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Hebrews 9:1-10 – OT

07.04.2011

Leviticus 16

Nothing high concept this week, just a few elements of the story in Leviticus that I think are worth digging into a little bit more.

16:1 | Aaron’s sons’ death is glossed over in this passage, but they entered the Holy of Holies without purifying themselves beforehand, and they offered what Lev 10 calls ‘unauthorized fire’ in that it was a self-initiated sacrifice rather than one commanded by God.  The text also suggests they may have been drunk at the time, which would have been an obvious sign of disrespect and undervaluing their holy calling.

16:13 | Aaron is commanded to use the censer to make the Holy of Holies so cloudy as to obscure the Mercy Seat in order that he (or whoever the successive high priest is) will not accidentally see the Lord and die.  Both this item and the above one about Aaron’s sons emphasize just how much of the Levitical law was aimed at demonstrating the gulf between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness.

16:21 | This is where we get the concept and term of ‘scapegoat.’  God is setting the pattern here of substitutionary atonement*, the idea that your sins can be borne by another and taken away so they won’t be counted against you.  Obviously, the scapegoat is a model of Jesus, who takes our sin and filth away.

16:31 | I think it’s interesting that this passage institutes Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, as an eternal statute.  The people of God are instructed to observe this ceremony ‘forever.’  How does that translate between testaments?  Again, why don’t we celebrate Jewish holidays in the church?

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* I’m sure I’m using the wrong theological term here.  As always, remember that I am but an amateur…

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From → [constant], [ritual]

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