-The Law of atonement is outlined in this chapter in the aftermath of the death of Aaron’s two sons who offered “strange fire” before the LORD (Leviticus 10:1-3; 16:1). The veil separated the holy place from the holy of holies (Exodus 26:23, Hebrews 9:3). This is what was ripped in half when Christ died for the atonement of the entire world on the cross (Matthew 27:50-51, Mark 15:37-38, Luke 23:45-46). God, Himself, made a way into His holy presence for all to unite together with Him. This is a perfect place, and the priests were given specific instructions on when to enter, how to enter, and what to wear when they entered (Leviticus 16:2-4, 17, 29). The rituals for Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) are specified with sacrifices of a bull, a ram, and a live goat. There was an additional goat to the goat of sacrifice, called the “scapegoat,” which was used to confess over the sins of Israel and then be let go out into the wilderness “by the man who stands in readiness (Leviticus 16:8, 10, 20-22).” So, these two goats represented two distinct ways that God was dealing with Israel’s sin. First, He was forgiving their sin through the shed blood of the first goat, which was a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45). Secondly, He was removing their guilt far away into the wilderness (Isaiah 53:6, Hebrews 9:13-14). This Day of Atonement was commanded as a permanent statute for the children of Israel for cleansing, humility, and rest (Leviticus 16:30-32). It was a once a year foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, who would eventually make atonement (covering) for the whole world (John 3:16).
-*Application* Our covering once and forever is Jesus Christ. He took our place on the cross to set us free from the tyranny and dominion of sin and destruction into eternal life with Him in complete unity. Not only that, but He sets us free from guilt and worry. Our cleansing, our dependence, and our security all rest on His strong shoulders. He has absorbed our trespasses and healed our broken state (1 Peter 2:24).
Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 16:3