Three spiritual truths stand out in today's Bible reading — Atonement, Sacrifice, and Holiness. PTL — learn how Jesus fulfills them all! The Laws of Atonement and Sanctification teach: Ye shall be Holy; for I am Holy (Lev. 11:44; comp. I Pet. 1:16). As we recall, the voice of Abel's blood cried out to God (Gen. 4:10). Later, He emphasized again: The life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev. 17:11).
And he shall make an atonement for the Holy Place . . . because of their transgressions in all their sins. . . . And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him . . . all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness (Lev. 16:16,21).
The Day of Atonement was the most important day in the Israelites' year. That day (16:30) is referred to as a Sabbath of Sabbaths. The sacrifices offered on the annual Day of Atonement cleansed Israel from all their sins and failures so that Jehovah in His holiness might dwell in their midst.
On that day, two goats were brought in for the Sin Offering, and Aaron, the high priest, received them at the Tabernacle door. The first goat was sacrificed as a Sin Offering, and Aaron was required to enter the Holy of Holies with its blood.
When Aaron's work was completed within the Holiest (Heb. 9:3,8,19) of Holies, he put his hands on the second goat (known as the scapegoat — Lev. 16:26) and confessed all the sins of the children of Israel. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited; and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness (16:22).
The scapegoat was forced to leave the camp — out of sight, forgotten, never to be seen again.
These two goats represent the twofold purpose of our Lord's death on the cross. The first goat was slain, typifying that our peace with God was restored by the blood of Christ.
The second goat represents the precious mercy of God in forever removing the sins of His people from His sight. Therefore we dare not condemn ourselves over sins already confessed and forsaken because God has forgiven and forgotten them. We must do the same. Furthermore, we can only expect God to forgive and forget our sins to the extent that we forgive others. (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35.) The promise of God forever stands: I will remember their sin no more (Jer. 31:34).
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Thought for Today:
Christ . . . Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (I Pet. 2:22-24).
Through two goats used on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). The slaying of the first goat typifies that our peace with God was restored by the blood of Christ (Rev. 5:9).
16:12 censer, incense holder; 16:19 hallow it, dedicate it only for God; 16:29 stranger, alien; sojourneth, stays, lives temporarily; afflict your souls, humble yourselves; 17:4 cut off, excommunicated; 18:18 vex, irritate, to be a rival to; 18:20 carnally, adultery; 18:21 seed, descendants; 18:25 visit the iniquity, bring judgment for its sins.
Pray for International Broadcasts: Sponsored by Leon & Ann Hataway • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Gov. John Wright Hickenlooper (CO), Rep. Allen B. West (FL), Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY), Rep. Steven Lee Fincher (TN), Rep. Richard (Doc) Hastings (WA) and Sen. Herb Kohl (WI) • Country: Rwanda (7 million) in central Africa • Major languages: Kinyarwanda and French • Religious freedom • 80% Christian; 10.5% Muslim; 4.5% non-Religious/Other; 4% Traditional ethnic; .2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast in secret so that only the Lord knows (Acts 10:30).
Optional Reading: Mark 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:17