How does the blood atonement of Passover differ from the blood atonement of Yom Kippur?


Email Received:

Jesus is obviously the center of Passover and the center of Yom Kippur. Both involve blood atonement. How does the atonement differ between the two?


Ted's Response:

I agree that Jesus is the center of both Passover and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), just as He is the center of all of the Hebraic feasts, festivals, and holy days. The main thing that Passover and Yom Kippur have in common is that both involve blood sacrifices for sin, since it is by blood that God's atonement is made (Leviticus 17:11). You may or may not have read my Passover and Yom Kippur sections, which I wrote in the early 1990s.

Both Passover and Yom Kippur focus on "liberation" but in different ways. Israel was liberated from bondage to slavery in Egypt by the blood of lambs on the first Passover. Similarly, mankind was liberated from bondage to sin by the blood of Jesus on the cross on Passover; He was the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

On Passover, the only animals sacrificed were lambs (Exodus 12:3). The high priest sacrificed a national lamb, and all the people sacrificed their own lambs and then ate them (12:7,8). So the people were expected to participate in the process, and any who did not were cut off (Numbers 9:13).

Now, on Yom Kippur, the high priest again was involved, but numerous animals (a bull, a ram, goats, and lambs) were sacrificed (Numbers 29:7-11). The people themselves were not involved in any of the sacrificing, and none of the animals sacrificed by the high priest were eaten by the general populace. In fact, Yom Kippur was/is a solemn day of fasting and denying oneself, rather than of joyous feasting and celebration.

Jesus, as Israel's ultimate High Priest (Hebrews 2:17), fulfilled Passover during His first advent by sacrificing Himself on the cross as the supreme Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). Again as the ultimate High Priest, He will fulfill Yom Kippur at His second advent (bodily descent) back to earth by slaughtering, as a sacrifice, the armies of those who are destroying Jerusalem and Israel as though these armies are lambs, goats, rams, and bulls:

The sword of the LORD is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat—the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom. And the wild oxen will fall with them, the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood, and the dust will be soaked with fat. (Isaiah 34:6,7)

Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: "Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls—all of them fattened animals from Bashan. At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk." (Ezekiel 39:17-19)
Both Passover and Yom Kippur involve the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Those who voluntarily have recognized Jesus as our Passover Lamb and have accepted His blood atonement for their sins are exempt from God's wrath, nor are they separated from Him after death. However, as a whole, Israel has not done this, since the people have not recognized Jesus as their Messiah nor His blood atonement for their sins.

Therefore, I believe that Israel's eventual atonement and recompense will come from the shedding of blood by another source. This will occur on a future Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when Jesus descends to earth and slaughters Israel's enemies, who will be attacking, ransacking, and destroying them:

Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people. (Deuteronomy 32:43)
That is why Isaiah and Ezekiel figuratively referred to these attackers as "lambs, goats, rams, and bulls." Isaiah gave an indication of this atonement here:
By warfare and exile you contend with her—with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this, then, will Jacob's guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. (Isaiah 27:8,9)
Even Israel's own blood will be shed by her attackers. Furthermore, the destruction of Israel's enemies, by Jesus the High Priest when He returns to earth, is likened to the treading of grapes in a great winepress, with their blood being poured all over the ground (Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:9-13; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 14:18-20, 19:15). It might be the greatest bloodbath in history.

On that day, Israel's "eyes" will be opened and their "ears" will be unstopped, having been closed and stopped up for millennia (Isaiah 6:10). The people will see and understand that Jesus is their Messiah, Savior, and Lord (Ezekiel 38:23, 39:22) when He destroys their enemies before their very eyes. They will be in the direct presence of their Messiah, just as the first high priest Aaron was in the direct presence of God in the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:2,29,30). And God's new covenant with Israel will be reinstated, perhaps symbolized by the visibility of the ark of the covenant in heaven (Revelation 11:19).

As a result, they will mourn for the one whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10). God has accepted all of the "wild olive branches" who, by their faith in Jesus, have been grafted into the "natural olive branch" of Israel (Romans 11:17-20). Likewise, He will accept Israel back again. Once their sins have been atoned for by the blood of their enemies, they will remember Him as Lord, their covenant with Him will be reinstated (Ezekiel 16:60-63), and they will be re-grafted back into their own natural "olive tree" (Romans 11:23,24—see grafted and re-grafted). At that time, they will accept Jesus' personal shedding of His blood on the cross, on Passover, for the remission of their sins, unto eternal salvation and life.


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