7th December 2022
Read - Leviticus 16 and Romans 3:23-27
Message - Alan Burke
Today I want to take you back to the Old Testament, so many people read the New Testament without doing the work to try to understand it with what has come before but the Old Testament is vitally important to how we understand the new and when we ignore it or don’t take the time to get into it then we rob ourselves of the wonder of what God has done. In v25 there is a word that is used, most translations have it either as a "sacrifice of atonement” or a “propitiation”. If you read Leviticus 16 it talks about the day of atonement, how the sins of the people were to be dealt with and it is where we get the phrase ‘scape goat’.
In the Temple there was the most holy place, the holies of holies. If you are not familiar with the temple, think how when Jesus died on the Cross the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The curtain separated the presence of God from the people of God. Behind the curtain was the Most Holy place, there was the Ark of the Covenant, the top of the ark of the covenant was known as the “mercy seat” the greek word that is translated as "sacrifice of atonement” or a “propitiation” is “mercy seat”. Once a year on the day of atonement blood was spilt to make an atonement for the sin of the people and blood would be sprinkled on the ark of the covenant on the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people. At the same time a goat was sent from the people and symbolically took the sin of the people out from among them, it was a scapegoat, for it took the sins of the people.
Paul is telling us that Jesus did what the Day of Atonement pointed to, the blood that was shed, the sins that were removed, Jesus was our "sacrifice of atonement” or a “propitiation”. As He bore our sins on the cross, receiving the wrath of God in our place, His blood was spilled and covers all those who trust in Him, who believe, who have faith, our sins have been forgiven. What is more is that Jesus dealt with the sin of all all those who have faith in God, past, present and future. For on the day of atonement God accepted these offerings in his forbearance here we are are told. For God had left the sins of His people committed beforehand unpunished. For all of us through the death of Christ, His blood that was shed is the only way that we can be made right with God, it is the only way that those who lived before His coming are made right with God.
Until Jesus Christ came and paid the price for my sin, for your sin, for our sin, no sin of man had received the punishment that it deserved in the forbearance of the Lord God. God awaited the right time, to fulfil what He had had promised as He preached the gospel to the devil in the midst of the fall of how one would come to bruise or crush the head of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. God in His grace held back His judgement in His forbearance until Jesus came and dealt with the sin of all the saints, the saints who lived before the coming of Christ and the saints since, the saints today and the saints in the future, all those who believe in Him are saints in Christ Jesus. In this God demonstrated His justice, the justice of God is seen in and through the Lord Jesus Christ who took the punishment that sin deserves for us and therefore the righteousness of God comes through faith in Christ Jesus. The Cross is the manifestation of the glorious wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23, 24).
Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery. (Rom. 5:12)
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