Tag: sin offering

Approaching a Holy God

Scripture reading for February 1st: Leviticus 1-3

Yuk!  Leviticus!  Why all the blood and death?  Why all the rules for priests and people concerning how they are to bring these sacrifices?  How can we worship a God who would demand this from His people?

This might be your reaction to this book of Scripture.  But after careful and prayerful reflection, it starts to add up.  Sin caused death.  (Genesis 2:16-17)  Death spread to all men because of Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12-14)  God provided the first blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve after they sinned.  They had used fig leaves, but God clothed them with bloody skins of animals.  (Genesis 3:21)

Through the laws in Leviticus, God helped His people to see that sin brought death to an innocent sacrifice.  The Law was given to make us aware of the cost of sin.  (Romans 3:19-20) God was providing a way for sinful man to meet with God.  When offered according to God’s instructions, God would accept the blood sacrifice and cover over the sins confessed so man could meet with God and not die. (Leviticus 1:9,17; 2:9)

Today we enjoy the final sacrifice for sin that was made for us 2000 years ago.  Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on the cross of Calvary and declared: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)  When we approach this same Holy God, we can come boldly before His throne any time day or night for prayer, fellowship, or forgiveness. (Hebrews 4:14-16)  We do it by faith in the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Savior! (Hebrews 9:24-26)  What a blessing to be free from the laws and sacrifices of Leviticus!  We will not die or face judgment but enter eternal life when Jesus appears for His church!

“But now He (Christ) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:26-28

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The Day of Atonement

Scripture reading for February 6th: Leviticus 16-17

Sin has devastating consequences for human beings.  Sin permeates all humans from birth because of Adam’s original sin.  (Romans 5:12)  Sin separates man from God and God cannot look on the sinners or hear them. (Isaiah 59:2)  Sin holds men in its power and they cannot escape from its grip with any human effort or good works. (Isaiah 64:6)  Sin ultimately ends in eternal separation from God in the lake of fire, which is called the “second” death.  (Revelation 20:14-15)

Right after the death of two of Aaron’s sons because of failure to approach the Lord in a proper way, God gave instructions for the Day of Atonement.  This was to be one day each year when the high priest went into the presence of the Lord behind the veil and offered blood sacrifice for himself and then for the nation.  First, a young bull was to be offered as a sin offering for Aaron’s sins.  Then two goats were also brought before the Lord. One of them was chosen to be sacrificed for the sins of the nation. That goat was slaughtered and Aaron was to take the blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood on behalf of the people.

The second major sacrifice that day was the scapegoat.  This goat was selected by lot and presented alive before the Lord.  (Leviticus 16:10, 20-22) Aaron was to lay both hands on its head and confess all the sins, wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites over this live goat, symbolically putting them on the goat’s head.  This goat was then led away in the presence of all the people and taken into the wilderness.  The people would watch it disappear from view.  This goat symbolized God removing their sins away from them, as far as the East is from the West! (Psalm 103:12)

God used these object lessons to help the Israelites visualize what was necessary to remove sin from their lives.  These sacrifices are a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary.  There He became sin for us.  God the Father laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  (2nd Corinthians 5:21)  He shed His own blood as the “sin offering for us”.  He did not need a sacrifice for Himself!  He was crucified outside the camp and His death took sin away.  As we look to Him as our scapegoat, our sins are atoned for!  What a plan!

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