February 07

Read Leviticus 16 -- 18

In Today 's Reading:

Day of Atonement; the scapegoat; the eating of blood forbidden; civil and religious laws; immorality forbidden

On the annual Day of Atonement, Aaron the high priest was first required to present a young bull as sacrifice for his own sins before he could proceed with the sin offering for the people. God had said that only in this way may Aaron enter the most holy place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. . . . Next he will take the two goats and place them before the LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting. . . . He slaughters the male goat for the people's sin offering and . . . blood: he is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. . . . Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the Israelites' . . . sins. So he is to put them on the goat's head and send it away into the wilderness. . . . The goat will carry all their wrongdoings. . . . On this day, atonement will be made for you (Leviticus 16:3-30).

Two goats were necessary to express our Lord's twofold atonement. One goat was sacrificed upon the altar for a sin offering. Then Aaron laid his hands upon the head of the remaining goat, the scapegoat, and confessed the sins of the congregation, thereby transferring their sins to the scapegoat which was led away into a desolate land, and the man will release it (16:22)where it disappeared from sight, a symbol that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalms 103:12). There was no justification but merely a "covering" of another year's sins for the Israelites. But Christ, our great High Priest, did not need to present a sacrifice for Himself, for He is holy. . . . He doesn't need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do - first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself (Hebrews 7:26-27).

The scapegoat has an added application for all of us, for we should both forgive and choose not to remember offenses against ourselves or others. Therefore, all bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you. . . . And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Christ Revealed:

Through two goats used on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:8). The slaying of the first goat typifies that our peace with God was restored by the blood of Christ. The second goat represents the precious mercy of God in forever removing from His sight the sins of His people - as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts (Hebrews 10:17).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Richard (Doc) Hastings (WA) and Sen. Herbert Kohl (WI) · Country: Nigeria (114 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and Hausa · Government permits all types of religious activity · 36% Muslim; 19% Protestant; 15% animist; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Psalms 54:7).

Optional Reading: Mark 10

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8

Optional Reading: Mark 10

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8