Dear Ministry Partner,
This year, Jews around the world will observe Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”) beginning at sunset on October 8 and ending when night falls on October 9. Yom Kippur is the most important holiday of the Jewish year, and Jews observe it with fasting, prayer, and repentance. This “atonement” specifically concerns the sins between man and God.
The observance began in Leviticus 16:29–30:
“This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.”
You may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but I’m not Jewish. So, what is Yom Kippur’s importance for me?” New Testament Believers (“Believers” is short for “believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah”) think it is important to commit to holiness every day. A New Testament Believer can pray, fast, and repent anytime, but a special day set aside for the purpose can bring a deeper meaning to the experience. That special day can occur on Yom Kippur with our Jewish friends; or one can, as the old hymn says, Take Time to be Holy at a different time.
Hebrews 10:11–13 clarifies what Yeshua accomplished that the Old Covenant could not.
“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are His footstool.”
Yeshua’s act of sitting down was clear evidence of a completed mission.
Most of us can quote some part of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Instead of celebrating only one day of the year for the atoning work of Yeshua on the cross, Believers can and should celebrate every day. I do not make light of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, because I admire the traditions that make up the Jewish culture.
So, what did Yeshua accomplish on the cross? The following are a few Biblical thoughts to consider.
He became a substitution for sin. Yeshua tells us in Mark’s gospel, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (10:45). In other words, He came to take the place of sinners. An example could be found in TV shows you’ve seen in which someone was kidnapped and a ransom was demanded (usually money). Yeshua made the payment (paid the ransom) for our eternity by exchanging His life for ours. He was the ransom. As the priests sacrificed unblemished lambs to atone for the sins of the Jewish people, so God offered His Son as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb for everyone who believes.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:18 that Yeshua suffered for our benefit. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
Not only did Yeshua become our substitution for death, He became our Redeemer. The idea is that He paid a price to purchase us from sin. He explains it in a parable in Matthew 13:44, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field.” He rescued us from the marketplace of sin. 1 Timothy 2:6 says, “who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Everyone who believes has been liberated from sin and death by the blood of the Lamb.
Yeshua’s death on the cross also reconciles the one who believes. 2 Corinthians 5:19, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” Have you ever been at odds with someone and then been reconciled? When you were an unbeliever, you were at odds with God, but once you believed in Yeshua’s sacrifice, you were reconciled — no longer alienated from the family of God.
As mentioned a couple of paragraphs earlier, the sacrificial law came to an end at the cross of Christ when He became the ultimate (final) sacrifice. The Law could not justify the sinner; therefore, our heavenly Father established another way — a better way. The Law shows mankind their need, but it cannot provide the answer. Galatians 3:24 tells us, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
So every Believer has been justified — declared righteous — through the sacrifice of Yeshua on the cross. “Justification,” as presented in the Bible, is used as a judicial term indicating acquittal. The claims of God’s Law against the sinner have been fully satisfied. The books have been cleared of the sin committed, and the charges will never be levied again. But take great care, because Satan is an evil accuser and will try and use the past against you. My advice: When you sense those accusations in your spirit, tell Satan to go to hell!
Now our sins have been atoned for, and we no longer live with the impossible task of keeping the Law. One of the most glorious details that results from our accepting Yeshua’s sacrifice is that it completes our adoption into the family of God. We have the full privileges of our new position in Yeshua. We have been delivered from the flesh, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit enables us to enjoy our new status.
These verses from Galatians 4:4–7 conclude this lesson:
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father.’ Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Standing firm with Israel and ZLM,
P.S. Every Believer in Yeshua should live a life of confidence, because we are heirs of God’s Kingdom to come. Remember: He is coming again!
So, what are your plans this spring? How about touring the Holy Land with David and me? If you’re like other Zola Tours pilgrims, you’ll find that preachers preach better, Bible reading becomes 3-D, and your walk with the Savior becomes richer … all from experiencing God’s miraculous country. If you believe in “expanding your territory,” then you’ll want to place your feet in the Promised Land at least once in your life.
Every fall and spring, David and I host study tours to Israel. Treat yourself, or your whole family, to this trip of a lifetime. Get in touch with our Zola Tours manager, Sandra. She can attentively walk you through every detail. Please contact her at 214-696-9760, email her at email@example.com, or visit levitt.com/tours to see options and itineraries.
|Deluxe (Israel only)||Mar 16–26||$5,288|
|Grand Petra (Israel & Petra)||Mar 16–29||$6,488|
Shalom friends! We pray that October finds you happy and full of grace! We have been busy with Zola Levitt Presents — exciting days are on the horizon. We hope you are enjoying our studio conversations with Dr. Jeffrey Seif. We’re honored to sit with him every week and learn more about Christianity’s vitally important Jewish roots.
We’re also immensely thankful for those of you who financially support this ministry. After Zola went to be with our Lord, his son Mark forged ahead, knowing that the message and the mission to teach Jews and gentiles their connection remained the same. God’s hand has guided different faces and personalities to deliver the Biblical message through the past 13 years, but the purpose of ZLM and its weekly television program has not changed … nor will it.
Last Sunday as communion was being served, I thought “If you don’t understand the Passover, you miss the depth and spiritual significance of the Lord’s supper.” Zola was one of the first teachers to demonstrate how Christ’s Passover Seder and the Church’s Eucharist are interwoven. We caught a lot of Zola’s insights and wisdom on video and in his books, and we feel called to continue sharing them. You make that possible when you support ZLM with your gifts and prayers. Thank you! You are helping to open the eyes of Believers across the country and elsewhere to the beauty and importance of learning about Israel, our Jewish Messiah, and spreading the Good News!
In October, we conclude our series The First Christians. The programs have been refreshed and updated but still retain Zola Levitt’s teachings, the original interviews and dramas, plus music.
After The First Christians, we present an encore of our Return to Eden series. Originally produced in 2018 to mark the modern State of Israel’s 70th birthday, these 10 programs offer a unique perspective on the story of the Bible, spanning Genesis to Revelation. From Israel, Dr. Jeffrey Seif describes the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, when mankind lost personal fellowship with the Creator of the Universe. How would this relationship ever be restored? The journey back started with Abram, continued with the Tabernacle completed under Moses, the Temple on Mount Moriah, the earthly ministry of Messiah Himself, and into the future with the eventual return of paradise.
We trust that those who missed Return to Eden will enjoy the opportunity to see it in its entirety, and that viewers who saw it previously will discover new details when they see this important teaching again. Watch for a brand-new series in January 2020: Joshua: More than a Conqueror.
Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim! —
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! — Psalm 122:6
David & Kirsten
P.S. As mentioned earlier, we see exciting days on the horizon. Working diligently behind the scenes with plans to share our efforts with you in mid-November, we’re tantalizing you now and will tell all when the time is right. Stay tuned!
I am thankful that the necessary blood atonement was accomplished on the Cross, once and for all, and that we are no longer under the Old Covenant’s law.
“Here is my contribution for October. Please use it to continue ZLM’s international outreach to share the Gospel with Jew and non-Jew (gentile) alike.”
Passage-by-passage exposition of Jesus’ principal teachings is brought to life through on-location production with real-world re-enactments, all performed on location by Israelis.
David and Kirsten sing 11 songs written by Zola and arranged and orchestrated by Sammy Davenport.
Beautiful and useful, this lovely Jewish calendar provides the dates of all the biblical feasts and sabbaths. Learn the names of the months, the Holy Days and all the rest through the English phonetics like in our monthly Hebrew Lesson in the Levitt Letter.