The Yom Kippur of God, Part 4

The previous three posts have been quick looks into the Day of Atonement in different parts of the Old Testament (Leviticus 16, Isaiah 6, and Zechariah 3) and this post will be concerned with the Yom Kippur of God.
“The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” is not a reference to the Day of Atonement, but rather to the Passover, so I will not touch on what John the Baptist is saying but rather will focus on the Yom Kippur aspect of the Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus.
First of all, we should start at the end in order to understand the beginning. Eschatology does indeed inform protology. In Revelation 17-18 we see the fall of Babylon, the whore of the kings of the earth. This is, and I will neglect to go through all the reasons, Jerusalem. Their sin is shown in the image of uncleanness in their garments. Their robes are as scarlet, not white as snow, they are filled with the gold and finery of the Empire. The key is that the Whore is wearing a phylactery (implied, so don’t do a word search), which a high priest ought to wear, and on it is written “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” (Rev 17:5,6) instead of what ought to be written which is “Holy to the Lord”. This Whore is the rulers of Jerusalem who revel in their Imperial adornments (this imagery is highly reminiscent of Ezekiel) as they ride the beast of Rome and are drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Christ (the city that kills the prophets??) This is the city wherein Jesus is held on trial. This Whore that treasures her Temple so much, but has made it a den of thieves, a house of prostitution because the Gentiles continue to exert control in it (think of Herod building the Temple, fashioning himself a true King of the Jews!!) This is a bad place, prophetically speaking, and it is about to be razed to the ground.
Phew… Okay, so the prime sin of the Jewish leadership, the shepherds, was that they were zealous and violent and nationalistic against Rome (developing this later with Barabbas), and that they also were, conversely, spiritually whoring themselves to Rome especially in regards to the Temple. Jesus was calling on them like Jeremiah did beforehand to repent and give in to foreign political domination, because the best way to get out from “under” Gentile Empires is to have Nebuchadnezzar convert and bow to the One True God and His Christ! Don’t leave Egypt without all the gifts in tow, for God uses the pagan goods to build every one of His Houses (Tabernacle=Egypt stuff, Temple=Gold and God-fearing Gentile workers like Hiram, and Second Temple=Cyrus’ provision). Well Jesus wraps it all up in Himself and is/becomes King of the Jews, the Joseph-style Gentile Lord giving bread to the world (incidentally [or not] that is something Rome always needed and was an immediate and pressing necessity during the famine that afflicted the Near East during the death throws of the Old Covenant), and the master builder of the Temple of God. Always keep in mind that if Jesus is Lord, then Caesar isn’t, if Jesus is King of the Jews then Herod isn’t (key to understanding why Herod would slaughter all of Rachel’s children in and around Bethlehem) and if Jesus is the true builder of the Temple of the Lord, and the High Priest thereof, then Caiaphas is not! Do you see why they might all want Him dead? It is not because he was making another religion so that people could occupy their Sundays in edifying ways, it was because His advent meant the rising and falling of many in Israel, and consequently the whole of Creation including Angelic authorities like Satan.
Now, to the Gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus. Jesus makes it clear, before this goes on, that he is going to die and rise again on the third day as a sign to a Jerusalem that has become a greater Ninevah and that they will perish for their unbelief, though something greater than Jonah is preaching to them. He also makes it clear that Jerusalem is where all the prophets are killed. It is only fitting, thus, that it should be there that he meets his executioner.
Jesus is betrayed into the hands of the Sanhedrin by Judas (Judah?) and is bound and brought to the Sanhedrin (making a comment that they come against him as a robber, keep that in mind!) to face a sort of mock trial. Justice is averted at every turn in conflicting testimonies against him. The high priest and the council are condemned by their own words in declaring Jesus the Christ. Jesus is delivered to Pilate after this with the recommendation of death as a punishment because he is described as one who “forbids his followers giving tribute to Caesar”. Jesus is declared to be Christ and King of the Jews, and they then charge him with insurrection against Caesar. Here is where the high priest gives up his High Priestly responsibilities for sacrifice to Pilate, the Pagan stand-in for Caesar. This is where the inversion of the Day of Atonement becomes most evident.
Just before Jesus is brought to the Praetorium, Peter (the head of the apostles, the fiery preacher at Pentecost, a fire-breather like Isaiah) is warming himself by “charcoal fire” (John 18:18) in the high priest’s court to inaugurate the Day of Atonement imagery! The coal-fire is a place for mockery and betrayal, not a means of worship and atonement, except it was Jesus’ being scorned that brought us grace. Of course, everything mentioned here will be just this way. The Yom Kippur of God makes an atonement that assumes the betrayal of the Christ by every person involved. It is truly the Wisdom and Power of God, and nothing less!

Continued in Part 5…

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  1. February 8th, 2011

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