Summary: This sermon takes a look at the Jewish beliefs surrounding the Day of Atonement and then shifts to the fact that Jesus atoned for all of our sins.
Title: The Day of Attonement
Text: Leviticus 23:26-32
Date: September 22, 2007
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church
Introduction: Jews all over the world celebrated, Yom Kippur, this week. Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, was and still is considered the Holiest Day of the Year for the Jews. It is one of the most important of the Jewish feasts or festivals and is celebrated only 10 days after Rosh Hashanna, or the Jewish New Year.
Now most Christians in America know very little, if anything about Yom Kippur. So I want to spend a few minutes today looking at the Historical observance of the Day of Atonement, but I also want us to consider why the Day of Atonement is also important for those of us who are Christians.
Read Leviticus 23:26-32
Explanations of Yom Kippur.
The Shofar sounds once a day for ten days, reminding the Jews to examine themselves and repent of their sins. It reminds them that they need to prepare themselves for the Day of Atonement.
High Priest – sacrifice a bull for his own sins. Sprinkles the blood on the Mercy seat and on the ground in front of the ark.
1 Killed, blood sprinkled on the ‘mercy seat’ and on the ground in front of the Ark of the Covenant.
1 He laid his hands on the goat’s head, which symbolized placing the sins of the people on it, then He sent it out into the wilderness with the sins of the people.
Several important Concepts come out of Yom Kippur.
1. The concept of the Holiness of God.
The High Priest could only enter into the Holy of Holies one a year, and then only after taking a series of purifying baths, changing clothes, and offering a bull sacrifice for His own sins, and the sins of his family.
Tied bells to the High Priest’s robe so they could hear him, and a rope around His ankle so if something happened to him they could pull Him out of the Holy of Holies.
According to the 10th chapter of Leviticus two of Aaron’s sons made the mistake of entering the Holy of Holies without following the proper procedure and both were killed.
God was and is a Holy God. We cannot enter into His presence with sin in our hearts.
2. The Concept of the Sinfulness of mankind.
Psalm 53:1-3, 6,
“We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Of course we all like to think of ourselves as good, moral upstanding citizens. We don’t like to think of ourselves as ‘sinners.’ But according to the Bible that’s what we are. In fact, the Apostle John says,
1 John 1:8, 10
Sin separates us from God,
The Wages of Sin is Death. Rom 6:23
Our sin is a barrier. It separates us from God in the same way that the curtain in the Holy of Holies separated the Presence of God from the people.
3. The concept of Atonement and forgiveness.
define atonement –
Atonement – is what Jesus accomplished on the cross of cavalry.
The Bible says we were “Redeemed” or “Purchased.” by the blood of the Lamb.
It also tells us that there is “No forgiveness without the shedding of blood.”
Jesus Died, once and for all.
Jesus is the atoning sacrifice 1 John 2:2
Jesus paid the price and penalty for our sins not because He had to, but because He wanted to. That’s how much He loves us.
The Author of Hebrews refers to Jesus as “Our Great High Priest” - Aaron was a good High Priest, as were others, but they could only do so much, their sacrifices were not permanent, and had to be repeated each year. The Jews could only hope that the sacrifice was sufficient to atone for their sins.
But Jesus on the Other hand was the Great High Priest, He finished the work, He did not just offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people, but offered himself as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. After that He sat down at the right hand of the father.
Like the first Goat – Jesus’ blood atoned, or paid the price for the sins of the world.
Like the Second Goat – The sins of the world were laid upon Jesus and His sacrifice atoned for the sins of all mankind.
John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29
I want you to watch a music video before we stand and sing our hymn of Invitation. The song is entitled, “Watch the Lamb,” and was written and performed by Ray Boltz. As you watch and listen to this video, please reflect on your own relationship with God, and what Jesus did for you on the cross of cavalry.