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Yom Kippur and the Book of Life
The Lamb's Book of Life

The Book of Life

Finding your name in the pages of redemption

John J. Parsons
Hebrew for Christians

The Scriptures teach that every word we speak and every choice we make are infallibly recorded in "heavenly scrolls," and one day these scrolls will be opened as a testimony about what we did with our lives (Dan. 7:10; Matt. 12:36-37; 1 Cor. 3:13, 4:5). There is a day of reckoning in store for every soul whom God has given life in this world: "And I saw the dead, both the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life (סֵפֶר הַחַיִּים). And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done" (Rev. 20:12). The truth about our lives will be an "open book" on that day, and every word and deed will be accounted for before the LORD, our Creator, our King, and our Righteous Judge... Nothing will be hidden on that great day: "Each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. At that time the LORD "will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart."

In this vision of the great day of judgment to come, notice that there was "another book" opened during the judgment called the "Book of Life," and later we learn that only those whose names were found written in this book would be granted access to the glories of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27). But what is this book and how can our names be inscribed in it so that we can partake of the future glory?

The Lamb's Book of Life (סֵפֶר הַחַיִּים אֲשֶׁר לַשֶּׂה) refers to "the record" (i.e., the words and deeds) of Yeshua our Messiah, the true Lamb of God, and therefore the book represents the final attestation - or "sworn testimony" - of the worthiness of God's own righteousness and salvation. In the great plan of God's salvation for the world, Yeshua was "born to die" as our atoning sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:7-5). "God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him (ἐν αὐτῷ) we would become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). But note that we must be "in him," that is, fully identified with Yeshua so that his sacrifical death becomes counted as our own... Our identification in him means that our sin is "imputed" to his suffering and death upon the cross, just as his righteousness is "imputed" to us through the vindication of his resurrection. This is the essence of the "korban principle" of "life-for-life" - the innocent sacrificed for the guilty -  that was the foundation of the sacrificial system of the Temple.  By faith, the substitutionary death of Yeshua is "for you."

The Lamb's Book of Life is the record of Yeshua's life, burial, resurrection, and ascension performed for our salvation, and when your name is written in this book, the record of your life is incorporated or made a part of the "story" of salvation given in Yeshua.  Your identification with Him means that that the righteousness of God has been extended to you - and that the saving acts of Yeshua were performed to personally ransom you from the judgment of death. "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:13-14). The book of your old, sinful life that contains the record of all your sins, iniquities, and transgressions has been "rewritten" in terms of the salvation given to you in Yeshua. Being written in the Lamb's Book of Life therefore means that you share in the record of the righteousness of Messiah based on your trust in God's salvation.
  

רָאוּי הַשֶּׂה הַטָּבוּחַ לְקַבֵּל גְבוּרָה
עשֶׁר וְחָכְמָה וְכּחַ וִיקַר וְכָבוֹד וּבְרָכָה

ra'uy  ha·seh  ha·ta·vu·ach  le·ka·bel  ge·vu·rah,
o·sher  ve·chokh·mah,  ve·ko·ach  vi·kar,  ve·kha·vod  uv·ra·kha

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom
and might and honor and glory and blessing" (Rev. 5:12)



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Those who are trusting in Yeshua as their atonement before the Father are declared tzaddikim and their names are written (and sealed) for good in the Lamb's Book of Life (Eph. 1:13, 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:21-22). Yom Kippur is therefore a time of great joy for us, since we have been given g'mar chatimah tovah (גְּמַר חַתִימָה טוֹבָה), "a good and final sealing," in God's Book of Life. Because of Yeshua's sacrifice as our Great High Priest after the order of Malki-Tzedek, where he presented his own blood "behind the veil," we have everlasting atonement and we are therefore forever made a part of God's glorious "story of redemption." Blessed be His Name forever...


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