The Annual Day of Atonement

(e)scapegoat by mindfulness

I have reached Leviticus 16 in my personal study of God’s Word.  With what is happening now in Israel, I thought a couple of quotes about this important chapter in the Bible would be appropriate.  Both quotes are taken from Halley’s Bible Handbook.

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The Divine Origin of the Sacrificial System

“God placed the system of sacrifices at the center and heart of Jewish national life.  Whatever its immediate applications and implications may have been to the Jews, the unceasing sacrifice of animals and the never-ending glow of alter fires were without doubt designed by God to burn into the consciousness of the people of Israel a sense of their deep sinfulness.  They were also, for more than a millennium, a picture that pointed forward to the coming sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  The Levitical priesthood was divinely ordained to be the mediator between God and the Hebrew nation through the bringing of animal sacrifices.  But those sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ.  Animal sacrifices are no longer necessary.  Christ Himself is our Great High Priest, the only Mediator between God and humanity, as Hebrews 8-10 makes very clear.  Thus Christ is both our Sacrifice and our High Priest, our Mediator.” (1)

The Annual Day of Atonement

“The annual Day of Atonement (still celebrated in Judaism today in modified form and known by its Hebrew name, Yom Kippur) fell on the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri).  It was the most solemn day of the year.  Each time, the removal of sin was only for one year (Hebrews 10:3), but it pointed forward to its eternal removal (Zechariah 3:4, 8-9; 13:1; Hebrews 10:14).

“After the sacrificial goat had been offered, the high priest laid his hands on the head of the scapegoat, confessing over him the sins of the people.  The goat was then sent away into the wilderness, bearing away with it the sins of the people.  This ceremony was one of God’s historical foreshadowings of the coming atonement for human sin by the death of Christ.” (2)

(1)  Halley’s Bible Handbook, Zondervan, 2000, Pg. 158

(2)  Ibid, Pg. 160

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2 Responses to The Annual Day of Atonement

  1. Mannyr says:

    Awesome to say the least. Magnificent Word picture for all of us. Your photo is tremendous in that it shows a goat in its environment in tall wheat with a startled look of “Who me.” Your quotes are wonderful reminders of our Lords redemption.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Manny. I had to post the quotes because of the power and truth in them. Our God is One of unconditional love. It’s a love that I’ll never understand fully, but I understand it enough.

      What you saw in the goat picture never crossed my mind. Now that you mention it, “Who me” fits perfectly.

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