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Acharei MotRead / Listen to Portion
Remembering that we do not see God clearly should help keep us humble. It should make us reluctant to criticize other people. They may have perceived an aspect of the Almighty that we have not, or visa versa. Neither of us is to be blamed for not seeing the whole picture. In this world, the whole picture is not available.
Our sin is as filth before the Almighty. Shame and disgrace ought to cover us every time we open our Bibles. We have sullied the very parchment of Torah with our sins and trodden on the shed blood of Messiah. Our worthy deeds are utterly eclipsed by our transgressions and sins. Yom Kippur reminds us that this is a real problem. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that “in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year” (Hebrews 10:3).
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. Holy means “set apart for the divine.” All of God’s appointed times are set apart to the LORD, but the Day of Atonement is the holiest of all. It is set apart even from the other holy days. The sanctity of the other festival days prohibit work but permit food preparation.
In the first century, sexual immorality wove through the warp and woof of the Roman world. Devotees of the gods followed their mythological, sexual exploits and imitated their base behavior in temple rituals which, in some cases, even incorporated sanctified prostitution. Roman culture, for all its austere talk of moderation, indulged in all manner of perversity, lewdness, and depredation.