The Day of Atonement is to cause one to recognize there is no way to be perfect on his own. On this day God judged the sins of the whole nation. Thus, it became known as “Day of Judgment.” It was on this one day of the year that the high priest went behind the veil, into the holy of holies with the blood of the sacrifice. Christ’s shed blood atones for our past sins; atonement means reconciliation. The Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of God and all humanity.
According to Leviticus Chapter 16, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was to present two goats before the Lord. He would then cast lots over the goats to determine which would be offered to the Lord and which would be led into the wilderness as the scapegoat. The goat on which the Lord’s lot fell was offered as a sin offering. Jesus fulfilled the spiritual aspects of the Day of Atonement when He went into the heavenly holy of holies with his own blood for the sins of the world. Through this, we receive forgiveness when we repent of our sins, and with a broken and contrite spirit accept Jesus as the innocent substitutionary sacrifice who died in our place. At that moment our future is sealed by the Holy Spirit, and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The Day of Atonement teaches about the forgiveness of sin and our reconciliation with God through Christ’s sacrifice. All people suffer the consequences of sin. But sin doesn’t happen without a cause; God makes this cause clear in the symbolism associated with the Day of Atonement. This Day symbolizes the reconciliation of God and all humanity, the removal of the “cause” of sin, Satan; so that sin is dealt with once and for all (Hebrews 9:12-14). This Day serves as a vital preparatory step in anticipation of the next milestone in God’s glorious Holy Day plan beautifully depicted by the Feast of Tabernacles.