OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
"The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron
who were killed when they offered unholy fire to the Lord. He
said, Tell your brother Aaron that only at the proper time is he
to go behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place, because that
is where I appear in a cloud above the lid on the Covenant Box.
If he disobeys, he will be killed. He may enter the Most Holy
Place only after he has brought a young bull for a sin offering
and a ram for a burnt offering" (Leviticus 16:1-3, Good News
"Then the Lord gave the following instructions. Before Aaron goes
into the Most Holy Place, he must take a bath and put on the
priestly garments: the linen robe and shorts, the belt and the
turban" (verse 4). Note in verse 5, the community of Israel was
to give Aaron the two goats for a sin offering.
Verses 14-16: "He shall take some of the bull's blood and with
his finger sprinkle it on the front of the lid and then sprinkle
some of it seven times in front of the Covenant Box. After that,
he shall kill the "first" goat for the sin offering for the
people, bring its blood into the Most Holy Place, and sprinkle it
on the lid and then in front of the Covenant Box, as he did with
the bull's blood. In this way he will perform the ritual to
purify the Most Holy Place from the uncleanness of the people of
Israel and from all their sins. He must do this to the Tent,
because it stands in the middle of the camp, which is ritually
Verse 15: God used this ritual to purify the Holiest of Holies
and the altar. In this way (verse 14) Aaron is to purify the Holy
of Holies and the altar from the sins of the people of Israel and
make it holy.
What about the second goat? Verse 10 of Leviticus 16 says: "The
goat chosen for Azazel shall be presented alive to the Lord and
sent off into the desert, in order to cover the sins of the
Note that the live goat shall be presented alive before the Lord
to make atonement over it and then sent into the wilderness
carrying their sins. (This is further proof that the nation's
sins were covered by God)(covered, not blotted out, as the BCG
admit later, covered so the Old Covenant contract and
relationship between God and Israel could continue for another
year - Keith Hunt).
In Leviticus 9:5-6 we read: "They brought to the front of the
Tent everything that Moses had commanded, and the whole community
assembled there to worship the Lord. Moses said, 'The Lord has
commanded you to do all this, so that the dazzling light of his
presence can appear to you.'" Note here in verse 6 the sins of
the people are forgiven and covered.
Verses 22-24 of Leviticus 9 tell us that God appeared and
consumed the sacrifice. This is evidence that He accepted the
We see that the people's sins, the ones committed during the
year, were forgiven and covered so that God could continue to
deal with them for one more year....
The important thing to remember is that their sins were only
covered, they were not taken away. The word "atone" means to
cover, purge or make reconciliation.
Now let us go to Hebrews 10:4: "For it is not possible that the
blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." This is an
important scripture. It states that the blood of bulls and goats
could not take away sin (this blood could only cover their sins).
So under the Old Covenant their sins were covered. God still had
a list of the times they had transgressed His law. This list
could still be used as evidence against them on the day of
But as we learned, under the New Covenant the sins are not just
covered. They are TAKEN AWAY as far as the east is from the west.
They are completely forgotten by God, never to be remembered
again. Under the New Covenant, we can stand before God as a
righteous individual - as one who has never sinned.
The list of sins that God had of our transgressions are nailed to
the stake never again to be remembered (Colossians 2:14 15).
So under the New Testament the blood of Christ will forgive all
sins and then remove these sins forever. This could never happen
under the Old Covenant.
HOLINESS THROUGH THE SACRIFICES
One other point we should be aware of is that man became holy by
the sacrificial system (this is explained in Leviticus chapters 8
and 16) and was kept holy through them. When one committed sins
under the Old Covenant, the only way he could be put back in
contact with God and restored to holiness was through the
sacrificial system. (ONLY TO A POINT WAS THIS TRUE - in the point
of a continued relationship with God, so the Old Covenant could
continue to be in effect between Israel and God. There was NO
sacrifice of any animal that could have made David justified or
holy after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and his follow up
of planning the likely-hood of her husbands death by placing him
in the front lines of Israel's army against her enemies. It was
because of David's DEEP REPENTANCE that the Lord commuted his
death sentence for such sins, to other punishments. David was
saved under the Old Covenant by GRACE through FAITH, the same way
that ALL who will be in the first resurrection will be saved -
Man basically is carnal, subject to sin, a sinner. In order to be
right with the Holy God, however, man must first be made holy.
