The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 26 : LEVITICUS

[26-14] (Leviticus 16:6-22) The Sacrifice of The Day of Atonement In the Old Testament

(Leviticus 16:6-22)
“Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 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. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
 
 
Today I would like to share with you the Truth of the remission of sins shown in the Day of Atonement as described in the Book of Leviticus. The Day of Atonement fell on the tenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar. It’s written in Leviticus 16:29-34: “‘This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.’ And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.”
This was the day when the people of Israel were washed from their sins. On this day, in order to wash away the sins of the people of Israel, the high priest had to first offer a sacrifice for himself and his household. This was necessary because the high priest could only fulfill his priestly duty and blot out the sins of the people of Israel if he himself was washed clean from his sins. Through the Day of Atonement, God not only blotted out the sins of the Israelites, but He also promised the special gift of salvation to the entire human race.
Among the twelve tribes of Israel, Aaron and Moses belonged to the tribe of Levi. Aaron and the Levites were responsible for ministering sacrifices in the Tabernacle of Meeting, doing such things as collecting, chopping up and preparing the firewood, drawing water, cutting up the sacrificial animals into pieces, and burning them by fire. Their only task was ministering sacrifices to God like this in order to blot out the people’s sins. On the Day of Atonement established by God, it fell on the high priest to pass the sins of the people of God to the live sacrificial animals and blotting them out by laying his hands on their heads.
On this Day of Atonement, Aaron first laid his hands on the head of a bull to pass all his sins and his household’s sins. After this, Aaron took two goats for the people of Israel, as it’s written: “He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat” (Leviticus 16:7-8). As indicated in this passage, there were two sacrificial animals given as the offering of the Day of Atonement. One of the two animals was offered to the Lord God, while the other was offered for the people.
To recap, for the entire nation of Israel, for them to receive the remission of sins on the Day of Atonement, Aaron had to first of all receive the remission of his sins and the sins of the Levites by passing them to a bull. After this he had to bring two sacrificial goats for the people of Israel: one of these goats was for God, while the other goat was offered for the people. This sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was offered to cleanse the hearts of the people of Israel from their sins. Why did God specify two sacrificial offerings for the Day of Atonement? He did this to show the people of Israel that all their sins were passed on to the sacrificial goats. This was demonstrated by the use of the live scapegoat, the second sacrifice offered on the Day of Atonement.
 
 
The Sacrifice of the Day of Atonement
 
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest had to offer two sacrifices for the people of Israel: one goat, whose blood was offered inside the Holy Place, was killed, while the other goat was released into the wilderness. In both cases, the high priest passed all the sins of the people of Israel to the goats by laying his hands on their heads without exception.
Let’s turn to Leviticus 16:15-20 here: “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.”
On this day, after passing the sins of the people of Israel to the sacrificial goat by laying his hands on its head, the high priest had to draw its blood and take this blood into the Most Holy Place, where the mercy was found. This was God’s dwelling place of the Tabernacle, and this place was above the cover of the Ark of the Testimony inside the Most Holy Place. This cover of the Ark is also known as the mercy seat. The house indwelt by God was divided into the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. In the Holy Place, there were the table of bread, the altar of incense with four horns, seven lamps. Before taking the blood of the sacrifice into the Most Holy Place, the high priest had to first light the altar of incense.
All of these things teach us that the remission of all sins is fulfilled only if there is death as their condemnation. Spiritually speaking, the altar of incense refers to the condemnation of sins and prayer. The Most Holy Place could be entered only by the high priest. And when the high priest did so, He had had to first pass all the people’s sins to the sacrificial offering by laying his hands on its head, cut its throat and draw its blood, and take this blood with Him. This teaches us that we are qualified to pray to God only after all our sins are condemned.
 
 
The Bells on the Hems of the Robe of the High Priest
 
There were small golden bells attached to the hems of the robe of high priest. These bells rang when the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat. And this sound was heard by the people standing outside the Sanctuary. Hearing the sound of the bells ringing, the people outside the Sanctuary were able to realize that the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was over, even though their eyes could not see what the high priest was doing inside the Most Holy Place. In this way, the high priest ministered the sin offering inside the Most Holy Place for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel.
What’s important for us to realize here is the fact that on the Day of Atonement, the high priest passed the sins of the people of Israel to the sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head. It was through the laying on of his hands that the sins of the Israelites were passed on to the sacrificial animal. When we turn to Leviticus chapter one, we see the Scripture saying, “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him” (Leviticus 1:4). And the Scripture also says that the high priest sprinkled the blood on all the instruments in the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place and so cleansed them.
 
