My current vehicle, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, has survived the changing of the central New York seasons fairly well; and by that I mean salt season. Yes, we have a salt season!
In order to keep the roads clear of ice and snow during the winter … sometimes fall and spring as well … the State, counties, and municipalities of New York spread salt on the road ways, often with sand. This is both good and bad.
Helpful for keeping our vehicles out of the ditches in winter, but as the temperatures climb, that salt begins to eat our vehicles, metaphorically of course, but the results are much the same.
So we wash. In my case, too many times a year I visit a local carwash. In the warm months, to get the dirt and dust off of the vehicle; but in the winter, to get the salt off.
Almost immediately, after leaving the carwash, the Jeep is dirty again. So why continue to go?
Yom Kippur is like a carwash; admittedly, a much longer one. Today, it is not observed as it was when the Temple stood; and in messianic faith, we approach the feast differently anyway. The sacrifices are gone, the goats are no longer involved, even the Levitical high priest is no more; but sin remains, needing to be cleansed.
The observance today is focused on praying for forgiveness, in hopes of reconciliation, in addition to fasting – וְעִנִּיתֶם, אֶת-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם/“and you shall afflict your souls,” and then, hearing the final shofar/trumpet.
Life gets dirty, even in messianic faith, as we travel along the way. Dirt, dust, grime and salt begins to take a toll on us. It builds up, and under the weight of this dirt, we find less than desirable attitudes and reactions come to the surface creating issues in precious relationships: anger, resentment, short tempers, bitterness, etc.
The lesson learned on this one day, Yom Kippurim, the Day of Atonements – yes it’s plural – we should apply every day of the year; we must visit the carwash of repentance, through prayer and godly reconciliation on a daily basis. We need to walk in His grace.
The apostle John wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1:7-9).
Perhaps read that again.
John is drawing upon lessons from Yom Kippur, when sin was brought to light, confessed, and cleansed by blood; even now, if we confess our sins He is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.”
The fear is that He will not forgive us; but John assured us that He will. Why? Yeshua/Jesus.
Yom Kippur is a trip to the spiritual carwash, where we learn to walk in the grace that we receive that heals the fellowship between us and God, and us and our dear ones.
Get in the carwash. Get the dirt off. Feel the cleansing of the water, as it cleanses even those hard to reach places in our hearts and minds. It’s easy to clean the outside, it’s the underside and the inside that is painfully difficult; but did Messiah say,
“First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean” (Matt. 23:26).
When washed my Jeep shines in the light; but how much more does our soul shine when it is washed by the blood of the Lamb as we walk in His light?
Yeshua, the risen Lord and eternal High Priest still cleanses and restores those who trust in His name; as the old hymn says, “there’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean, O be washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
Be well. Shalom.