Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leviticus 16 - The Life of Moses

(My BSF Notes)

Last week we learned that we can’t approach God in an unauthorized way.  We can only approach Him through Jesus.  Living a good life is not good enough.  We need Jesus.

Leviticus 16 – The Day of Atonement

We learn in the earlier chapters of Leviticus of the various types of sacrifices offered for sin and how they were to be offered.  In this chapter we learn about a unique day, the Day of Atonement.  On this special day sacrifices were offered by the high priest for the sins of the entire nation of Israel.  This parallels with what was to be accomplished by the death of Jesus, our High Priest.

Sin is universal.  It is a lack of conformity to the will of God.  When we sin, we are offending God, because we are breaking His laws.  We have missed the mark of God’s holy standards.  We are sinning against God Himself.  It is an outrage against God.  It subjects us to the wrath of God and has eternal consequences.  All people have sinned.  Therefore, all people are under God’s judgment except those who have trusted in God’s provision to escape that judgment.  That is through having faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ?
Do you know where you will spend eternity?

On the Day of Atonement the high priest, Aaron entered the Tent of Meeting and only on this day could he enter the Most Holy Place.  Before he could enter he must sprinkle the blood of the bull on the atonement cover and enter with a censer of coals and incense.  The smoke from the coals was to conceal the atonement cover above the Ark where the presence of the Lord would be.  He was to do this or he would die. (Lev. 16:12).  

Aaron was to sacrifice a bull for his own sins.  Then do the same for the entire nation by presenting 2 goats before the Lord.  1st a goat was to be slaughtered and the blood was to be sprinkled on the covering of the Ark.  “In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been.”Lev. 16:16.

The 2nd goat, known as the scapegoat, was not slaughter.  Instead it was allowed the die in the desert.  Aaron laid his hands on the goat and confessed over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites – all their sins – and put them on the goat’s head.  Then the goat was sent away into the desert.  This symbolized what Jesus Christ did for us.  Jesus is our scapegoat.  He took the penalty for our sins away and we never have to face it again.  “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.”Heb. 13:12.  True atonement was provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Aaron laid his hands on the scapegoat and confessed all the sins of the Israelites, we too must confess every single one of our sins to God and repent and then the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.  Jesus did to perfection what the Old Testament ritual could only do in symbol.

People today are unclean and rebellious.  They murder, hate, lust, and disobey God.  They are selfish and arrogant thinking only of themselves.  They think they don’t need Jesus.

The 1st goat that was to be sacrificed was to serve as an atoning sacrifice before the Lord.  It pictures the propitiation (to turn aside the wrath of God) for sins by death.  The living goat, the scapegoat, was to serve as a substitute for the people.  It symbolized the complete removal of their sins.  Christ is our substitute for those who receive Him by faith.  He removed our sin and our guilt of sin and He has removed it forever!  When a sinner comes to Jesus by faith, his sins are not only paid for, they are taken away forever!  Thank you, Jesus!  Now we have the assurance of heaven and can enjoy fellowship and communion with God.  We can enter His presence in prayer and we are no longer under condemnation.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Rom 8:1.

How have you been rebellious toward God?
What sin do you need to banish in your life?
What guilt do you need to get rid of?
Who is your scapegoat?

After the scapegoat was driven away, burnt offerings for Aaron’s sins and the sins of the people were made.  “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work – whether native-born or an alien living among you – because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you.  Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.  It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.”Lev. 16:29-31.

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”Lev. 16:34. 

“It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Heb 10:4.  God provided a way to atone for our sins.  It’s through Jesus.  We need to know that Jesus accomplished this for us and that nothing else or no one else can do this for us.  The sacrifices in the Old Testament system could not do this.  Their sacrifices had to be done over and over again.  They pointed us forward to Christ who would do this for us once and for all time.  We must believe in Jesus to approach God for salvation.  No good works, moral life, no suffering, no self-sacrifice can save you.  You must believe on Jesus to be saved.

When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom.  This showed that God opened the way into His presence for those who believe in Jesus.  We now have access to God through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Do you believe in Jesus and have you confessed your sins to Him?
If not, will you do it now before it’s too late?
Who do you need to tell about God’s grace?

God provided a way to atone for our sins.
Jesus’ blood was sacrificed once and for all to take away our sins.
Because of Jesus, we have hope?

How can you show your gratitude to Jesus for what He has done for you?
My friend Janice Beers expresses it this way in a prayer:

Jesus, You shed Your blood for me;
   in agony, suffered on the tree.
You did it all to set me free
   that I could have eternal life with Thee.

I'm thankful sin offerings are no longer done;
   through Your perfect sacrifice, the victory is won.
I'm grateful You have made me clean;
   so, on Your work at the cross, I will lean.

You gave me new life through a second birth
   so I can serve You here on Earth.
I pray You will teach me and guide my ways,
   and I'll share the Gospel and give You the praise!
n  By Janice Beers of Versailles, KY

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