Date setting, a curious slip, and Yom Kippur


By Mark Ellis

Yom Kippur observance
Yom Kippur observance

I stood up at church last Sunday morning to make an announcement about an upcoming event I am excited about, a talk by Dr. Peter Williams titled “Evidence for the Resurrection.”

During the announcement, I had some sort of curious brain fog overtake my mouth, because instead of saying he will be speaking April 13th, I said he will be speaking September 13th.

My lovely wife, Sally, tapped me on the leg and whispered loudly, “April 13th.” I corrected my mistake and went on with extolling the credentials of Dr. Williams, the warden of Tyndale House, one of the top biblical research libraries in the world.

Then, inexplicably, I again said he was coming September 13th. People in the church laughed and my wife hit me on the leg again. I corrected myself once more and sat down, wondering if I was losing it.

I couldn’t explain my lapse, because I had not been thinking about September in any way. It made no sense to me. It was as if a foreign entity had overtaken the neuron passage leading from the brain to the tongue.

After the service, a pastor’s wife, Nikki Grant, came up to me and said, “September 13th must be a significant day!”

“Maybe it’s the return of the Lord,” I said jokingly.

Three days later I sat in my office and began to think back on my blunder. I wonder if September 13 does have any significance?” I wondered to myself.

I flipped open my calendar to September 13th, and inscribed there were the words, “Yom Kippur begins at sundown.”

I knew it was a Jewish holiday that might be linked to one of the feasts on their calendar. I googled Yom Kippur and came up with some fascinating teachings, such as this one:

“It was on Yom Kippur, also called Yom haPeduth (or the “Day of Redemption,” the holiest day of the Hebrew year), that the high priest performed the sin atonement and removal ceremonies.  Thus, it also is known as the “Day of Atonement.”

“It will be on the ultimate Yom Kippur, at the end of the age, that the Great Shofar (Trumpet) will be blown (Lev. 25:9; Isa. 18:3, 27:13; Zech. 9:14).  On this day, the world will come “face-to-face” with Jesus when He returns bodily to earth, at the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Rev. 11:15).  At that time, the remnant of Israel finally will receive atonement from their sins (Isa. 27:9,13).  (It should be noted that the shofar blown on Rosh haShanah is called the “Last Trumpet,” while the shofar blown at Yom Kippur is referred to as the “Great Trumpet,” even though Yom Kippur follows Rosh haShanah.)”

As I read more teachings like this on the internet, my thoughts became a swirl. I’ve always rejected and maligned people who set dates for the return of our Lord.

I don’t want to make any more of my slip of the tongue than I should. Was it a curious case of early dementia? It certainly left me wondering.



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