 
The Shedding of Blood for the Remission of Sins
 
Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” That is why the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice seven times on the mercy seat before God, where His grace was bestowed. The blood of the sacrifice sprinkled over the whole of the Ark of the Testimony which was located in the Most Holy Place. The Scripture says that below the Altar of Burnt Offering located in the outer yard of the Sanctuary, blood was flowing like a river. Blood flowed like a river there because the people of Israel committed so many sins and sacrificed so many animals for their sins. Can you imagine just how many animals had died there?
For the people of Israel to receive the remission of sins from God, all the instruments in the Sanctuary had to be cleansed first, the high priest himself also had to be clean, and this required a sacrificial animal. This animal had to accept all the sins of the people of Israel so that they may receive the remission of sins, and Aaron and his household had to be clean. How was this cleanness obtained? It was obtained through the laying of hands on live sacrificial animals such as goats, bulls, or lambs, and then the shedding of their blood.
The people of Israel were prohibited from looking into the Most Holy Place, nor could they do this as the Sanctuary was walled up covered in the skins of animals. However, because golden bells were attached to the hems of the robe of the high priest, from hearing the sound of these bells ringing out, they could know what was happening inside the Most Holy Place. Through the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement ministered by Aaron the high priest, his household, his children, and the people of Israel all made atonement for their sins, and whoever believed in this sacrifice received the remission of sins. However, there still remained a question: how could the people of Israel, who were all standing outside the Sanctuary as they were not allowed to come in, confirm that they were indeed remitted from all the sins they committed out of their shortcomings and weaknesses, which were also written in the tablets of their hearts?
On the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement set by God, all the people of Israel received the remission of sins without exception. The sacrificial offerings of the Old Testament teach us that in the age of the New Testament, our Lord Jesus bore all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and remitted them all away by shedding His blood, leaving absolutely no one’s sins behind. God did not remit away just some people’s sins while not remitting away others’ sins. Rather, on the tenth day of the seventh month, God remitted away all the sins of the people of Israel 100%, no one was exempt. This meant sin had disappeared from the assembly of Israel as a nation. On this day, God blotted out all the sins of the Israelites through the sacrificial animal, regardless of whether they wanted it or not. The fact that God remitted away all the sins of the people of Israel when the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was offered on the tenth day of the seventh month is evidence of the fact that Jesus has remitted away all the sins of everyone in this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His own blood.
It’s absolutely important for all of us to realize that Jesus bore all the sins of all the people in this world when He was baptized by John the Baptist, and that He has blotted all these sins out by shedding His blood. But, were we there when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist? No, of course not. Has anyone here been inside the Tabernacle of the Old Testament? No, none of us has ever set a foot inside the Sanctuary. After all, how could we, as the Gentiles ever be allowed to enter into the Sanctuary when even the people of Israel could not do so? How, then, can we know and believe that Jesus Christ has become our Savior? We know and believe so because of the baptism through which the Lord bore all our sins once and for all, and including the blood He shed on the Cross. The evidence of this salvation comes from the baptism of Jesus and the blood of sacrifice He shed as our own live scapegoat.
The word “scapegoat” means to become and to give up. What was given up on the Day of Atonement? An unblemished live goat was given up, as it’s written, “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.” This was the shadow of Jesus Christ who would come by water and blood in the age of the New Testament. It prophesies, in other words, that Jesus would blot out all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross.
It’s written in Leviticus 16:21-22: “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. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
 
