Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 02/07/05


February 7

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, the high priest, beginning with Aaron, was first required to present a young bull as a sacrifice for his own sins before he could proceed with the sin offering for the people. After that, God had said: 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, that is for the people, and bring his 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 (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 the high priest 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 a fit man . . . 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). This act prefigured Christ, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29; compare II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 3:18). There was no justification but merely a "covering" of another year's sins for the Israelites. But, until Jesus' resurrection, Christ, our great High Priest, did not need to present a sacrifice for Himself, for He is holy . . . separate from sinners . . . 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).

We should also forgive and choose not to remember offenses against ourselves or others. Therefore, let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be . . kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Word Studies:

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 physical life; 18:6 uncover their nakedness = have sexual intercourse.

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 (Rev. 5:4). 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 (Heb. 10:17).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Rita Guerra · Government Officials: Rep. Richard (Doc) Hastings (WA) and Sen. Herbert Kohl (WI) · Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group · Religious freedom · 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Psalm 107:1,21).

Optional Reading: Mark 10

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24

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