Day 17: Day of Atonement (Part 1)
Jesus our Redeemer
Published on 26 February 2020
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The Day of Atonement is perhaps the feast most revered in the Jewish calendar. On this day, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed bull and goat in order to atone (cover) the sins of Israel. By doing so, Israel’s sin would be forgiven and they would be reconciled with God. It was necessary that these sacrifices and this ceremony was followed at the same time each year, as the relationship of a nation and God was dependent on it.
In Jesus, however, we see that this was a shadow of God’s full intention. Hebrews 10 highlights the problem with the Old Covenant process: It had to be done year after year after year. In Jesus, we have an infinitely greater sacrifice than that of bulls and goats. Jesus, “after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat at the right hand of God… For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.”(Hebrew 10:12-14, HCSB) Through Jesus, we have been justified once and for all. This is something we should always be thankful for and not take for granted.
Thank You, God, that in Jesus we have the perfect sacrifice. I thank You that Your sacrifice has covered all my sins: past, present and future. We celebrate everything You have done for us.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
When he slaughters the male goat for the people’s sin offering and brings its blood inside the veil, he must do the same with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood: he is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. He will purify the most holy place in this way for all their sins because of the Israelites’ impurities and rebellious acts. He will do the same for the tent of meeting that remains among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the most holy place until he leaves after he has made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel. Then he will go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on the horns on all sides of the altar. He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse and set it apart from the Israelites’ impurities. “When he has finished purifying the most holy place, the tent of meeting, and the altar, he is to present the live male goat. Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the Israelites’ wrongdoings and rebellious acts — all their sins. He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness by the man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on it all their wrongdoings into a desolate land, and he will release it there.
Leviticus 16:15-22 (HCSB)
Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
Hebrews 10:11-14 (HCSB)
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