This can happen only through sacrifice. Man cannot sacrifice
himself, because he is not "without blemish" as a sinner. But a
substitute "without blemish" may die on his behalf. This
substitute must itself be holy and without blemish. Through the
sacrifice of this substitute, a man's life can be redeemed or
bought back or given back to him.
"The substitute which is sacrificed must be 'devoted to the Lord'
for only then is the substitute most holy to the Lord. Leviticus
27:28: 'Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote
unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of
the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every
devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.' The sacrifice must be
totally and utterly destroyed. Leviticus 27:29: 'None devoted,
which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall
surely be put to death.' The Hebrew word used here is the Hebrew
'cherem.' This term describes what Joshua did to the city of
Jericho when he sent it up in smoke to God. So 'the devoted thing
given to the Lord' (verses 2829) cannot ransom itself, though it
is now the 'ashram' or guilt offering. So it must be another who
now becomes the ransom for the sinner, one who is willing to make
the ultimate and absolute commitment for the price of man; and
that can happen only if he be willing to be a 'cherem,' that is,
a total sacrifice. As Paul insists, it is only God himself,
uttering his Word which is both blessing and curse at the same
time, who can do this thing; and it is just this that God
actually does, in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19)" (Quoted from
"Leviticus," by George A. F. Knight).
It is quite obvious that Christians are ***made and kept holy
through the blood of Christ, the perfect sacrifice, ***just as
the people under the Old Covenant were made and kept holy by the
sacrificial system (as pertaining and in view to the Old Covenant
agreement on god's part towards what he had promised Israel -
Keith Hunt). ***For it is through the sacrifice of Christ that we
are declared holy in God's eyes, and it is through His sacrifice
that we can continually remain holy in His eyes.*** (Yes indeed,
see my studies "Saved by Grace" - Keith Hunt).
THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM OF WORSHIP
What purpose did the sacrificial system serve? Was the system of
an interface between God and man? Could the individual, through
the sacrificial system, stay in right-standing with God? Were the
sacrifices a form of worship whereby the individual could express
his love and appreciation for the many blessing God had given
him? Let us see if we can find the answers to these questions.
SACRIFICES - ACTS OF PRAISE
We will see that some of the sacrifices were acts of praise,
thankfulness, homage, and submission to the Holy One of Israel.
They were symbols of man's gratitude to God, and also symbols of
man's dependence, devotion and confidence in God.
THE DIFFERENT MEANINGS OF THE SACRIFICES
For an overview of the sacrifices or offerings and the offerer,
we can go to Jukes' book "The Law of the Offerings," pp 44-45:
"What, then, is the OFFERING? what the PRIEST? what the OFFERER?
Christ is the offering, Christ is the priest, Christ is the
offerer. Such and so manifold are the relations in which Christ
has stood for man and to man, that no one type or set of types
can adequately represent the fullness of them. Thus we have many
distinct classes of types of sacrifices, and further variations
in these distinct classes of sacrifices, ***each of which gives
us one particular view of Christ, either in His character, or in
His work, or person.*** But see Him as we may, for sinners He
fills more than one relation. This causes the necessity of many
emblems. First He comes as offerer, but we cannot see the offerer
without the offering, and the offerer is himself the offering,
and He who is both offerer and offering is also the priest.
