Meaning of the Day of Atonement
The ultimate meaning behind this feast is forgiveness of sins.
The law of the Old Testament required people to offer animal sacrifices to God to cleanse their sins. According to the Bible, there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. During the year, sacrifices were made over and over, and the sins of the people were transferred to the sanctuary. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary (Hebrews 9:7) for a ceremony to transfer the sins that were accumulated on the sanctuary to the scapegoat, which was then sent into the desert (Leviticus 16).
In the New Testament, Christ came as the reality of the sanctuary.
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
As the reality of the temple, Christ temporarily carries our sins throughout the year. On the Day of Atonement, these sins are transferred to Satan, represented as the scapegoat in the Old Testament, who will then be destroyed.