By Bob Barney
I know many Christians in the world understand that Jesus Christ, a Jew, followed the Old Testament (Mosaic) holidays. Probably fewer comprehend that for nearly 100 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers still observed the same holy days.
One of these annual Holy Days is called in English "The Day of Atonement." It is a very solemn 24-hour period of time over 2 calendar days, when we are to "deny ourselves." This means to fast- or abstain from food and water for the 24 hour period. The Day of Atonement does not occur on one day, as the Jews, and most of the observant Christians think it does! Just a simple reading of scripture proves this. Many have read Leviticus 23:27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD." and assume that it is. However, when one understands that God's day begins at dawn, the next few verses become very clear. "It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”