Christ, as a man under the law, was our substitute when He stood
in our stead before God as offerer (His own body). He took 'the
body prepared for God' as His offering, that in it and by it He
might reconcile us to God. Thus, when the animal sacrifices and
offerings had wholly failed, when at man's hand God would no more
accept them: 'then said He, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book
it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, O God: yea, Thy
law is within my heart' (Hebrews 10:5-9; Psalm 40:6-8). Thus His
body was His offering, willingly offered. Then, as Priest, He
took the blood into the holiest of Holies. As Offerer, we see Him
under the law, standing as a substitute for us, to fulfil all
righteousness. As Priest, we have Him presented as the Mediator,
God's messenger between Himself and Israel. As the Offering, He
is seen the innocent victim, a sweet savour to God, yet bearing
the sin and dying for it.
Thus in the selfsame type, the offerer sets forth Christ in His
person as the One who became man to meet God's requirements. The
offering presents Him in His character and work as the victim by
which the atonement was ratified, while the priest gives us a
third picture of Him, in His official relation as the appointed
mediator and intercessor. Accordingly, when we have a type in
which the offering is most prominent, the leading thought will be
Christ the victim. On the other hand, when the offerer or priest
predominates, it will respectively be Christ as man, or Christ as
mediator" (End of Jukes quote).
What he is saying here is that Christ is pictured as (1) the One
bringing the offering, (2) the One being offered, and (3) the
Priest giving the offering.
THE SACRIFICES THAT WERE ACTS OF PRAISE
THE BURNT OFFERING (Leviticus 1:3-7)
expresses one's individual self surrender to God's will. It
pictures the faithful Israelite giving a sweet-smelling offering
as a gift to God. In the burnt offering we see a method where one
can come before God with something valuable given by the giver
and also pleasing to God. Sin does not enter into this sacrifice.
It is strictly a means of an individual expressing his feelings
to God. This offering, then, is strictly a means of worshipping
THE MEAL OFFERING
is also a burnt offering. It is an offering that is pleasing to
God. It pictures the individual in perfect obedience to God. It
has basically the same meaning as the burnt offering. Again this
offering has nothing to do with sin. It is a means whereby one
could worship God by bringing God his offering - something
valuable to the offerer. It is also God's food (Leviticus 2:1-6).
"In the Burnt or Meat offering, we have the offering satisfying
God; all consumed by His fire, and ascending to Him as in the
Burnt offering; or shared, as in the Meat offering, with His
priests. But in all this, though God was satisfied, the offerer
got no part of the offering. The Burnt and Meat offerings were
the emblem of the perfect fulfillment of the law's requirements.
In them we see man (in Christ) offering to God that which
perfectly satisfies Him. God finds food in the offering, and
declares it to be very good. But in all this the offerer has
nothing" (ibed., Jukes)
THE PEACE OFFERING
is also called the fellowship offering and pictures the
individual's gratitude to God for his bounteous blessings and
mercies. It also pictures God, man, and the High Priest eating
and fellowshipping together as a family. It also pictures a
family feast or a community feast where friends and neighbors get
together with God to have fellowship (Leviticus 3:117).
What we see here in the peace offering is a means for the
different ones to get together to fellowship and worship God.
This offering has nothing to do with sin. This offering, as was
the burnt offering, is a means whereby the people could worship
"In its contrast may be sufficient points: (1) It was and, (2)
The offerer, God, and the priest were fed by it. Not as offered
with any reference to sin, but rather as showing man giving to
God that which is sweet and pleasant to Him.
The second point by which the Peace offering differed from others
was that in it the offerer, the priest, and God, all fed
together. This was the case in no offering but the Peace
offering. In this they had something in common. Here each had a
In the Peace-offering the offerer feasts. In other words, he
finds satisfaction, and feeds upon the same offering of which a
part has already satisfied God. For, a part of the Peace offering
(the fat, the blood, the inwards) must have already been consumed
on the altar before the offerer can touch his part.
The offerer feasts with God. Man (in Christ) and God find common
food. The offering is shared between them. The thought here is
not, as in the burnt-offering, merely that God finds satisfaction
in the offering. It includes this, but it goes further. It shows
communion, for God and man share together.
