We first find the mitzvah (command) to observe this day of atonement in Vayikra / Leviticus 16:1-34
following the story of the death of Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu in Parashat Shmini
(see Vayikra / Leviticus 10) and the errant manner in which they performed their duties that
led to their deaths. These scriptures emphasize that there is only one way in which God could be approached.
Any deviation from the pattern that God is showing Moshe would not be acceptable. The emphasis here is on the manner in
which one approaches God and specifically that one must have a humble heart when approaching the Lord in worship and prayer.
When you go before the Lord in worship and prayer, have you ever taken a moment to make your heart right prior to standing before
Him? The preparation of our hearts prior to approaching the Lord was the sin Nadav and Avihu committed and were put to
death. Yeshua also uses very strong words which demonstrate the importance of a heart that is prepared for the Lord verses a
heart that is far away (Matthew 15:1-14). Nadav and Avihu did not sanctify their hearts when they
went before the Lord, based upon the context of Vayikra / Leviticus 10 they may have been drinking wine prior
to entering into offer fire before the Lord. Do you see how important this is for us today? If you do not properly
prepare your heart before coming before the Lord in worship and prayer it is very possible that you will fail to sanctify the Lord.