The first goat was a propitiating sin offering. The high priest slaughtered this goat, which acted as a substitute for the sinners who deserved a violently bloody death for their many sins.This reminds me of the quote my professor said last semester: "Study the living tar out of the Pentateuch." How much more we can appreciate Jesus as we understand the sacrificial system that foreshadows Him.
Then the high priest, acting as the representative and mediator between the sinful people and their holy God, would take the second goat and lay his hands on the animal while confessing the sins of the people. This goat, called the scapegoat, would then be sent away to die in the wilderness away from the sinners, symbolically expiating or removing the sins of the people by taking them away.
The sacrifices of the Day were designed to pay for both sin’s penalty and sin’s presence in Israel. The shedding of blood and the sending off of the scapegoat were meant to appease God's wrath against sin and to cleanse the nation, the priesthood, and even the sanctuary itself from the taint of sin (Lev 16:30).The Day of Atonement was a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and our great High Priest who is able to sympathize with us in our weakness. These great images of the priest, slaughter, and scapegoat are all given by God to help us more fully comprehend Jesus’ bloody sacrifice for us on the cross.
Jesus’ fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is why we are forgiven for and cleansed from our sins. To preach anything else is to proclaim a “different gospel,” which is no gospel at all (Gal 1:6-7). Spurgeon drives this point home: “Many pretend to keep the atonement, and yet they tear the bowels out of it. They profess to believe in the gospel, but it is a gospel without the blood of the atonement; and a bloodless gospel is a lifeless gospel, a dead gospel, and a damning gospel”
Monday, September 28, 2009
Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement
Justin Holcomb at the Resurgence has a good post on Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement being celebrated today by Jews around the world. Here's an excerpt that explains what happened on this day in OT times and how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this day: