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Forgiveness is something which you can find in the Bible in several different places. The Day of Atonement, the prayer service called Selihot, and the sacrifice of Jesus are some of the key examples. All these things have a significant role to play in your understanding of forgiveness. You can find out more about them in this article.
Mercy is a basic disposition of love toward those who are unworthy. This is one of the key attributes of God’s eternal being. It is also characterized by a sense of pity. There are many words in the Hebrew language which describe this quality.
The word hesed is usually used to describe the compassion of God. It is used in a number of different contexts, but is frequently associated with the steadfast love of God.
Psalm 145:8-9 emphasizes God’s compassionate nature. It says that “God remembers the good deeds of the righteous” and that “He keeps mercy and justice for thousands of generations”.
Rakhum is another name for God. In the Old Testament, it is often translated as “merciful God.” It may also be interpreted as pity. Another variant of the term is rachamim, which means to have compassion.
Other Hebrew words that refer to mercy are chanan and chen. These two words are derived from a root meaning to be gracious and womb. Chanan refers to a person who is gracious and womb refers to a woman’s womb.
Rakhum is often called the father of mercies. It is also mentioned in Jeremiah 50:42, which speaks of a lack of mercy.
Rakham/rachamim is a family of words that have various meanings, but all share the same connection to compassion. They may mean pity, sympathy, or the bond between siblings.
Rakhum is also sometimes called the Merciful God, as well as the Gracious God. It can mean pity, but it can also mean compassion for human frailty.
God’s mercy is also mediated through a covenant. A covenant is an agreement between God and a people, which sets up the Lord’s presence as the God of that community. When it is broken, God promises to provide restorative mercy.
While it is often portrayed as a benevolent force, mercy is not a mere inclination. Instead, it is the driving force of the relationship between Israel and the Lord. If you want to build a deep, lasting relationship with Israel, you must learn to appreciate and practice God’s mercy.
The Day of Atonement
The DAY OF ATONEMENT is one of the most important festivals of the Jewish calendar. It is a time of prayer, penitence, and purification. This Day of Atonement is the culmination of the Ten Days of Penitence. During the day, the high priest will read to the congregation sections of the Pentateuch.
The Day of Atonement is a keystone of the sacrificial system of post-exilic Judaism. The purpose of the sacrifice was to cleanse the sins of the people. In addition to offering a sacrifice, the Israelites humbled themselves by giving praise to the Lord.
A major theme of the ritual was the high priest’s role in the sacrificial service. He was the representative of the entire community. When he entered the Holy of Holies, he was enveloped in awe.
The high priest would pronounce the divine name Tetragrammaton. After he did so, the sacrifice was complete. Afterwards, the high priest would stand in the Temple.
This day was also called the day of the Binding of Isaac. The Hebrew word for “binding” is a word that means to afflict, to inflict pain, or to punish. The Binding of Isaac took place during the Day of Atonement.
Unlike other festivals, the Day of Atonement is not solely dependent on prayer and abstinence. Instead, it involves a variety of complex ceremonies. Some of these ceremonies were based on a rabbinical interpretation of the scriptures.
While the ceremonial elements of the Day of Atonement are primarily derived from the Mishnah, a compilation of the Jewish law, many of these practices have a scriptural basis. However, the halakhic sages have generally deprecated lengthy praying and devotion, especially when it involves understanding the meaning of a word.
Though the Day of Atonement is not the only time to seek forgiveness, it has a special place in the Jewish calendar. On Yom Kippur, believers ask for God’s forgiveness for their sins.
The Book of Hebrews explains the Day of Atonement as a redemptive event that takes place once and for all. Yah will remove the sin from every soul in his Kingdom.
Jesus’ expiatory sacrifice for sinners
The apostles regarded Jesus’ death as a great sacrifice for sinners. But the Bible is full of references to God’s wrath in New Covenant times. What’s more, the author of John insists that Jesus fulfilled all the Biblical rules for Passover.
In order to understand the nature of Jesus’ sacrifice, it is important to compare the sacrifice with the Old Testament sacrificial system. This will reveal why the apostles considered Christ’s crucifixion a grand universal atonement.
The sacrificial system of the Old Testament is quite complex. The system involved animal sacrifices and a sacrificial rite. These were intended to make the audience aware of the ritual requirements of a great expiation.
A Hebrew term is used in verse 5 to make the comparison. It’s the “kapporet”. And in the Septuagint translation, it is translated as “mercy seat.” Similarly, the Greek word “hilasterion” is used 21 times to translate the Hebrew word “kapporet”.
While the Old Testament kapporet is a reference to the Ark of the Covenant, the Greek word for kapporet is the eponymous “hilasterion”. So, this is the best way to describe the objective qualities of atonement.
Expiation is an important aspect of atonement, but it does not completely depict the entire picture. Propitiation, on the other hand, is a good example of an objective quality of atonement.
Propitiation is the act of satisfying or appeasing a wrathful god. Propitiation is also a good example of the Old Testament sacrificial system.
Atonement is a type of propitiation, but a lesser one. Atonement satisfies the divine wrath of God. Unlike propitiation, atonement is directed towards humans.
The sacrificial system was an important part of the Jewish faith. It reminded the audience of the need to purge themselves of sin and the procedure of appeasing a wrathful God.
When a person makes an offering, he selects an animal and lays hands on it. The animal is then sacrificed to appease God. The blood of the sacrifice is poured on the altar and sprinkled on the people.
While the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant provided an interesting way to illustrate the objective aspects of atonement, the apostles viewed Christ’s crucifixion as a great sacrifice for sinners. This is why the aforementioned sacrificial rites of the Old Testament were also applied to Christ in the New Testament.
The prayer service known as Selihot
The prayer service known as Selihot is performed on days leading up to the Jewish High Holidays. It includes recitation of the Thirteen Attributes of God, which include the attributes of mercy, forgiveness, long-suffering, and truth. During these days, many Jews also recite Selichot to ask for God’s forgiveness for past sins.
Some communities recite Selihot in connection with fasting. For example, Yemenite Jews recite them for half of Elul, while Sephardic Jews recite them for the entire month. Ashkenazim and Western Ashkenazic communities recite Selichot during the Ten Days of Repentance, which are said between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The first service is held on the eve of the week before the Jewish High Holidays. In larger congregations, it may take an hour, while in smaller ones it might be shorter. Typically, the rabbi delivers a sermon at the beginning of the service.
Each day, different piyyutim are sung. The first, called Ashrei (Psalm 145), is recited before the Amidah. Pizmon are hymns that are responsively read. Many of the piyyutim are adapted to songs. Generally, the middle section of the service contains special prayers.
The first night of the Selichot service is often communal, with all of the community reciting together. Usually, a choir will participate. But other nights are led by a layperson.
There are many different types of Selichot, including the default Selihot, which is a set of five stanzas recited before or after the Amidah. Other nights have less elaborate melodies. They can be found in both Hebrew and English.
One of the most important of all Selichot is recited on Yom Kippur. This is the centerpiece of the liturgy. However, many other communities continue to recite Selichot during the penitential period, which ends on the eighth day of the Jewish fast from Yom Kippur until the start of the Sabbath.
The word selihot means “to turn.” So, the intention of the prayers is to help the Jews to turn away from committing harmful acts and toward God. As a result, the prayers are said before sunrise on the days leading up to the Jewish fast.