Thursday, 17 February 2011 11:12
On the Day of Atonement the nation of Israel sought atonement for its sin with fasting and humiliation. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter into the Holy of Holies, once a year, to make a blood atonement for the sins of the people. God was enthroned on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. No one could approach it except through the mediation of the High Priest who offered the blood of sacrifice. Then, the sins of God's people would be rolled forward for one year.
The order of the High Priest’s activities are found in Leviticus 16. First, the High Priest washed his hands and feet and put on the white linen garments the priests wore. Then he brought a young bullock for a sin offering, which he had to purchase for himself and for his family. He also brought two young goats for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.
He carried coals from off the brazen alter, and incense into the Holy of Holies. He burnt the incense over the mercy seat until the smoke filled the room. He went out again and offered the bullock for himself and brought the blood back into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for his own sins. He sprinkled the blood seven times on the east side of the ark and seven times in front of the ark. Going out from the Holy of Holies he purified the holy place by sprinkling some blood on the horns of the alter of incense.
The High Priest then killed the goat that was chosen for the sin offering for the people. He took of its blood and went back into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood seven times again over the Mercy seat and in front of the Mercy seat to atone for the people. The High Priest again went to the Holy room and sprinkled blood on the horns of the golden alter. He then went out and sprinkled blood on the brazen altar out side.
Then he took the other goat, called the scapegoat, and placing both hands on it’s head, he prayed and confessed over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led into the wilderness where no one lived and set free. The High priest then went back into the Holy Room, washed himself and put on his colorful garments. Lastly, he offered a burnt offering , one for himself, and one for the people.
The Holy Room is a type of Justification (the forgiveness of our committed sins when we repent). The Holy of Holies is a type of Sanctification (the cleansing of our heart- an irradiation of the sin nature inherited my Adam). There has to be blood applied to both rooms. Sanctification is a second definite work of grace. In the new testament, we must seek both justification and then sanctification through the blood of the LORD Jesus Christ.
The Day of Atonement pictures the loving reconciliation to God that all people can have through Christ’s sacrifice.(Hebrews 10:11-12, 1 Peter 1:18-19) The two goats, one depicting Christ’s sacrifice, and the other, how are sins are taken away, never to be remembered again and are cast in the sea of forgetfulness. Jesus is our great High Priest. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
We can come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need. Because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sin, we can enjoy direct access to the Mercy Seat- the throne of God.
This was demonstrated when Christ died and the “veil of the temple” the covering to the entrance to the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom.(Matthew 27:51)