Redemption and Forgiveness on the Day of Atonement
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NASB95)
Redemption through His blood and forgiveness of sins are pictured so strongly in the Day of Atonement practices of the Jewish Law. On that day, the High Priest would bring two goats before the congretation. Selecting by lot, one would become the blood sacrifice, the other the scapegoat. The sacrificial goat would symbolically receive the sins of the nation upon itself, and then would be sacrificed in a burnt offering to the Lord. The priest would confess the sins of the people over the scapegoat, then, “send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness” (Leviticus 16:2 NASB95).
In Ephesians 1:7, the word “forgiveness” literally means “sending away.” In this verse we have the Day of Atonement pictured as fulfilled in Christ. In Leviticus 16:2, a “man who stands in readiness” would deliver the goat into the wilderness. Literally, the Hebrew says that one who is “timely” shall deliver the goat. And Who could be more timely than the One who came “in the fullness of time” to redeem those who were under the Law!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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