Yom Kippur is a day of teshuvah, repentance and return to YHWH. As believers in Yeshua, the day holds particular significance because this is the message that John the Baptist heralded and Yeshua boldly proclaimed, “Repent, for God’s rulership over this earth is drawing near!” Yet we must always be on guard to observe the Fast in the right manner. The prophet Isaiah brought rebuke against the nation who practiced Yom Kippur as an outward ritual with deadness in their hearts (Isa 58). He chastised them for making the day about them; about their idea that God would have to listen to them if they just put on the proper religious show for Him. What is the Fast that YHWH truly wants? What our King desires is for our Yom Kippur to be a day of loosing the bonds of oppression, taking care of the needy, spending time with our families. It is a day of introspection to make sure that we are not placing a yoke on people, pointing fingers at others, and speaking wickedness. If we will follow the King’s protocol, our light will break forth like the dawn; we will become the people that YHWH designed us to be, a light to the nations. But we must learn to follow the King. This means that we must stop spending so much time blaming others (Christians and Jews) for their shortcomings and look at ourselves. What idols do we have in our lives? What paganism is in our lives? When we stop focusing on the external and start learning the true roots of idolatry and paganism, we will see that we truly still battle these things. We must repent and ask for God’s Spirit to lead us away from everything not of Him.
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?