The Day of Atonement

Scripture Passage: 
Leviticus 16:1-34

INTRODUCTION: Nadab and Abihu are dead. By all appearances the situation is hopeless, but it is in this context that the Lord institutes a yearly sacrifice that is meant to atone for the sins of the people. What a glorious sacrifice for the Old Testament saints, and what a glorious picture of “the atonement” (Romans 5:11) that we have found in Jesus Christ.

  1. SPECIAL PREPARATION FOR THE DAY (Leviticus 16:1-6)
    1. Special Instructions (Leviticus 16:1)
      1. Given after the death of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3)
      2. Further warnings to those who approach God (Leviticus 21:6, 8)
    2. A Special Time (Leviticus 16:2)
      1. The limitations of the holy place within the veil
      2. Once a year on the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29-30; Hebrews 9:6-8)
      3. When God’s cloud covered the mercy seat (Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-12)
    3. A Special Offering (Leviticus 16:3, 5-6)
      1. For Aaron (Leviticus 16:3, 6)
        1. A bullock for a sin offering (Leviticus 16:6)
        2. A ram for a burnt offering
      2. For the people (Leviticus 16:5)
        1. Two goats for a sin offering
        2. A ram for a burnt offering
    4. A Special Outfit (Leviticus 16:4)
      1. The holy garments
        1. The holy linen coat
        2. The linen breeches
        3. A linen girdle
        4. The linen mitre
      2. Unique for the day
        1. Omitted the robe of blue (Exodus 28:31)
        2. Omitted the breastplate with the precious stones (Exodus 28:15-21)
        3. Replaced the girdle of needlework (Exodus 28:6, 8, 39) with a plain girdle of linen
        4. Entire outfit made of white linen indicating righteousness and humility
        5. Required to wash himself before putting the garments on
  2. THE TWO GOATS (Leviticus 16:7-10)
    1. The Presentation of the Two Goats (Leviticus 16:7)
      1. Before the Lord
      2. At the door of the tabernacle
    2. Lots Cast upon the Goats (Leviticus 16:8)
      1. One lot for the Lord
      2. One lot for the scapegoat
    3. The Offering of the Goats (Leviticus 16:9-10)
      1. The Lord’s goat to be offered for a sin offering (Leviticus 16:9)
      2. The scapegoat preserved for the wilderness (Leviticus 16:10)
  3. ATONEMENT FOR AARON (Leviticus 16:11-14)
    1. The Offering of the Bullock (Leviticus 16:11)
      1. A sin offering
      2. For Aaron and his house
    2. The Burning of Incense within the Veil (Leviticus 16:12-13)
      1. A censer of coals from off the altar (Leviticus 16:12)
      2. Hands full of incense beaten small (Leviticus 16:12)
      3. Causing a cloud of incense over the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:13)
    3. The Sprinkling of Blood on the Mercy Seat (Leviticus 16:14)
      1. The blood of the bullock
      2. Sprinkled on the mercy seat eastward
      3. Sprinkled before the mercy seat seven times
  4. ATONEMENT FOR THE PEOPLE (Leviticus 16:15-19)
    1. The Goat of the Sin Offering (Leviticus 16:15)
      1. Offered for the people
      2. Blood brought within the veil
    2. Atonement for the Sanctuary (Leviticus 16:16, 18-19)
      1. Atonement for the holy place (Leviticus 16:16)
      2. Atonement for the tabernacle (Leviticus 16:16)
      3. Atonement for the altar (Leviticus 16:18-19)
      4. NOTE: These places had been defiled by the uncleanness of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:16, 19).
    3. Solitary Nature of the Sacrifice (Leviticus 16:17)
      1. Only the high priest to make the offerings
      2. No other priests to be in the tabernacle
  5. THE SCAPEGOAT (Leviticus 16:20-22)
    1. The Scapegoat Brought Out (Leviticus 16:20)
    2. The Sins Laid on the Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:21a)
      1. Aaron laid his hands on the goat.
      2. The sins of Israel put on the head of the goat
    3. The Scapegoat Released into the Wilderness (Leviticus 16:21b-22)
      1. Sent by the hand of a fit man (Leviticus 16:21)
      2. Released in the wilderness (Leviticus 16:22)
  6. FINAL CLEANSING (Leviticus 16:23-28)
    1. The Changing of Garments (Leviticus 16:23-24a)
      1. Aaron to put off the special garments (Leviticus 16:23)
      2. Aaron to wash himself and put on his regular garments (Leviticus 16:24a)
    2. The Offering of the Burnt Offerings (Leviticus 16:24b)
      1. The ram for himself (Leviticus 16:3)
      2. The ram for the people (Leviticus 16:5)
    3. Wrapping It Up (Leviticus 16:25-28)
      1. They burned the fat of the sin offering (Leviticus 16:25).
      2. The cleansing of the man who released the scapegoat (Leviticus 16:26)
      3. The carcasses burned without the camp (Leviticus 16:27-28)
  7. A STATUTE FOREVER (Leviticus 16:29-34)
    1. The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29-31)
      1. On the 10th day of the 7th month (Leviticus 16:29)
      2. A day to afflict their souls (Leviticus 16:29; Isaiah 58:3-5)
      3. A day in which to do no work (Leviticus 16:29)
      4. A day of cleansing from sins (Leviticus 16:30)
      5. A sabbath of rest (Leviticus 16:31)
    2. The Atonement of the Day (Leviticus 16:32-33)
      1. Made by the high priest (Leviticus 16:32)
      2. The fivefold atonement (Leviticus 16:33)
        1. For the sanctuary
        2. For the tabernacle
        3. For the altar
        4. For the priests
        5. For the people
    3. An Everlasting Statute (Leviticus 16:34)
  8. APPLICATION OF THE TWO GOATS
    1. The Sacrificial Goat (Leviticus 16:15-19)
      1. For the Lord (Leviticus 16:9)
      2. Making a sin offering (Leviticus 16:15)
      3. Offered by the sprinkling of blood (Leviticus 16:15, 18-19)
      4. Could only be made by the high priest (Leviticus 16:17)
    2. The Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:20-22)
      1. For the people (Leviticus 16:21)
      2. The laying on of hands indicating substitution (Leviticus 16:21)
      3. The confession of sins required (Leviticus 16:21)
      4. The sending away of the goat with the sins (Leviticus 16:21-22; Psalm 103:12)
    3. Both Fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14, 22-28)

CONCLUSION: One day a year the high priest could go into the holy place to make this sacrifice, but Jesus Christ was put to death once to put away the sins of the whole world. Praise the Lord for His great sacrifice.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:11

When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.