Summary: Looking at the man, the means and the mission of the Day of Atonement and appreciate the work of Christ. He is our Mediator and Advocate. He paid the price of sin and became our scapegoat, removing our sin for good. Let us be grateful and leave a mark.
Leviticus 16:1-2, 11-22 THE SCAPEGOAT ES 21 Sep 14 1714
All of us has a scapegoat. We may not like the thought of it, but someone did become our scapegoat.
• This phrase appears in Leviticus 16 and finds its ultimate fulfilment in the NT, in Jesus Christ.
• That puts Leviticus 16 the most important chapter in this book. It describes the Day of Atonement.
• God has specifically designated ONE day in the year to be the Day of Atonement, when the sin of all Israel can be atone for.
Again this is the plan of God. He takes no delight in the death of a sinner.
• God seeks to redeem and save. He provides a way out for sinners to come home.
The Jewish name for this day is YOM KIPPUR. It’s the most important day for the Jews.
• It’s the 10th day of the 7th month (Tishri) in the Jewish calendar (Sep/Oct). For 2014 it’s Oct 3, beginning in the evening.
• It is the ONLY day of the year that the High Priest steps into the Holy of Holies and makes atonement for sins of all Israel.
Let’s look through the lens of Leviticus 16 and appreciate what God has done.
Read Lev 16:1-2, 11-22.
No one can come into God’s presence without regards to His holiness.
• Aaron’s sons died because they offered unauthorised fire (Lev 10). They stepped into God’s presence in sin.
• Where exactly is God’s presence? Exo 25:22 “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” In the Holy of Holies.
On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest steps in and seek atonement for the people. This is the ONLY time of the year he does that.
• So you can understand the significance of this day. Let’s look at it from these THREE angles – see the MAN, the MEANS and the MISSION of this day.
• The MAN of the day – the High Priest, the MEANS for atonement, and the PURPOSE achieved on this day.
The MAN is the HIGH PRIEST of that day. It was Aaron then, the first High Priest.
• He is the one and only person who can do this. The priests assist with all the sacrifices but only the High Priest can step in to plead with God.
• He is the MEDIATOR for the people, the only one. Israel needs him.
• There is no other. The High Priest is the only one appointed by God for this.
The very first thing Aaron did is to offer a sin offering to atone for his own sin.
• He will die like his sons, if sin is not atoned for. That’s why the High Priest’s robe has these bells - Exo 39:26 “The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the LORD commanded Moses.”
• There is also a rope that is tied around his ankle, so that the other priests will be able to pull him out if he falls dead.
This is the man Israel needs! This is the man we need. Our MEDIATOR. Someone who stands between us and God, to plead our case.
• Look at his breastpiece - Exo 39:14 “There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.”
• He has the people upon his heart; he represents the people and plead with God.
He is our ADVOCATE.
• Lev 16:21 says, “He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins - and put them on the goat's head...”
Israel needs this High Priest, their mediator and advocate. Every year he is going to do this, until the final High Priest arrives.
Jesus Christ is our ultimate and final High Priest. He is our Mediator and Advocate.
• Hebrews 9:11 - 11When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
• 1 Tim 2:5-6 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men - the testimony given in its proper time.”
Jesus stands WITH us and FOR us. He is at the right hand of God interceding for us (Rom 8:34).
• If you have a picture of the Lord always watching over our shoulders, to catch us on a bad day and judge us for our sin, that picture is wrong.