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 required to present a young bull as a sacrifice for his own sins before he could proceed with the sin offering for the people. God had said that Thus shall Aaron . . . take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation. . . . Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering . . . and bring its blood within the veil . . . and sprinkle it upon the Mercy Seat, and before the Mercy Seat. . . . And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear (carry) upon him all their iniquities. . . . For on that day shall the priest make an atonement (a covering, a reconciliation) for you . . . that you may be clean . . . before the LORD (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 by another to a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness (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 (Psalm 103:12). There was no justification but merely a "covering" of another year's sins for the Israelites, as the Apostle Paul proclaimed: By Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:39). But Christ, our great High Priest, did not need to present a sacrifice for Himself, for He is holy. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost (completely) that come to God by Him, seeing He ever (forever) lives to make intercession for them. Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:26-27).
16:29 afflict your souls = humble yourselves, practice self-denial; 17:4 cut off = excommunicated from family and the nation; 17:14 the blood of it is for the life thereof = its blood sustains its life; 18:6 uncover their nakedness = have sexual intercourse.
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 (Psalm 103:12). Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 10:17).
Government Officials: Rep. Richard (Doc) Hastings (WA) and Sen. Herbert Kohl (WI) · Country: Namibia (2 million) in southwest Africa · Major languages: Afrikaans and German · Religious freedom · 68% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 5% African traditional religions · Prayer Suggestion: What a comfort to know that we depend upon His strength (Psalm 71:16).
Optional Reading: Mark 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8