Is Christ not, as man, God's heir and first-born, the One in whom
His soul delights, the One with whom God holds unbroken
fellowship, to whom He reveals all His mind? And does Jesus hold
this alone? Are we not, in Him, called to the same communion? Are
we not in all His fellow-heirs, His joy, His bride, His members?
The Peace-offering answers the question when it shows us, man,
feasting with God." (ibed., Jukes).
***The Burnt offering, The Peace offering, The Meal offering and
The Freewill offering were all freewill offerings brought to God
by the individual because the offerer wanted to, not because he
had to. This was his way of telling God, 'Thank you for
everything.' These offerings picture us as God's children
bringing our offering to God and telling Him, 'Thanks for
everything; we are grateful for all You have done for us.' We
show our gratitude today by going to God in prayer, through
Christ, thanking Him for all His bounteous blessings and mercies;
and by contributing to His work here on earth.***
SACRIFICES DEALING WITH SINS
King David knew God would forgive him when he asked: "Have mercy
upon me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; according unto
the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before
me. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in
your sight, that you might be justified when you speak, and be
clear when you judge. Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in
sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you desire truth in the
inward parts, and in the hidden part you shall make me know
wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and
I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:1-7).
Paul also dealt with this same thing in Romans, the seventh
chapter, verses 15-25. But notice verses 24-25 which read: "Oh,
wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of
this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So, then,
with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh,
the law of sin."
Here we see that the sacrifice of Christ in the form of the sin
offering is what saved Paul from his human nature.
THE SIN OFFERING
THE SIN OFFERING was offered for the sins done in ignorance, or
the unknown sin, by the individual. It was given to show God that
the one giving the sacrifice recognized that he was a sinner and
was bound to commit sins that he was not aware of. It shows God
that he realized that he was human with human nature that is
subject to sin. And that being human, he had sin dwelling in him.
It pictures him asking God to purge that sin from him and make
him pure (Leviticus 4:1-35).
This was not an offering where the individual came and confessed
his known sins, one by one. (This was done in the next offering
we will consider, called the Trespass offering).
Once again let's go to Jukes' "Law of the Offerings" for more
light on the sin offering:
"With our shortsightedness, our inability to see beyond the
surface, we naturally look at what man does, rather that at what
he is; and while we are willing to allow that he does evil, we
perhaps scarcely think that he is evil. But God judges what we
are as well as what we do; our sin, the sin in us, as much as our
trespasses. In His sight, sin in us, our evil nature, is as
clearly seen as our trespasses, which are but the fruit of that
nature. He needs not wait to see the fruit put forth. He knows
the root is evil, and so will be the buddings."
As we have seen THE TRESPASS OFFERING was given when a man
actually sinned. It pictures one who is truly sorry he has
sinned. It pictures one who is confessing his sin (crime) before
God and then making restitution for that sin (crime). If he does
all of this then God will forgive him. Now to continue in Jukes'
Law of the Offerings.
"Now the distinction between the SIN and TRESPASS OFFERINGS is
just this: - the one is for sin in our nature (this is the sin
offering), the other for the fruits of it (the trespass
offering). And a careful examination of the particulars of the
offering is all that is needed to make this manifest. Thus in the
Sin offering, no particular act of sin is mentioned, but a
certain person is seen standing confessedly as a sinner: in the
Trespass offering certain acts are enumerated, and the person
never appears. Of course, in the sin offering, though the man is
seen rather than his acts, proof must needs be brought that he is
a sinner. No definite act of trespass is seen here: for it is 'an
offering for sin,' not an offering for trespass. In the Trespass
offering, on the other hand, it is exactly the reverse. We have
nothing but one detail after another of particular wrongs and
offenses; the first class being of wrongs done against God, the
other of wrongs against our neighbor.
