Advent Day 5: Leviticus 16

December 7, 2022

green field during day time

20 “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. 22 The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.

Aaron had experienced first hand the devastation of drawing near to the Holy God in ignorance, as his two sons had done and perished. Now the LORD shows what is necessary to draw near to the presence of the Almighty: the atonement for personal and communal sins. A bull to be sacrificed for personal sins, two goats to be representative of the sins of the nation: one sacrificed as a sin offering to God, another let loose in the wilderness bearing the sins of the nation on its head. Yearly are they to do this, that the sins of Israel may be atoned for, and that the LORD's presence does not consume them.

Oh LORD, how serious and aweful it is to be in Thy holy presence. Woe is me, for I have no sacrifice to offer, no goat to confess and to have my sins removed into the wilderness. Yet Thou has provided a Saviour, a Christ, who sufficiently atone me of my sin. Sufficiently, for the priest and the nation had to do this year in and year out for their sins to be forgiven and atoned for. Yet Oh Lord Jesus, Thy sacrifice has perpetual and eternal sufficiency to atone for my past, present, and future sins. Oh Lord Jesus, Your sacrifice also satisfyingly atones me of my sin. Oh Christ, Thy sacrifice satisfies the wrath of God that befalls on sinful men. For upon your sacrifice, I have now access to Thy throne of grace and mercy, without the judgement that befell on Aaron's two sons.

Yet Thy atonement above all is surreal, for Thou not only do You die as a sacrifice to my sin, oh Lord Jesus, Thou beareth my sins, all my sins, and brings it far into the wilderness, away from me. A man without Thy grace may have his sins forgiven, but not forgotten. Do I not as a creature do so often to fellow men who sinned against me, forgiving them, but not forgetting? Yet in you Oh Lord, my sins are not only forgiven, they are forgotten! Forgotten, forgiven my sins are! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus, for to you I confess my sins. To you I surrender my heart and my life. Forgive me, cleanse me. As far as the east is from the west, bring my sins far away oh Lord, and let me dwell with Thee in perpetual peace. Thank you for bearing all my sins, my secret, selfish, darkened sin and removing them from me. Thank you for taking it away!

Amen.


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