Celebrating the Day of Atonement as a Christian/Messianic Believer

This has been the second year we have celebrated the Day of Atonement as Christian/Messianic believers, and I would love to share some of the ways we remember this special and holy day with our children.

I must admit, I felt a twinge of disappointment when I realized I misplaced so many of our Feast Day things during our move. I had to scramble to put a few things together, and I’m so glad I did.

Like all of the Lord’s other appointed times, the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur is a foreshadowing of our Messiah.

These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Colossians 2:17

So of course, I wanted to dive right in, while honoring Christ as the substance of this day. I will gladly walk in the shadow of the Lord’s “thing to come.” Yom Kippur foreshadows the Day of our Lord, otherwise known as the final Judgement Day.

The Day of Atonement is the holiest day of the year. It is a time to examine ourselves, and to come before the Lord in humility.

In Leviticus 16, we are told this is when the high priest made atonement for all of the people. It was a solemn, holy time.

But yet this wasn’t a perfect sacrifice, since it had to be repeated year after year. From the book Celebrating Biblical Feasts in Your Home or Church (page 148) by Martha Zimmerman:

It indicates that even the priests weren’t perfect; neither were the sacrifices. It was obvious that something was missing. The requirement had to be met year after year. It was never complete, never final. All that the animal sacrifice of the Old Testament could provide was a “temporary covering.” This ritual was meant to be a symbol, pointing to something greater that was to be fulfilled in the future.

We believe this holy day points directly to the Messiah. (Hebrews 9:13-10:18). It is a joy to celebrate unto Him.

First, we decorated with white decor, to symbolize how in Christ, our sins have been washed away.

I also used this experiment to signify how we have been made clean by the blood of Messiah.

My children completed Yom Kippur worksheets from Bible Pathway Adventures. (This is a great resource for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, too!) We focused a lot on the story of Jonah, which teaches about the value of repentance and turning from our sins.

I also picked up butterfly sun catchers from Walmart to paint, while teaching about how we have been made into a new creation once we repent and put our faith in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

This is a time to reflect, a time to right past wrongs. It is a time to ask the Father to rid us of even the tiniest of sins. I wrote about a few of my own Day of Atonement thoughts here.

We also took up a small collection for one of my favorite organizations, Blessing Bethlehem.

I hope this post has given you a few ideas as how you can honor the Day of Atonement with your children. We are now looking forward with great joy to Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles. Blessings!

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