The Weekly Perspective

by Burke Shade, Assistant Pastor

Throughout each year in the life of Israel, the blood of dead animals was spread on the furniture of the sanctuary so that the sanctuary bore the guilt and impurity of the worshipper. The priesthood, and the High Priest, ate of those purification offerings, and so bore the sins of the people in themselves. On the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16, the blood of the bull for Aaron and his family, and the blood of the goat for Israel was brought into the very throne room of Yahweh and sprinkled on his feet, on the covering of the Ark. These Purification offerings brought the very sins of the people and laid them upon Yahweh; he bore the burden of her sin, of his bride. So in two ways the Priesthood (and Israel) was cleansed and revitalized; the purification offerings and the transferring of the sins of Israel that the High Priest bore to the scapegoat.

But Israel’s life with God was at a distance, since the blood of bulls and goats cannot give life. We not only need the removal of sin; we also need holiness to live with God. This all points to Jesus, the Lamb of God, who removes sin from us by bearing it upon himself, but who also rises from the dead and unites us to himself by washing us and giving us to eat of himself. Hence Paul’s encouraging words about Jesus in Romans 4.25, “who was delivered up for our trespasses AND raised for our justification/ righteousness.” In him the veil of separation is torn down and we are brought into God’s presence!