The Day of Atonement
Lesson #6 for November 9, 2013
The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357.5
Thus in the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the temple that afterward took its place, the people were taught each day the great truths relative to Christ’s death and ministration, and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners.—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 358.
Now the event takes place foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement. When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, then the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord; and in the presence of the congregation the High Priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.”Leviticus 16:21. In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the hosts of the redeemed the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 658.
A. Remember that the daily offerings continued. (Numbers 29:11)
B. ReadLeviticus 16:3-19 which describes the events connected with the Lord’s goat. Notice several very important points which made this goat a symbol very different from the animals that were sacrificed during the year. (1) This goat had sin-free blood. There were no hands laid on its head and no sins confessed over it. (Leviticus 16:9,15) Thus, it should be clear that the purpose of the blood of this goat was not to defile the sanctuary but to cleanse it. (2) The ceremonies of this day revealed an outward movement and not an inward movement. Sins were being taken away from the sanctuary and not taken into the sanctuary. (Leviticus 16:15-18) (3) This was a most solemn day of judgment for the people of Israel. They were to humble themselves, to avoid work, not to eat, and to avoid virtually all their normal activities. And those who did not were to be cut off. (Leviticus 16:29-31; 23:27-32) Notice that in Leviticus 16 the whole process was going beyond forgiveness. There was no mention of forgiveness at all in that chapter. All of these activities focused on the final conclusion to the sin problem and not to the individual forgiveness for sins. (4) It focused on cleansing. (Leviticus 16:30; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Malachi 3:2-3) Christ and the Father in the heavenly sanctuary have opened up the government of God to the eyes of the onlooking universe. Just as the entire congregation was supposed to be watching the high priest, God will make His final judgments with the full cooperation and agreement of the universe. The entire universe will be watching the final events of this earth’s history!
What should the Day of Atonement have accomplished?
1. Finally, the truth is irrefutably proven that Satan has always been the father of lies and is ultimately responsible for sin. (John 8:44; Leviticus 16:5-10,20-23) There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Azazel goat or scapegoat was a symbol for Satan and not for Christ.Leviticus 16:8 identifies the first goat as the goat for Yahweh but the other goat as the goat for Azazel. Clearly, these goats were intended to be in opposition to each other. Thus, Satan has opposed God.
2. The Azazel ritual takes place after everything else is completed. (Leviticus 16:20) This refers to the final disposition of sin by the elimination of all those responsible.
3. Azazel’s goat was not slain, and no blood was dealt with. It was a non-sacrificial event. It had nothing to do with a sacrifice for sin. Instead, the goat was led far away from the camp to die. (Leviticus 16:20-22)
4. The Azazel goat acted like a “garbage truck” or “tote goat,” taking the moral garbage from the camp of Israel, and taking it far away.
5. Azazel was clearly one of the “goat demons.” (Leviticus 17:7; Isaiah 13:21; 34:14)
6. The final result is spelled out in Revelation 20. Satan and all his associates will choose by themselves to reject God and will end up in the lake of fire.
7. As the accuser of the brethren and the principal author of sin, Satan is made responsible for all of his actions and is ultimately destroyed.
© 2013, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution is encouraged. It is our goal to see them spread as widely and freely as possible. If you would like to use them for your class or even make copies of portions of them, feel free to do so. We always enjoy hearing about how you might be using the materials, and we might even want to share good ideas with others. So, let us know how you are using them. [email protected]
Last Modified: September 9, 2013
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