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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 16

Verses 1-34

  1. Intro:
    1. P.I. team share: Bill Wolter & Ryan Schaffner will be sharing on theirmissions experience.
    2. What do we know about the Day of Atonement?
      1. Q: It happened how many times in a year? (1 day)
      2. Q: What was significant about the Day of Atonement for the children of Israel? (Their sins were atoned for)
      3. Q: Was this actual ceremony for the priest a matter of life & death? (yes – ch.10 Nadab & Abihu)
      4. Q: The Jews call this day what? (Yom Kippur/day-atonement)
  2. PREP THE PRIEST! (1-5)
    1. (1) This chapter picks up from ch.10.
    2. (2) How sad! Once a year; How Joyful! Access to God; How Grandiose! Perpetual access now for us!
  3. IDENTIFY THE SACRIFICE! (6-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​Atonement = to make amends, to set things right. (Also to remove by paying a price)
      1. It involves Substitution & Satisfaction.
      2. Substitution – Key phrase “on behalf of” (Jesus didn’t die for Himself, but for us)
      3. Satisfaction – Jesus satisfied God’s holy justice. He received His wrath for us.
        1. I emailed a Jewish Website(researching their view of atonement today) today because they had an article of a word we looked at in Lev.4 “sin” he said, “ it doesn’t mean something evil, but it means to ‘miss the mark’…simply to ‘make a mistake’!
        2. When I came down off the ceiling I emailed the question, “then why the need for blood, why the need for the death of an innocent animal…if it was just a lil mistake?”
      4. John Stott, “We strongly reject, therefore, every explanation of the death of Christ which does not have at its center the principle of ‘satisfaction through Substitution’ indeed divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. ”
      5. Vance Havner said, ”We’re getting people to say “Here I am before they have ever said, “Woe is me!”
  4. ATONEMENT FOR THE PRIEST! (11-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12-14) Incense before Blood!
      1. Incense preceded the blood, because the purpose of salvation is the Glory of God!
        1. ​​​​​​​Jesus died not simply to save lost sinners & give them life, but that God might be glorified!
        2. See Jn.17:1-5 (esp.1 "Father, the hour has come(the cross). Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,”)
        3. (More verses Eph.1:6,12,14)
    2. (13) Riddle: “When is a seat not a seat?” – When it is a mercy seat!
      1. A Mercy seat is no seat at all.
      2. It was a place, a place w/a purpose.
      3. Martin Luther came up w/that phrase “Mercy Seat” in his famous translation of the bible into German(in 1534).
      4. It is from1 word “kapporoth” meaning “covering”.
        1. It is more importantly a place. A place where God’s holy love covered the sinner.
  5. ATONEMENT FOR THE PLACE! (15-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​Why did the “Holy” place have to be atoned for? Wasn’t it holy already?
      1. Because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, & since the Tabernacle was the place for God to meet sinful man, it must be ceremonially pure. No taint of the man dare appear in it.
  6. ATONEMENT FOR THE PEOPLE! (20-28)
    1. ​​​​​​​(20) This verse shows the sacrifice was accepted.
    2. (20-22) The Goats! (azazel)
      1. The 2 goats represented 2 aspects of the work of the cross. The Satisfaction(the death of a goat) & the Substitution(the conferring of sin to the 2nd goat)
        1. This took place ultimately through Christ’s Death & Res.
        2. Rom.4:25 “(Jesus)who was delivered up(cross) because of our offenses, and was raised(Res.) because of our justification.”
      2. 1st a goat needed to die!
        1. An Expiation(to make amends) was in order. Blood needed to be shed.
      3. The 2nd Goat was the Scapegoat - means “to remove.”
        1. Our sins needed to be removed!
        2. This setting free of the live goat, pictured God’s forgiveness of their sins. But it 1st required the death of the other goat!
      4. “Salvation is free...but it is not cheap!”
    3. Q: Ever have a friend who is constantly tormented by uncertainty? Was he/she really forgiven? Did he/she really believe? Has God accepted him/her?
      1. Usually after every conversation they seem relieved only to walk away & doubt again.
      2. Lev 16 reminds us that God doesn’t intend for you or I believer, to doubt. He wants us to know we are forgiven. He wants us to worship Him in the full assurance of faith.
      3. Q: What conveys this assurance? - The image of the scapegoat!
      4. Q: What does the high priest transfer onto the goat? (note: triple “all” vs.21)
      5. Q: Then where is the goat led? - The wilderness!…never to be seen in the community of Israel again!
        1. Explain the wilderness: driving on the backside of the Mount of Olives (it is dead!).
        2. This is the wilderness of Judea. – There is the “Eastern slope of the Great Divide”.
        3. It extends to the Dead Sea. – The rain bearing winds from the Med. never reach this area.
        4. This is the wilderness both John the B. & Jesus remained in for a time.
      6. David understood this! See Psalm 103:10-13 (note “removed”)
      7. Call up this image anytime you feel uncertain about your relationship w/God.
        1. Imagine “all” your sins being carried away, not by Israel’s scapegoat, but by Jesus Himself!
      8. So, believer your sins are gone! - As far as the East is from the West! – you truly are free! – Free to worship God & to give Him thanks!
  7. PURPOSE FOR THE ATONEMENT! (29-34)
    1. ​​​​​​​(24) The Lord Jesus was like the High Priest “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Rom.9:11,12)
      1. Both - Did the work alone! (11)
      2. Both - Laid aside their garments of Glory! (23)
        1. Phil.2:7,8 “…but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
      3. Both - Sanctified themselves! (24)
        1. Jn.17:19 “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”
      4. One difference, Jesus did not offer any sacrifice for Himself, being sinless.
        1. He Himself is the final sacrifice for the sins of the world.
    2. (30) “Clean from ALL your sins”! – Oh happy day!
      1. “When Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross, it was not the blood of a martyr; or the blood of one man for another; it was the life of God poured out to redeem the world.” Oswald Chambers
    3. (34) “A statute forever”? Then why did we stop?
      1. Illustration: Faulty Thermostat!
        1. We constantly had to manually turn it off because it would get stuck in “on” mode. (Eli panting at front door, candles melted)
        2. One day I got wise & bought a new Digital Thermostat that works very well automatically.
        3. We can still operate it manually but why would be. The problem has been fixed & does a much better job then we could ever do, even by standing there day after day watching the temp fluctuate.
      2. Our problem has been “fixed” on the cross.
        1. Some continue the “sacrifice of the Mass”! - Others continue the “charities”!
        2. “It is finished!”
    4. Q: What new appreciation do you have regarding Christ’s death?
    5. Q: Do you have more confidence in the fact that your sins have been paid for?
    6. Q: Was there anything in you that required God to love you, or to take steps to love you, when he looked forward & thought of you as a sinner in rebellion against Him?
    7. Q: Does this help you to appreciate God’s love for you, as a person who didn’t deserve that love at all?
    8. Q: How does knowing that you are forgiven affect your feelings about God? About yourself? About your past sins and failures?
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 16". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-16.html. 2017.