读经：利未记第十六章 三月九日 山姆弟兄
利未记16章的主题很明显，这主题在整章书中出现了多次——赎罪。在读这章书的时候，你肯定发现这个词出现了多次，它出现在第6节，10, 11, 16, 17, 24, 27, 30, 32, 33 和34节。.
赎罪日的献祭预示了主自己的献祭——其他旧约的献祭也预示了这一点。但这些献祭都不能和我们今天纪念的主的献祭相比。我们可以回去看希伯来书中教导我们的功课。在利 未记16章的前几节中，大祭司在赎罪日进到会幕中的圣所。这就是一年中可以进入圣所的唯一时间。在希伯来书9：24-28中说：“因为基督并不是进了人手所造的圣所（这不过是真圣所的影像）， 乃是进了天堂，如今为我们显在神面前；也不是多次将自己献上，象那大祭司每年带着牛羊的血进入圣所。如果这样，他从创世以来，就必多次受苦了；但如今在这末世显现一次，把自己献为祭，好除掉罪。按着定命，人人都有一死，死后且有审判。象这样，基督既然一次被献，担当了多人的罪，将来要向那等候他的人第二次显现，并与罪无关，乃是为拯救他们。
Read Leviticus 16 Sunday 9th March Bro Sam M
Greetings to our Brothers and Sisters. Sister Emily and myself especially send greetings to those in China who know us from the fraternal week last October.
Our readings over the past few weeks have been taking us through the books of Exodus and Leviticus. A large portion of these books is taken up with detailed explanations of the rituals and offerings of the Law of Moses. Sometimes these sections are difficult to understand, and we may wonder about their relevance to us today when we no longer need to keep the Law of Moses. This morning's reading from Leviticus may seem that way. It deals with the ritual that went with the Day of Atonement. What we hope to show in this morning's exhortation is that this section can be very relevant to us because it shows many of the principles that we have come to remember this morning around our Lord's sacrifice.
Many sections of the Law were intended to represent the work that the Lord Jesus Christ came to do in his death and his resurrection. By that we mean that many parts of the Law acted as types or represented parts of the work that Christ himself came to achieve in saving mankind. Leviticus 16 is a great example of part of the Law that was intended to do exactly that - so it is appropriate for us to consider it in preparation for eating the bread and drinking the wine that represent his body and blood today.
An important thing to keep in mind as we have a brief look at Leviticus 16, is that while the Law could act as a type of Christ's work, it could not achieve what he came to do - it could not save us from sin and death. The Law shows us many of the principles that Christ also showed in his work (such as that God thinks that sin is worthy of death), but it could never achieve the result that Christ's sacrifice did. If the sacrifice of animals could have achieved our salvation then there would have been no point in Christ's sacrifice. There are clear messages in the Law showing that while it was typical of the work of Christ, and could point forward to the principles God required for salvation, it fell far short of the actual work of saving us.
The theme of Leviticus 16 is clear. It is the word that is repeated many times through the chapter - the word 'Atonement'. You probably noticed it many times as we read through the chapter. It is found in verse 6, verse 10, 11, 16, 17, 24, 27, 30, 32, 33 and 34.
Have a look at Romans chapter 5 - and we will see that this idea of 'atonement' was central to what Christ came to achieve. Turn to Romans 5:10. Rom 5:10-11 says : For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
So what does the word 'atonement' mean ? The Greek word that Paul uses in Romans 5 for atonement in verse 11 actually is closely related the word that he uses for 'reconciliation' in verse 10. Atonement can be viewed as the process by which we are reconciled to God. Our sins put a division between us and God - he is holy and we are sinful. The atonement is all about breaching that gap caused by our sins.
The Hebrew word which is translated as 'atonement' in Leviticus 16 has a slightly different meaning. The Hebrew word actually means 'to cover'. This conveys a similar concept. We say that our sins are forgiven, or covered through the work of Christ.
Leviticus 16 describes a very important day in the life of a Jew under the Law of Moses - the Day of Atonement. This was a very solemn festival that was held once a year, in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar
What was a "sin offering" supposed to mean to the person offering it ? Well, in the case of a sin offering, it was required when a person had committed a sin. Now we know that the penalty established by God in the Garden of Eden for sin was death. This is reinforced for us in Romans 6:23 - "the wages of sin is death".
