Summary: The Day of Atonement is when the High Priest would offer the blood of a lamb before the Ark of Covenant to forgive the nations sin for the year.
Leviticus 23:26-32 (NASB)
26 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28 "You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. 29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath."
I The Priest makes himself ready to enter the presence.
A The Day of Atonement is when the High Priest would offer the blood of a lamb before the Ark of Covenant to forgive the nations sin for the year.
1 For the last ten days the people where in a state of repentance, getting right before God, in hopes that their names would be put in the book of life for the next year . . . that decision would be made on the Day of Atonement.
a Around the seventh day the High Priest would start preparing himself to enter the Holy of Holies (an annual event.)
aa A week before Yom Kippur he would leave his home and go to live at the Temple for a week.
bb Pray, study, rehearse what he had to recite on the highest of all holy days.
b I found it interesting that on the eve of Yom Kippur the High Priest stayed awake all night in preparation for the big day.
aa Younger priests would read aloud to him to keep him awake, focused, alert . . .encouraged the High Priest to weep as he sought the heart of YHWH.
bb (It’s a picture of Jesus and His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.)
2 He had to be well-prepared, frightened to enter the Holy of Holies.
a On the big day he’d offer a blood sacrifice for himself (bull) on the brazen alter, confessed his own sin, wear a snow white robe and enter the veil and a rope would be tide to his ankle . . . just in case God struck him dead they could retrieve the body of the High Priest.
b The priest took entering the presence took his personal sin seriously . . . and only barely gained forgiveness from the wrath of God.
B Tonight, we need God’s forgiveness, grace, pardon as we prepare to go beyond the veil.
Sing: “Lord, I Need You”
C Alter for personal confession . . . go to a mic to confess sin for the church. PREPARE FOR HIS PRESENCE
II The Priest enters the Holy of Holies with humility before the Mercy Seat.
A The Mercy Seat was the covering over the ark of the covenant.
1 It was two cherubim that faced one another . . . protecting the presence of the Holy God.
a Can you image the fear, trepidation, trembling with which the priest took that first step into the Holy of Holies.
b Leviticus 16:12-13 (NASB) 12 "He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. 13 "He shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, otherwise he will die.
aa He would light a censure of hot coals and pour finely ground incense on the embers.
bb Created a great cloud of thick, aromatic smoke, not as a symbol of prayer, but as a camoflauge.
cc Psalm 33:18 (NASB) 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
2 The smoke was intended to protect the imperfect priest from the devastating effect of God’s glory.
a The incense was not lit for prayer, it was lit for protection!
b All this may seem a little foreign to us, but we must get the picture.
B Our God is holy, sovereign, righteous, perfect . . . everything we’re not!
1 I pray we have a little of that fear, trembling, solemness in the presence of the Living God of Israel.