Yom Kippur (or the Day of Atonement) begins at sunset tonight and continues to nightfall tomorrow. It was the day in Jewish tradition that was a day of repentance and sacrafice before Israel’s God (for more go here). Of course, there is no established temple or priesthood since Jerusalem fell to Rome in 70 CE, so the holy day has been adapted over time, but the “meaning” of the day remains in that the people submit in repentance before God.

For Christians it has been a long time since this day maintained the same significance that it has for Jews. Early in Christian history (even with the temple standing and the priesthood active) Jesus’ death was interpreted as a fulfillment of what Yom Kippur previewed. In Jesus’ death the curtain that separated the people from God’s presence was “torn” (either figuratively or literally) according to Matthew 27.51 (and this is one of the most Judaism friendly books of the New Testament). The author of the Book of Hebrews speaks of Jesus as the final sacrifice and the great High Priest in heaven.

So this is my question: Does Yom Kippur have significance for Christians? If so, do you do anything to observe it?