By offering up an animal for a sin offering, the person offering was saying that he recognised that the wages of the sin he had committed was death. He identified with the animal being offered. He was required to do this under the Law by placing his hand on the head of the animal before it was killed -Look at Leviticus 4:4: "And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD."
So, in offering the animal the offerer identified with the animal He said by offering an animal-'I recognise that my sin deserves death, and that what is happening to this animal is really what I deserve to be done to me'.
There are, as I said earlier, some important parallels between what God commanded the Jews to do on the Day of Atonement, and what we come together to do this morning.
The first is the fact that Leviticus 16 really emphasises the fact that we are sinners and because of this we are unclean in the sight of God. Look at Leviticus 16:16: "And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness".
Note the emphasis in that verse on 'uncleanness', 'transgression', 'sin'. We must recognise as we come to remember the perfect sacrifice of our Lord this morning that we also bring uncleanness, transgression and sin with us. We come to confess our sins, and to ask for God to extend His grace in forgiving us.
Another parallel is found in the fact that only one offering (made up of the two goats) was made on this day for the sins of the entire nation. Normally, under the Law of Moses, a person would commit a sin and offer a sacrifice for his own personal specific sin. On the day of atonement, however, one sacrifice was offered for the entire nation for the entire year. This can be compared to the sacrifice that we remember this morning. There was only one sacrifice made - that of the Lord Jesus Christ - that can take away everyone's sins. There wasn't one sacrifice made for my sin and a separate sacrifice made for your sin, but one sacrifice made to take away the sins of the whole world.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a significant difference between the normal sin offerings under the Law of Moses and the offering made on the Day of Atonement. The most obvious difference is in the fact that not one, but two animals were involved in the sacrifice - and one of these was not killed, but driven away into the wilderness. What was this trying to show ? Well, the answer is in verse 20-22 of Leviticus 16. Lev 16:20-22/: "And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess 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, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
The live goat was to bear away the sins of the people. Symbolically the sins of the people were being carried away by the live goat - never to be seen again. So we have one goat that is sacrificed - showing us the punishment due to us because of our sins, and another goat that takes our sins away. This shows two sides to the work that Christ achieved in his own death. Although he was sinless, his crucifixion demonstrated what is deserving to sinful people, and through his death and resurrection he opened a way by which our sins can be taken away by God's grace.
While the sacrifices made on the Day of Atonement represent the sacrifice of our Lord - as with all the offerings, they fell well short of what was achieved by the sacrifice that we remember today. This lesson is brought home to us in the book of Hebrews. You will remember from the first few verses in Leviticus 16 that the High Priest actually went into the holiest place in the tabernacle on the Day of Atonement. This was the only time in the entire year that anybody was allowed into this holiest of places. Comment is made on this in Hebrews chapter 9. Heb 9:24-28: "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Here a contrast is drawn between the Day of Atonement under the Law and what it achieved for Israel and the great work of Christ which brought salvation. Hebrews shows that while under the Law, Israel had a Day of Atonement every year, sacrifices were made for sins every year and the High Priest went into the Most Holy part of the Tabernacle only once a year. On the other hand, Christ has made only one sacrifice which can take away all sins - he doesn't need to make a sacrifice every year.
Hebrews also draws a parallel between the High Priest going into the most holy place and Christ ascending up into heaven. As v24 of Heb 9 said - he is entered into heaven itself. The Israelites would have waited anxiously for their High Priest to emerge from the most holy place in the tabernacle, knowing that if God did not accept their sacrifice he would die. On the other hand we anticipate with joy the return of our High Priest (Jesus Christ) from the most holy place (heaven) because, as verse 28 of Hebrews 9 says - we know that when he returns he will bring our salvation with him. When Christ returns from heaven he will bring for us immortality and God's kingdom on earth.
So as we eat of the bread and drink of the wine this morning, let us remember the atonement that was achieved for us by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us remember that he did far more for us than the Law of Moses ever could. Let us remember that he is now our High Priest in heaven and that we await with great excitement his return to earth.