Bible Reading for FEB05: Leviticus 16-18

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the fast (Acts
27:9), on the tenth day of the seventh month, marked the
climax of access to God under the old covenant. It was
the most solemn day of the entire year, when the High
Priest entered the Holy of Holies to make annual
atonement for the sins of the nation. Hebrews 10 is the
New Testament commentary on this chapter, and should be
read in conjunction with today’s reading. The High
Priest made three visits into the Holy of Holies on this
day: First, to burn the incense; then with the blood of
his own sin offering; and finally, with the blood of the
sin offering for the people. Before any blood was taken
into the Holy of Holies, the incense was first taken in.
Why? Because the burning of the incense before the Mercy
Seat symbolized the praise and glory of God.

The Priest had to bring the blood of his
offering to the Mercy Seat. The blood shed was not
enough; it had to be sprinkled at the Mercy Seat. This
atoned for the High Priest and his household, and thus
made him a fit person to offer the sin offering for the
people. All of this was preparation for the main task of
the day, the offering of the sin offering for the
nation.

Verse 20 of chapter 16 indicates that the blood
of the sin offering “reconciled” the people and the
Tabernacle to God (see Hebrews 9:23,24). Having applied
the blood, the High Priest then took the live goat, laid
his hands on its head and confessed the sins of the
people, thus symbolically transferring their guilt to
the innocent animal. The word “scapegoat” comes from a
Hebrew word which means “to remove.” This goat was then
sent away into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
This illustrated the removal of the nation’s sins. Of
course, these rituals did not remove sin, since they had
to be repeated year after year, but they illustrated
what Christ would do when He died ONCE for the sins of
the world. The believing Israelite was saved by his
faith, just as we are saved by faith.

Chapter 17:11 is a key verse of the Bible, for
it emphatically states that the only way of atonement is
through the blood. Long before science discovered the
marvel of blood, the Bible taught that the life is in
the blood. We live in a day when “modernists” reject the
doctrine of the blood of Christ. They call it
“slaughterhouse religion.” It needs to be made clear
that the Bible is a book of blood, from Genesis (where
God slew animals to clothe Adam and Eve) to Revelation
(where John beheld Christ “as a Lamb that was slain”).
It is not Christ the Example or Christ the Teacher who
saves us; it is Christ the Lamb of God, crucified for
the sins of the world.

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