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And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;
THE OFFERINGS FOR ATONEMENT DAY
This chapter contains the ritual of the great Day of Atonement, when the high priest entered within the veil, and in virtue of the blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat, and still more of the faith exercised therein, Israel was cleansed from every sin before the Lord, Lev_16:30. The death of his two sons acted as a solemn warning that Aaron should not deviate from the prescribed ceremonial in the smallest particular.
Every step is worthy of notice, each illustrates some feature in the sacrifice of Calvary, each is meant by the Holy Spirit of God to signify something. See Heb_9:8-9. The first goat was “for the Lord,” representing the work of Christ in its Godward aspect. The second, like the second bird in Lev_14:6, signified its manward aspect. It is necessary that we should personally avail ourselves of its efficacy. Our faith must “lay its hand on that dear head of thine!” It was necessary that Aaron, as himself a sinner, must first offer for his own sins; and his offerings had to be repeated every year. See the triumphant contrast of Heb_9:24.
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
The loneliness of the high priest, Lev_16:17; the sprinkling of blood within the veil upon the mercy seat, Lev_16:16; the fragrant incense, emblematic of a well-pleasing offering, Lev_16:13; the confession of sin and its bearing-away into a solitary land, Lev_16:22; the linen garments of simplicity and humility, Lev_16:23; the destruction of the carcasses of the beasts “without the camp,” Lev_16:27; the ultimate coming forth of the high priest to bless the people, bringing them the assurance of a finished and accepted work, Lev_16:24, compare Heb_9:28 all these points are carefully elaborated in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The fate of the scapegoat was very moving! Laden with the sins of the people, it is led forth through the crowd of penitents, innocent yet execrated, dumb yet eloquent of the doom of the sin bearer, escaping death by the knife, to be forsaken even unto death! So Jesus died, with the cry of “Forsaken” on His lips.