Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Unique Day: Jewish Yom Kippur (with no blood sacrifice) and Muslim Kurban (with sacrifices)

In a unique coincidence, this year's Jewish and Muslim most holy religious holidays fell on the date. It may be a hundred years or more until this happens again.

The Jewish "Yom Kippur", or Day of Atonement, - for forgiveness of sins - started on Friday, October 3rd and continued all day until the evening of Saturday, October 4th. Because Herod's Temple was destroyed in AD 70, no blood sacrifice was made.

The Islamic "Kurban Bayrami", or Day of Sacrifice, - for forgiveness of sins, fell on Saturday, October 4. Millions of animals across the Muslim world were killed, or "cut" as a knife severed the necks of the sacrifice animals. In Istanbul, the waters of the mighty Bosporus  changed color with blood from the sacrifices - read here.

Jews remember the sacrifice made by Abraham, which according to the Torah, tell of a ram being caught in a bush close by to where Isaac was bound on the altar.

Muslims tell the same story, but say that Abraham was stopped from offering Ismail.

Christians do not celebrate the Jewish holiday, which falls on the "blood" being taken into the most holy place and the "body" taken outside the camp on the tenth day of seventh month".

Instead,  Christians hold that Jesus Christ - Yeshua Messiah - fulfilled all the requirements of Leviticus 16:1-34, and 23:26-32 by making one sacrifice - himself - so this sacrifice does not need to be repeated.

In the time of the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple, once a year the High Priest was to offer 1) a young bull and take the blood into the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle; 2) a ram for a burnt offering; and 3) another ram taken outside the encampment and deserted in the wilderness. Atonement involved both the shedding of blood and the removal of the body of a scapegoat.

Hebrews 10:19 shows the fulfillment of this: 1) We are to enter with confidence "the most Holy place - heaven - by the blood of Jesus;  and 2) we are to go to him outside the gate - where Jesus body suffered - Hebrews 13: 12.

Thus, non-Jews - Christians - celebrate the Lord's Supper, where we remember his Body and his Blood - given as a sacrifice for the sins of the world; the "blood" which Christ has taken into heaven; and the "body" which was hung outside the city gate on a cross.

In Jesus Christ we see all the images coming together: the shepherd of the sheep, the Passover Lamb, the day of Yom Kippur - with a bull and a ram being sacrificed, and another ram being led "outside the gate".

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