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Focus Verses: Leviticus 16:20-22
"When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place,
the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live
He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over
it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their
sins—and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into
the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.
Day of Atonement was an annual ritual of cleansing and forgiveness
that foreshadowed the ultimate and eternal cleansing that would be
accomplished by Christ's sacrificial death. What they did year after
year was a picture that anticipated what Jesus would one day do once for
all (Hebrews 10:11-13).
goat sacrificed on the Day of Atonement, along with the other
sacrificed animals, symbolized the death and sacrifice of Jesus, the
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. There is much
discussion and speculation about the meaning of the scapegoat driven
away. Some think it represents the physical suffering and hardship
Christ endured in bearing our sins. I think it may represent the
believer's part in casting sin aside. Christ died for sin, but the
believer must also participate in Christ’s work by turning away from and
dying to sin (Rom. 12:1-2).
Response and Action:
will look to Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, renewal, and
the hope of eternal life. I will put my faith in his saving sacrifice
on my behalf. I will also make every effort to drive out the sins in
my life. Christ not only died to atone for my sin, but also gives me
the power of his Spirit to be made new and to find freedom from sin.
By the power and grace of Christ, I will make every effort to put
aside the sins that entangle me. Beyond forgiveness, I will pursue
O God, by the power
and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, teach, transform, shape, and
strengthen me, that I might delight in your will and walk in your ways
to the glory of your Name. Thank you for the forgiveness you have
given through Jesus. Help me to drive sin and unfaithfulness out of
my life. Help me to offer myself as a living sacrifice, holy and
pleasing to you. By your grace, strengthen and bless my efforts to
turn away from sin. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 10:1-4
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the
realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same
sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who
draw near to worship. 2 If
it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the
worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer
have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views
by Thomas R. Schreiner