By The Jesus Bible
JESUS AND THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Atonement is the process of restoring right standing with God once sin has occurred. In the Old Testament, an elaborate ceremony took place every year to atone for Israel’s sins. In accordance with God’s instructions, their guilt had to be covered over — their offenses had to be paid for through the shedding of blood.
Before entering the Most Holy Place, the high priest had to carefully wash himself and put on special garments. A bull was killed to cover the sins of the priest and his household. Then the priest cast lots over two goats — one to be sacrificed and one to become the scapegoat, carrying the people’s sins away from the community. Incense was burned over the ark so that smoke concealed the holiest place, protecting the priest. The blood of the sacrificed bull and goat were sprinkled on the atonement cover, the tent of meeting and the altar. Then the scapegoat was sent off with all of Israel’s sins on its head. Then the priest washed himself and changed his clothes before exiting the tent to burn portions of the offering on the altar. Finally, the remains of the animals were removed and the attendants who removed them — along with the man who led the scapegoat away — had to wash their clothes and bathe themselves. All of this happened every year so that people could be cleansed from all their sins (Lev 16:1 – 30).
The main feature of the ceremony, the shedding of blood, taught that atonement symbolizes the substitution of life for life. In that way, the Old Testament points forward to the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross for our sins. God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement (Ro 3:25 – 26). He gave his only Son as a payment for the sins of the world. Jesus had no guilt of his own, so he was worthy to be our substitute upon the altar of the cross.
God did this to demonstrate his righteousness. Sin was never waved off, disregarded or left unaccounted for. God upheld his righteousness and the worth of his name by requiring blood atonement for cleansing from sin. Justice shines in the way God kept his word to punish sin. Grace shines in the way God placed all of our sins on Christ. Salvation is a free gift to those with faith (Eph 2:8 – 9), but the gift itself was not free — atonement was purchased with the precious blood of Christ (1Pe 1:18 – 19).
Jesus, thank you for purchasing my atonement with your precious blood. I do not deserve your love. Amen.
11 “Aaron shall present the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull of the sin offering which is for himself. 12 He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before Yahweh, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: 13 and he shall put the incense on the fire before Yahweh, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony, so that he will not die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with his blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat. 16 He shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins; and so he shall do for the Tent of Meeting, that dwells with them in the middle of their uncleanness. 17 No one shall be in the Tent of Meeting when he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, and has made atonement for himself and for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 “He shall go out to the altar that is before Yahweh and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the bull’s blood, and some of the goat’s blood, and put it around on the horns of the altar. 19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and make it holy from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
25 whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.
8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast.
1 Peter 1:18-19
18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish or spot, the blood of Christ;