Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 2012 - Atonement

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Leviticus, Chapters 16-18 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Leviticus 16: 1-5; … 34 : … [Priestly Preparation for Atonement] 1 The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the LORD. 2 The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover. >>> 3 “This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. >>> … 34 “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.” And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.

My Journal for Today: There are several good lessons to which I’m drawn to comment in this blog for my devotional journal today from these three chapters in Leviticus which I’m led to study and meditate upon today during my chronological reading plan. Certainly the teachings in Leviticus 18 about sexual sin would be grist for my blog, especially since I was called by God many years ago to found and co-lead a ministry to help Christians find healing and restoration from patterns of sexual sin. However, the section upon which I was drawn to blog today is that at the outset of this three chapters, having to do with God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron about how the Day of Atonement was to be carried out annually, especially the preparations Aaron, as the High Priest, was to make to carry out this ritual of propitiation for sins, i.e., the atonement sacrifice.

The Day of Atonement was to be the most necessary and carefully observed of all of the religious remembrances God had set up in the Levitical system for the Israelites. And at this time it was the only way that God’s people could be “covered” for their sinful nature and practices. God was setting up a way for these sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, with their sinful natures, to have their sins “covered” in a carefully calculated celebration of God’s love, mercy, and grace. And if, in preparing for this ceremony of propitiation, Aaron – or any subsequent high priest – were to try to enter the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle for this blood ”covering” ritual, he would die, … Aaron’s preparation showing the people just how serious was this atonement ceremony annually.

I’m drawn to meditate on this today because God is so careful with His Old Testament details when He, The LORD, is painting pictures which foreshadow the coming work of His Messiah for His children. When God is showing His children how their sins can be “covered,” He is painting pictures of what His Son, the Lamb of God, would do with His blood sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind. And actually this picture of the atoning grace of God, through Christ’s sacrifice, began to be painted with the “covering” of the ark which Noah was asked to build.

You may have noticed above that each time I typed the term “covered” or “covering,” I emphasized it with bold type and quotations. I did that because the same term in Hebrew, ”kaphar.” which we find used in Genesis 6: 14 [linked here] as instructions for the tar or pitch which God instructed Noah to use to cover the ark, which was to save mankind through Noah’s family, is the same term used in Leviticus to describe the ceremony of atonement which was to be used to save God’s people through the “covering” they would received by the atoning blood sacrifice in the Holy of Holies, so carefully offered by Levitical High Priesthood from the line of Aaron.

And we know – or should know and reverently remember – that we Christians are now of that line of royal priesthood, and our sins have been ”covered” - “kaphar” in Hebrew – with the atoning blood of the Lamb of God. That’s why these pictures in Levitcus, no matter how boring they may seem as we read through them over and over, are such rich word pictures of the One Who came and died on that cross so that you and I could have our sinfulness ”covered” FOREVER by the atoning blood sacrifice of God’s perfect Lamb.

Our sins are ”covered”; and we can – with proper cleansing and preparation – enter the Holy of Holies, which now resides in our hearts, anytime and anyplace and we can be cleansed and made right before God’s throne of grace. And that is because of the ”kaphar” of our Lord and Savior on that cross. His blood ”covers” us all; and I am His priest, coming into His Holy of Holies to remember His atoning grace today. Come with me, dear one; and let’s pray >>>

My Prayer Today: … Most Holy,… Lamb of God, we come into Your presence today knowing that You have shed Your blood – once and for all - that our sins are ”covered” forever by Your sacrifice of atoning grace. Amen

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