After the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 69-70, Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah were not nearly so dismayed as their fellow-Jews who did not, for they realized that all the rituals of high priests and sacrificial animals had reached their intended goal in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth — “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Those Jews who did not receive the Messiah were devastated and felt obligated to re-invent Judaism for a situation without any Temple or priests or sacrificial animals. Over time, repentance and prayer were said to have replaced the Old Testament externals and so it remains in Judaism today.
For all those who will see it, whether Jew or Gentile, the great Day of Atonement occurred nearly 2,000 years ago on Golgotha. There God’s wrath against sin was poured out completely, his mercy toward sinners was displayed in public view, and access between the holy God and his wayward but repentant creatures was procured and certified for all time and for eternity. Blessed be GOD, who forgives all our sins!
For a detailed study of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which the unknown author presents Jesus’ death as the fulfillment of the meaning of the Day of Atonement, click here.