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Summary: People today need an Aaron... someone who has been in the very presence of God, to tell them that God has forgiving them.

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ENTERING THE HOLY OF HOLIES

Leviticus 16

INTRODUCTION:

Picture this... It is a bright sunny day, a festive day when the city is filled with people, the streets are teaming with life and the Temple is filled to capacity. It is the 10th day of the seventh month on the Jewish calendar and this is the highest and most holy day of the whole year. This is the Day of Atonement. Today the Chief Priest, Aaron, will offer the annual sacrifices for the sins of Israel. It is the middle of the day and the preparations have been finished... Aaron has taken a bull as a sacrifice of atonement for his own sins and has offered it as a burnt offering to God. Then, Aaron took two goats and cast lots over them. One would be lucky ... the other.. .. not so lucky. One would become the sin offering for the sins of all of Israel. The other would become the "scapegoat" ... the escape goat. FIRST; Aaron would take both hands and lay them on the head of this scapegoat and pray a prayer whereby the sins of all of Israel would be placed on the goat. Israel would be forgiven and the guilt placed on the goat. Then the goat was taken outside the city, out into the wilderness, and there he was released... never to be seen again. One died for the atonement.. the AT - ONE - ment of the people ... the process whereby the people, God's people ... stained by sin and thus separated from God ... were forgiven of the sin and were no longer estranged from God. Then, Aaron would take the other goat, and tie his legs, lay him on the altar, take a sharp knife, slit his throat and catch the blood in a basin. Next, Aaron took the basin of blood, walked to the curtain, the veil that separated the rest of the inner court from the Holy of Holies. This Holy of Holies was the Place where God would, on this day, abide. Inside was the ARC OF THE COVENANT, a large ornate box with a super-ornate lid. 0 the lid were two cherubim, fashioned from gold, facing each other with their wings extended. In between them was an area where God was to sit... this was the MERCY SEAT. In front of the Ark was a large altar, the ALTAR OF THE BURNT OFFERING. There Aaron would burn the goat's body. One half of the blood in the basin would be sprinkled on the mercy seat. Then Aaron would go back outside the Holy of Holies to where the people were and would sprinkle the other half of the blood on the people. This half and half sprinkling of blood showed that the blood of the sacrifice had reunited God and his people.

So picture the scene there is absolute quietness in the inner court... everyone is waiting with bated breath listening to the ringing of the bell in the hem of Aaron's robe. They picture Aaron sprinkling the blood ... the eagerly await his emergence from the Holy of Holies... they long to hear from him because he has been where they never would, he had seen what they never would, he had been near enough to Almighty God to reach out and touch Him. They, however, were separated from the Holy place, from God's presence, by a curtain that was 14 inches thick. They longed to be Aaron, to be so close to the Almighty, to know what it was to walk in His very presence. They waited to see if God had accepted the sacrifice, they waited to hear that they were forgiven, they waited to hear from the Man of God.


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