The Day of Atonement
Today’s reading: Leviticus 15:1-17:16
My selection: Leviticus 16:34
32 And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments. 33 He shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Moses did as the Lord commanded him.
My reflections: This is the apex of the Aaronic priesthood, the annual day of Atonement. Here is pictured more vividly and concretely than anywhere else in the Bible:
1. The need for a sacrifice for sin. That sacrifice required the shedding of blood. That sacrifice had to be unblemished and perfect.
2. The need to have our sin sent far away from us.The scapegoat symbolically and dramatically showed the sins of the people being taken away from them, never to be seen again.
In the gospel we learn that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who sheds His blood to atone for sin and who takes away the sin of the world through His death and His high priestly function of offering the perfect once-for-all sacrifice for sin.
My challenge: Never think of the Old Testament sacrificial system as a mere relic of a by-gone era. It points wonderfully to a greater and fuller truth fulfilled perfectly and eternally in Jesus Christ. Praise God for His unspeakable gift!
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 18:1-20:27