Scripture Read: Leviticus 16 - 17
Title: The Day of Atonement
(H) Highlight verse: "The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness" Lev. 16:22
(E) Explain: In Chapter 10, we read about the death of Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu. We are told they offered "unauthorized Fire" or "Profane Fire" and were killed in the presence of the LORD for this act. We are not sure what they actually did, some have suggested they entered the Holy of Holies at the wrong time. Chapters 11 - 15 deal with ritual purity or cleanliness laws for the health and well-being of the people of Israel.
Chapters 16 & 17 deal specifically with the Day of Atonement. Modern Jews refer to this as Yom Kippur. This day is considered the holiest day of the year. A sacrifice was made at the tabernacle that was for the atonement of the sins of Israel. This day was set aside as a a day where people would receive forgiveness of sins because of the sacrifice of the Bull and goat. We see in this day that God is serious about sin and the atonement process should not be taken lightly.
(A) Application: The key word for today is atonement. According to J Gresham Machen, "In these passages the meaning of the word (atonement) is clear. God has been offended because of the sins of the people or of individuals among His people. The priest kills the animal which is brought as a sacrifice. God is thereby propitiated, and those who have offended God are forgiven."
However, the doctrine of the atonement for us today is more ambiguous, but could be defined as Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary for our sins and as a result fulfilled the old sacrificial system. There is no longer need to offer animal sacrifices for our sins, because Jesus has become the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity.
In even simpler terms Jesus died on the cross and because of this He has made a way for all who believe in Him to receive forgiveness.
(R) Respond: God has made a better way through Jesus Christ. Thank God today for Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross, because we are now forgiven in Jesus Christ.
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