There's a new article posted on our sister site at About-Jesus.org called Was it just a coincidence? that talks about five incredible events that took place during the first century of this era, about 2000 years ago, that reaffrim the Christian view that Jesus is the Messiah.
One of the five events described in the article involves a Judaic ceremony that symbolized the temporary atonement of sin, which just happened to stop working at or about the very same year that Jesus was crucified, becoming the permanent, non-symbolic atonement for sin.
The ceremony was part of the yearly Yom Kippur holiday and it involved, among other things, a scarlet thread, or red cloth, that would turn white to symbolize the temporary removal of sin. This transformation in the color of the cloth took place during the Yom Kippur ceremony within the Temple in Jerusalem.
From ancient times, up until 70 A.D., Judaism relied on the Temple in Jerusalem to carry out the ceremonies associated with Yom Kippur, in the ways that are prescribed in the Old Testament of the Bible.
But, during the first century, the very same century in which Jesus prophesized the total destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24:1-2) and equated himself as being the Temple (John 2:19,21), the Temple in Jerusalem was utterly destroyed by the Romans, and it hasn't been rebuilt since then. The Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D., which is about 1937 years ago, as of this writing in 2007.
Ever since the destruction, Judaism hasn't been able to carry out some of the ceremonies associated with Yom Kippur that required the use of the Temple. But the sin-atonement ceremony - the one involving the scarlet thread or red cloth - actually stopped working about 40 years before the destruction of the Temple.
According to the article:
There is a passage in the Talmud that says that the Yom Kippur ceremony stopped working properly 40 years before the Temple was destroyed. Among others things, there was a red piece of cloth that was supposed to turn white, symbolizing the atonement of sin. And, according to the Talmud, the red cloth stopped turning white 40 years before the destruction of the Temple:
and it has further been taught: 'For forty years before the destruction of the Temple the thread of scarlet never turned white but it remained red'. - Rosh HaShanah 31b, Babylonian Talmud, Soncino Press Edition."
The Talmud is a collection of ancient Rabbinical discussions and commentary, often focusing on Jewish law, customs and ceremonies. It was compiled in a written form from about 200 AD to about 500 AD.
In other words, we have a Judaic source claiming that Judaism's sin-atonement ceremony stopped working properly in or about the year 30 AD. And that is either the same year, or very close to the same year, that Jesus was crucified and resurrected, thus becoming the the permanent atonement of sin.
Regardless of whether one acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, the odds that these two events would happen either during the same year or near the same year is incredible.
Next article: Some Bible verses that help explain salvation
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