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The Atoning Death of Christ on the Cross 

Leviticus 16

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 29, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. The Day of Atonement 
    1. Leviticus 16
      1. v. 2
        1. Aaron could not enter the Holy of Holies
        2. any time he so desired, because
          1. the Lord appeared in the cloud
          2. that was above the Mercy Seat.
      2. v. 3
        1. When he did enter at the selected time,
        2. he came with
          1. the blood of a preselected young bull as a sin offering and
          2. the blood of a preselected ram as a burnt offering.
      3. v. 4
        1. He washed his body in water and put on
          1. a holy linen tunic,
          2. linen trousers,
          3. a linen sash, and
          4. a linen turban.
        2. He did not wear his customary priestly garments, but white linen.
      4. v. 5
        1. From the congregation he took
          1. two young goats for a sin offering and
          2. one ram as a burnt offering.
      5. v. 6
        1. With the bull,
          1. he made a sin offering for himself and
          2. made atonement for himself and for his family.
      6. vv. 7–10
        1. With the goats,
        2. by lot he chose one for the Lord and the other as a scapegoat.
          1. The one for the Lord, Aaron would offer as a sin offering and
          2. the other one would go free into the wilderness.
      7. vv. 11–14
        1. Aaron killed the bull for himself as a sin offering.
        2. He would
          1. take a censer full of burning coals with one hand and
          2. in his other hand he carried incense,
            1. bringing both inside the veil to put on the Mercy Seat
            2. to keep him alive.
          3. He also took some of the blood from the bull and
            1. sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat on the east side and
            2. before the Mercy Seat he sprinkled blood seven times.
      8. vv. 15–19
        1. He killed the goat for the Lord
        2. for the benefit of the congregation and
          1. brought its blood inside the veil,
          2. sprinkling it on and before the Mercy Seat
            1. as he did the blood of the bull.
        3. In this way, he atoned the Holy Place.
          1. He went in by himself.
          2. He also went to the altar outside and
            1. made atonement for the altar
            2. with the blood of the goat and of the bull.
      9. vv. 20–22
        1. Aaron put his hands on the head of the live goat,
          1. confessed all of Israel’s national sins and
          2. released the goat by another man’s hand into the wilderness.
      10. 10.vv. 23–28
        1. Aaron went back into the tabernacle,
          1. took off the linen garments,
          2. washed his body,
            1. offered a burnt offering
              1. for himself and
              2. for the congregation.
            2. The fat he burned on the altar.
        2. The one who released the goat washed his clothes and body.
        3. The rest of the bull and the goat
          1. they burned with fire outside the camp.
          2. The one who did the burning also had to wash.
      11. 11.vv. 29–34
        1. After the priest completed his duties,
        2. the Lord gave the congregation instructions:
          1. He wanted them to afflict their souls (which meant to fast),
            1. as the reading from Leviticus 23 shows,
          2. He wanted them to have a Sabbath rest.
    2. Significantly, Leviticus 25 shows
      1. that the Year of Jubilee
      2. started on the Day of Atonement,

        9 Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land (Lev 25.9).

        1. The Jubilee,
          1. the release of all debts,
          2. the release of all land sold, and
          3. the release of all indentured servants.
        2. It follows that such releases and freedom
          1. would follow the Day of Atonement,
          2. the release or freedom from the guilt of sin.
    3. Leviticus 23 shows
      1. that although you will find people categorizing
      2. the Day of Atonement as one of the feast days of Israel,
        1. they fasted on that day,

          26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath” (Lev 23.26–32).
        2. Why would they afflict their souls by fasting on that day?
          1. While it seems like a time of rejoicing,
          2. this all prefigured an event
            1. that was the saddest day in history.
            2. Therefore, as someone once said,

              “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
    4. The one who made that declaration
      1. is also the one of whom
      2. the Day of Atonement foreshadowed His work.
  2. The Day of Atonement Foreshadowed the Sacrifice of Jesus 
    1. Hebrews 10.1, 4

      For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect (Heb 10.1).

      For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins (Heb 10.4).

    2. The Day of Atonement had to occur every year, because
      1. it did not take away the sin.
      2. This must have happened about 1500 times.
        1. How many animals died in the Day of Atonement and
        2. in all the other sacrifices, because of man’s sin?
    3. The Lord forgave the children of Israel when they did as He instructed.
      1. Therefore, when they had the Day of Atonement,
      2. He forgave them when the sacrifices were made, but
        1. those sacrifices just pre-figured the sacrifice of Christ,
        2. the blood of which flowed back in time as well toward us.
          1. Forgiveness takes place in the mind of God and
          2. He does it because His righteous requirements have been satisfied.
    4. Hebrews 9.15

      And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.  (Heb 9:15).
  3. Isaiah 53

    10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
    11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
    And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    Because He poured out His soul unto death,
    And He was numbered with the transgressors,
    And He bore the sin of many,
    And made intercession for the transgressors.
    (Isa 53.10–12)

    1. Acts 8

      Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him (Acts 8.35).
  4. Psalm 65.3

    3 Iniquities prevail against me;
    As for our transgressions,
    You will provide atonement for them.
    (Psa 65.3)


  1. In Genesis 6.14, the Lord told Noah to cover the ark 
    1. inside and out with pitch.
    2. Moses used the Hebrew word khafar for “cover.”
      1. Elsewhere when Moses used that word,
      2. we translate it as “atonement.”
        1. Even as the blood from a goat and a bull served as a covering for Israel,
        2. so now the blood of Jesus serves as a covering for the world,
          1. covering our sin.
          2. Yes, God removes our sin, but
            1. this pictures one of the many different ways
            2. that the Lord deals with our sin.
  2. Sin is the problem and 
    1. what the Lord says in His word
    2. solves that problem.
      1. He must remove sin.
      2. However, He will only do it in one of two ways:
        1. His wrath, casting someone away from Him permanently or
        2. His forgiveness, embracing someone forever.
          1. He chooses forgiveness and worked toward that end.
          2. Ultimately, He leaves the choice up to you.