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Leviticus 16

Talks for Growing Christians

The Day of Atonement

Leviticus 16

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Day of Atonement emphasized the one and only approach to a holy God.
  2. The Day of Atonement pictured the complete and perfect sacrificial work of Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord.

Questions

  1. What is the basic meaning of the Hebrew word translated “atonement”?
  2. When was the Day of Atonement held? Why was this day so important?
  3. Briefly sketch out the prescribed regulations and procedure for the Day of Atonement.
  4. What did the two goats for the people represent?
  5. Hebrews 9:6-14 reveals the Day of Atonement as a picture of the complete and perfect sacrificial work of Christ. Describe that picture.

Answers

  1. The basic meaning of the Hebrew word is “to cover.” The idea is that sin is covered before God who is holy.
  2. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was held on the tenth day of the seventh month, exactly 6 months after the Passover lamb was selected. On this important day atonement was made for all of Israel as well as for the sanctuary itself. This was the only day of the year that the high priest, and only the high priest, entered the Holy Of Holies with the blood of the atoning sacrifice.
  3. Aaron first brought a sin offering and a bunt offering for himself and the priests. Then two male goats were brought as sin offering for the people. One goat was to be sacrificed and the other was to be sent into the wilderness as a scapegoat. After Aaron offered the sin offerings he burned sweet incense before the Lord inside the Holy of Holies. Then the blood of the sin offerings was put on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant and before the mercy seat.
  4. In the sacrificial goat we have emphasized the payment for sin and in the scapegoat we have emphasized the removal of sin.
  5. When the high priest went into the Holy Of Holies on the Day of Atonement and applied the blood of the atoning sacrifice on the mercy seat, it pictured the coming complete and perfect sacrificial work of Christ where our sins were covered before God in heaven by the shed blood of our High Priest, the Lord Himself. The symbolic removal of sins to the wilderness by the scapegoat pictures the work of Christ in completely removing our sins.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss how the specific regulations for the Day of Atonement emphasized the one and only approach to a holy God. There is still now only one way of approach to God, through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ (John14:6). Discuss why people then and now want to come to God in other ways.

Challenge

  1. In God’s presence Aaron was to humble himself even in the clothing he wore. How do you humble yourself in the presence of the Lord?

Key Verses

  • “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.” Leviticus 16:21
  • “This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.” Leviticus 16:34

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