own atoning blood into the heavenly throne room and sprinkled it on God’s Heavenly Seat of Mercy—a Yom Kippur sacrifice for all mankind.
So when a person admits that it is impossible to live up to God’s perfect standards and cries out to a merciful God to be covered by the atoning blood of Messiah, then, he/she will be inscribed in The Book of Life, not just for one year, but for eternity! So how about yourself? Is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life?