This past Sunday at White Fields Church, we studied Hebrews 4:14-16, which describes Jesus as our compassionate high priest, who offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins. You can listen to or watch that message here.
One of the questions that thoughtful listeners and readers of the Bible often ask is: “What do Jews today do to atone for sins since they haven’t had a temple in Jerusalem for almost 2000 years?”
As Christians, we have no need for further sacrifices to atone for sins, since Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to atone for the sins of all people at all times (see 1 John 2:2). But what about the Jews? How do they make sense of their own law, and their inability to perform the sacrifices mandated in that law?
Clearly, the Law of Moses requires animal sacrifices to be made in order to remove guilt and atone for sins of individuals and the nation collectively, but since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, what have Jews done with these texts?
What did the Jews do during the Babylonian captivity when the first temple was destroyed? Are there Jews today who want to reinstate animal sacrifices?
Furthermore, how is it that Jewish people still celebrate Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) if they are not able to make the sacrifice for atonement which was the whole point of the Day of Atonement?
In this week’s Sermon Extra video, we share and discuss the answers to those questions.