Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day of Atonement

In Leviticus 16, God tells the people about atonement. The bull is sacrificed. The goat is sacrificed. The sins of the people are imputed to the scapegoat, and it is driven away. But one thing seemed so odd.

The Holy of Holies had to be atoned for. The altar had to be atoned for. What? These places are not sinners. They didn't do sin. The Holy of Holies is the place of God's saving presence. This place is so holy that even the high priest can't enter, except once a year, after bathing and donning the holy garments and entering with the blood of atonement and the incense to cover the mercyseat. But still, God says several times in the chapter that the tabernacle and the altar and the Holy of Holies must be atoned for. They are in the midst of an unclean people.

It looks like our sin contaminates even the holy things that come to us. It's like the Holy of Holies shows us that Jesus (the true Holiest Place, the true Tabernacle) gets polluted by being among us unclean people, like as if our sin made Him to be the sinner. Thank God that Jesus is also the sacrifice which purifies.

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