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Pearls of the Kingdom 9/27/23

Yom Kippur was celebrated this past Sunday night until Monday evening. I found myself wanting to understand this more. I found reference to this in Leviticus chapter 16, “The Day of Atonement.” Can I encourage you to take some time and read this full chapter? Once again there is so much here too unpack.

For today consider the first 10 verses and then getting out the microscope to look closer at a few thoughts.

Lev 16:1-10 “The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the LORD’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. The LORD said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover. “When Aaron enters the sanctuary area, he must follow these instructions fully. He must bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He must put on his linen tunic and the linen undergarments worn next to his body. He must tie the linen sash around his waist and put the linen turban on his head. These are sacred garments, so he must bathe himself in water before he puts them on. Aaron must take from the community of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. “Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the LORD. (7) Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the LORD. The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the LORD. (10) When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the LORD.”

This important “special" day was established by God to be held once each year.

v-29 “On the tenth day of the appointed month in early autumn, you must deny yourselves.”

v- 34 “This is a permanent law for you, to purify the people of Israel from their sins, making them right with the LORD once each year.”

God gave very specific plans to be followed.

v- 3 “When Aaron enters the sanctuary area, he must follow these instructions fully.”

Quick note worthy to be mentioned, it was Aaron (High Priest), he alone is to performed these duties on this day.

v-32 “In future generations, the purification ceremony will be performed by the priest who has been anointed and ordained to serve as high priest in place of his ancestor Aaron.”

Can I draw our attention briefly to the word, scapegoat. This word for scapegoat is azazel (entire removal.) In Hebrew the word is derived from two words: (ez- Goat, azal- to go) (goat of departure.) This specific word is only found in chapter 16 of Leviticus.

v 21-22 “He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.”

These two specific goats are found at the temple entrance. Lots were cast and one goat is to be sacrificed as an offering and the other goat will be sent away, to carry away the sins of the people.

If I could sum up today, this speaks, points to Jesus. At the set time, right time Jesus died for sinners.

Rom 5:6 “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

Jesus alone being our High Priest.

Heb 6:20 “where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus, the pure spotless lamb, He takes away your sin and my sin.

Jn 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement for us.

Rom 3:25 “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”

Jesus died once, for all time.

Heb 9:25-26 “And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.”

The benefits received by His shed blood, we are told that He has removed our sin.

Psalm 103:12 “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Can we agree with John, “Behold the lamb, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Pastor Jeff

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