 
The Spiritual Significance of the Live Sacrificial Goat
 
Spiritually speaking, the live sacrificial goat here refers to Jesus. Where the Scripture says, “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat,” the live goat here refers to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, teaching us that the Savior would be baptized by John the Baptist and shed His blood on the Cross .
Let’s turn to Hebrews 9:9-12, “It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
In the Old Testament Aaron the high priest was the head of all the priests. When his sons turned 30, they could succeed his ministry as the high priest. The Scripture says that in the age of the Old Testament, Aaron laid his hands on the head of the goat. Why did Aaron lay his hands on the head of this sacrificial animal? He did so to pass the sins of his people. It’s written that Aaron confessed all the iniquities of the people of Israel and all their transgressions, and put all these sins on the head of the goat in this way. It was at that time that the Israelites’ sins were passed on to the sacrificial animal through the laying on Aaron’s hands.
The sacrificial goat, bearing the lawlessness of all the people of Israel, was then led far into the wilderness to die. Spiritually speaking, who does this sacrificial animal refer to? It refers to none other than Jesus Christ our Lord. When Jesus came to this world, He shouldered all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, was dragged out of Jerusalem to Golgotha, and shed His blood on the Cross to death. Just as the sacrificial goat of the Day of Atonement had accepted all the sins of the people of Israel in the age of the Old Testament becoming sin for them, so did Jesus accept all the sins of His people once and for all by being baptized. That’s why the Scripture says that Jesus Christ has become the Savior by giving up His own body, by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood, rather than using the blood of goats and calves which was done in the age of the Old Testament.
This was done to fulfill the Word promised in the Old Testament. Through the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, a direct descendant of Aaron, He could bear all the sins of the world. John the Baptist was born into this world six months before Jesus was born. He was born from Zacharias and Elizabeth, both of whom were Aaron’s descendants. Born in the household of the high priest six month earlier than Jesus, John the Baptist was raised by God to be the greatest of all those born of women, and God made him pass the sins of the world to Jesus by baptizing Him. Like the sacrificial animal of the Old Testament, Jesus accepted all the sins of everyone in this world on His own body completely and offered Himself to God the Father; and by doing so, He has blotted out all the sins of all the people in this world, and He has perfectly saved all those in this age and time from all their sins who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As the Lamb of God, Jesus shouldered all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, and He was condemned for these sins by dying on the Cross in our place, even though none of us actually saw this with our physical eyes. That is how Jesus has made it possible for all of us be freed from all our sins by faith. Put differently, the spiritual significance of the Day of Atonement is found in none other than the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross.
Now in this age of the New Testament, the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement is offered spiritually by faith, through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ our Savior accepted all the sins of mankind once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and by offering His own body to God the Father, He has saved His people. It is by being baptized by John the Baptist that Jesus took upon all the sins of this world once and for all. To offer His fundamentally sinless and unblemished body to God the Father as our own sacrificial offering, Jesus Christ received His baptism from John the Baptist and shed His own blood; and by doing this, He has made it possible for everyone who believes in the righteousness of God to receive the remission of sins. Like this, the baptism of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood has enabled us the believers in the righteousness of God to receive the perfect remission of sins.
Jesus is fundamentally sinless. He never committed any sin at all. Yet, He still accepted all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist in order to save us from all our sins, and to obey the will of God the Father. It was God the Father’s will to sacrifice His own Son to save everyone in this world from all sins. It was in obedience to this will of God the Father that Jesus accepted all our sins on His body by being baptized and shed His blood on the Cross in our place. In short, the Lord has made it possible for us to receive the remission of sins from God if only we will believe in His righteousness.
By believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the unblemished and spotless High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, we can be saved and remitted from all our sins. It was to save us from all our iniquities that Jesus Christ came to this earth, accepted all our sins once and for all by being baptized in the Jordan River, died on the Cross in our place to bear the condemnation of our sins, and rose from the dead again. The sacrificial offering that has blotted out the sins of mankind is none other than Jesus Christ, and this offering is an unblemished offering. Jesus Christ neither knew nor committed any sin at all. It was only to save us from all our sins that He became our own sacrificial offering to bear all the sins of every sinner and bore the condemnation of our sins in our place.
From the baptism of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood, we can believe that He is indeed our Savior, and we can also confirm it. God has made it possible for whoever believes in His righteousness, that is, all those who believe that Jesus Christ accepted all their sins by being baptized in the Jordan River and sacrificed Himself on the Cross—to receive the complete remission of sins 100%.
Viewed from the perspective of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can see clearly that all the sins of all the people in this world have been blotted out, just as the sinful people of Israel were made completely sinless on the Day of Atonement. It’s absolutely important for all of us to realize this glorious Truth and to believe in it. In the age of the New Testament also, all the sins of this world have disappeared completely without a trace, thanks to Jesus Christ, His baptism in the Jordan River, His Cross, His resurrection, His ascension, and His return. All the sins of everyone in this world have been blotted out. Each and every sin has disappeared in God’s sight. God no longer accuses us of our sins. On the contrary, He is saying to us, “Receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus Christ, in the sacrifice of atonement My Son made to blot out all your sins. I have blotted out all your sins. I am the God of love. It is not you who loved Me first, it is I who loved you first.”
All those in this world who believe in the righteousness of God are sinless. It’s just that the Devil is trying to hide the Truth so that people wouldn’t know that our Lord Jesus has blotted out all the sins of the world. So, no matter who, anyone in this world can be made sinless if only they would come to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The problem, however, is that too many people still do not know this Truth.
We are the priests in God’s sight, and as such, we must pass all our sins over through our faith in the righteousness of God and believe that Jesus Christ bore each and every sin of ours through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, no matter what kind of sins we might have committed. And we must also believe and preach that Jesus Christ took up all the sins of all the people in this world. Thanks to the righteousness of God, everyone in this world is sinless. How about you then? Do you still have your sins remaining intact? No, you have no more sin. All your sins and mine were passed on to Jesus Christ through His baptism.
It’s also very important for the believers in the righteousness of God to realize that no one in this world has any sin in their hearts, even the nonbelievers. It’s just that these people do not know it. It’s when we know this clearly that we can bear witness of the gospel effectively. Not only are we ourselves sinless as the righteous, but everyone else is also sinless, including our households and even those who still have not come into our gathering. In Christ, no one can have any sin. Like this, when we have the full conviction that there is no sin in the believer, we can preach the gospel boldly. And we can establish God’s Church by faith. Unless we have this faith, we cannot preach the gospel.
This is a fact. It is the truth. The Lord said that the truth shall set us free. I give all my thanks to our Lord for blotting out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit first of all, and for eradicating all the sins of each and every person, all the sins of all the people all over the world, and all the sins of our brothers and sisters.