The OT laid down complex regulations by which the guilt of sin could be removed through the sacrificial system. Particular emphasis was placed upon the role of the high priest, who was required to make annual atonement for the sins of the people.
The Day of Atonement provided for the removal of the nation’s sinLev 16:34See alsoEx 30:10; Lev 16:1-33 The nation’s sin was atoned for by sprinkling the atonement cover in the Most Holy Place with the blood of the sacrificial goat; the removal of the people’s sin was symbolised by the driving of the scapegoat into the wilderness; Heb 9:7
The atonement coverEx 25:17-22The locating of God’s presence above the atonement cover in the tabernacle demonstrated that it was only on the basis of atonement that God could accompany his people. See alsoEx 30:6; Lev 16:2; Nu 7:89
Atonement was effected by the blood of the sacrificeLev 17:11The blood signified that the life of the animal had been given in place of that of the worshipper. See alsoHeb 9:22
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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