In the SIN OFFERING, the atonement is seen not for trespasses the
fruits of sin, but for sin itself within us. Look at the man who
has somewhat grown in grace; not only what he has done, but what
he is, is his sorrow. With such it is not so much this or that
act of trespass, which leaves the question of guilt on the
conscience; but it is the constant sense of indwelling evil, and
that 'when we would do good, evil is present with us.' This or
that particular act of iniquity we have confessed, it is past,
and we believe it pardoned: but this ever-remaining, ever-
struggling sin within us, it is this more than aught else that
burdens us. True, 'the Spirit in our hearts cries Abba,
Father,' and 'the Spirit in us lusts against the flesh;' but we
find that all this instead of improving the flesh only manifests
it, and shows how it 'lusts against the Spirit.' To those who are
thus painfully learning what they are (a sinner), what joy to
know Christ died for this as well as for trespasses; and that
this indwelling sin, as much as our acts of wickedness, was
equally confessed and put away by His sacrifice" (End of quote
from Jukes, page 151-152).
Let us go to Leviticus 5:16 to understand the Trespass offering a
little better. Quoting again from Jukes:
"And he shall make amends for the harm that he has done in the
holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it
unto the priest; and the priest shall make an atonement for him
with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven
Sin is the evil of our nature; and the offering for this, the Sin
Offering, is for what we are. In the case of trespass, the
offering is for what we have done, for the actual wrong committed
against some one.
Now it follows from the distinct nature of these things, that the
atonement or satisfaction for each must differ, in measure at
least; for that which would fully satisfy justice in reference to
sin would by no means do so in reference to trespass. In the case
of sin - that is, our sinful nature, where no actual robbery or
wrong had been committed against anyone - justice would be fully
satisfied by the death and suffering of the sinner. But the mere
suffering and death of the sinner would not make satisfaction for
the wrong of trespass.
For the victim merely to die for trespass, would leave the
injured party a loser still. The trespasser indeed might be
punished, but the wrong and injury would still remain. The
trespasser's death would not repair the trespass, nor restore
those rights which another had been robbed of. To make
satisfaction in the Trespass offering, there is not only judgment
on the victim, but restitution also; the right of which another
had been defrauded is satisfied; the wrong fully repaid.
In a word, atonement for trespass implies restitution; without
this, though the trespasser is judged, the claim of trespass
remains still unsatisfied. Not only is the original wrong paid,
but a fifth part more is paid with it in the Trespass offering.
But while this was the import of giving the fifth part, yet by
the addition of this fifth the injured party became in truth a
gainer. So far from losing by trespass, he received more back
again. Its payment testified that he to who it was given had now
not only his original right, but a still further claim upon him
who wronged him.
The fact that God has been wronged by man, and that Christ stands
for man confessing trespasses, gives God a claim upon Him, not
only for the original right, but for more that the first claimed
holy things. So, too, because man has been injured by man, and
because Christ stands for man as his substitute, therefore man,
injured by trespass, has a claim on Christ, not for the original
right only, but for greater blessings" (Jukes, page 185).
So we end the study from 1985 by the Biblical Church of God. The
book by Jukes "Law of the Offerings" is a very fine book indeed,
a copy of which I have in my library. I do not know if it is
still being published, but your local Library may have it or can
obtain it through their inter-Library loan department. I
recommend every Christian reads it.
We see in the sacrificial offerings JESUS the Messiah. He was the
ONE sacrifice that could not only cover sins but blot them out,
take them away, as if they never existed, and so ALL who were
called and chosen, granted the heart of repentance, and who loved
the commandments of God, who had a mindset of living and serving
the Lord, could come under the "Spiritual New Covenant" no matter
when they lived on earth, and could be saved by grace through
faith in THE sacrifice of the Messiah God. King David of ancient
Israel is the classical example, of those who lived before the
first coming of the Messiah, as under what is called the Old
Covenant age. Maybe the apostle Paul is the classic example of
being saved under what is called the New Covenant. But both men
were saved EXACTLY the same way. Both were saved by GRACE through
FAITH, in Jesus' blood sacrifice on the cross.
If you have not done so, you need to read and meditate, on my
study called "Saved by Grace" - Keith Hunt
Entered on this Website, October 2003