The Day of Atonement is Here!

“Rachel” is a woman I have known for at least 10 years. I first met her at the store when our children were little. Every few years I bump into her on shopping trips. Well currently our sons are on the same soccer team, and we see each other every week. The Lord is letting me know that it is past time to witness to her.

I struggle with witnessing to “peers”, friends or even those “acquaintance” friends I see only once in a while. It is fear of man, fear of being labeled and rejected. It is easier to witness to strangers than to those with whom you have a relationship. Even so, I seek out and desire relationships with these that the Lord puts on my heart. He gives me a love for them and a great desire for them to know, follow and worship Him. I feel this way about “Rachel”.

Today at the soccer game, we were talking about our children’s schooling, and then our conversation moved to the topic of her education in Israel and her memories of learning a little bit of Bible in school. Pretty soon we were discussing God’s revelation of Himself as recorded in the Tanakh, particularly the physical manifestations of God to Abraham and Jacob, and the words of the prophet Isaiah. I was very nervous (and felt quite inadequate as usual) as she said she has decided to go on without God, and make personal happiness and goodness her life philosophy. I listened to her talk about all the reasons she has decided to be basically a secular Humanist, including abuse from her ‘religious’ family, the death of a close relative in the 1967 war, the manmade religion of the ultra-Orthodox, (chickens?) and frustration with war and death between Jews and Muslims in her homeland. These things caused her much pain and confusion. She decided to make life about finding personal happiness.

Resisting the temptation to be too fearful to speak, I offered, with as much compassion as I could express to her, that though these experiences are painful, the issue is not one of temporary personal happiness, but one of righteousness before God. I asked her about the whole sacrificial system in the Tanakh: what was the purpose of it? What was God showing the people? Did it not have some very important meaning that God was communicating- over and over again? I brought up how it is almost Yom Kippur. We talked about that for a while; how the Bible teaches that sin makes us unrighteous before the holy God, how the sacrifice and the blood of the innocent lamb showed need for covering for sin. We talked about how it was presented by the High Priest to God at the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. She pondered these things.

She knows in Whom I believe. She may already know what I’m getting at, and yet, she may not. I hope this is the first of our conversations on this topic. As we were leaving she excused herself from all she heard: “Well, everyone chooses their own way to believe; whatever makes them happy.” But she knows these things we spoke of are in the scriptures. I pray she will come to believe on the One who fulfilled and accomplished God’s salvation plan.

God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished… Rom.3:2

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17



Resting in Christ’s Righteousness

We are really enjoying this little gem of a book in our home school: A Gospel Primer for Christians, by Milton Vincent. It is packed with profound scriptural truth to help you “preach the gospel to yourself”. This is the gospel applied to all areas of life for the believer. Here is what we read today.

The gospel encourages me to rest in my righteous standing with God, a standing which Christ Himself has accomplished and always maintains for me. I never have to do a moment’s labor to gain or maintain my justified status before God. Freed from the burden of such a task, I now can put my energies into enjoying God, pursuing holiness (sanctification), and ministering God’s amazing grace to others.


The gospel also reminds me that my righteous standing with God always holds firm regardless of my performance, because my standing is based solely on the work of Jesus and not mine. On my worst days of sin and failure, the gospel encourages me with God’s unrelenting grace toward me. On my best days of victory and usefulness, the gospel keeps me relating to God solely on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness and not mine.


(Rom.5:1-2, 1 John 2:1-2, Rom.4:5, Heb.4:3, Matt.11:28, Rom.5:18-21, 1 John 2:1-2.)