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January 18, 2021 – Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement, which was an annual thing, addresses the sins of the whole nation, including the priests: Aaron “shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins (16:16). This atonement, this sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice, is not done at the altar of sacrifice but in the most inner place, the Holy of Holies, in the presence of God in the cloud.


As the story continues, and we read about Abraham and his family and Moses and the people of Israel, we are pushed inexorably, relentlessly toward another. The Most Holy Place in the Levitical tabernacle was “an earthly place of holiness” (Hebrews 9:1). However, “Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Hebrews 9:24).


A student, who was struggling with understanding the book of Leviticus, once asked me, “What is the best commentary on the book of Leviticus?” I responded, “The epistle to the Hebrews.” If one wishes to understand what God is doing through the Levitical law, how about considering: “When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11,12).


A word of counsel, which I think is a good word. Never read the book of Leviticus alone; rather, always read it alongside the epistle to the Hebrews.

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