Atoning without blood?

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Jews perform the Kaparot ceremony on September 28, 2017, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, USA. The Jewish ritual is supposed to transfer the sins of the past year to the chicken, and is performed before the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, (Photo: Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

Is it possible? Can anyone atone for sins and receive forgiveness without the shedding of pure blood?

Leviticus 17:11 is only one verse out of many that explains how it works: a pure and sinless soul (blood) has to be poured for a sinful soul to be covered.

With the destruction of the Second Temple (70 AD), the sacrificial system was destroyed as well. So how can a practicing Jew stand before God without shedding of blood? Many ideas developed through the ages, to provide for this lack. One of them is the sacrifice of roosters – a practice that can be seen in many places around Israel as the Holiest Day of the year is about to launch, the Day of Atonement.

They buy a rooster, wave it around their heads in circular motion and say the following prayer:

This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement. This rooster will go to its death, while I will enter and proceed to a good long life and to peace.

Than they slaughter the rooster and give it to the poor.

Many Jews despise this practice and replace the chicken with money. They circle coins over their heads and say a similar prayer.

The point remains: a whole nation is faced with a severe fact. We are sinful, we need to draw near to God, but we can’t do it without a price.

As this Holy Day approaches (in just a few hours), I  invite you to pray for a People that sit in darkness, that understand intuitively some spiritual important principles, but come up with men-made solutions that only add to our sinfulness.

Many in our nation will spend the next 25 hours in synagogues, looking for some relief for their enormous guilt, hoping to turn a new page with God, not knowing He had already provided – a Lamb! Not a rooster. Not knowing the price has already been paid. Fully, completely!

Our local congregation, as many other Messianic congregations across the country, will fast with the nation and gather to pray. I will be praying for eyes to be opened, for God to reveal the Jewish Face of His Son to His people, even as they read ancient prayers. I will pray that words will pop out of the prayer book and be filled with true meaning. And that the fast and long prayers will not satisfy their need to be rid of their guilt, that they will look for the Real Thing!

For the Salvation of Israel!

This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries, September 29, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Orna, born and raised in Israel, is a lover of books, and especially The Book. She is fascinated with the Hebrew language and with the God who created the world through the mere expression of Hebrew words. In 2003 she established Ot OoMofet Ministries (Hebrew for “A sign and Example”), whose main focus is turning stories of brokenness and hardships into stories of victory. Besides ministering to the broken hearted in Israel, she now teaches worldwide about the widowhood of Israel, the role the church plays in its restoration and on a variety of other subjects.