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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7308 Atonement, Day of
7308 Atonement, Day of

7308 Atonement, Day of

The most holy day of Israel’s year (the tenth day of the seventh month) on which the high priest entered the Most Holy Place to offer sacrifices for the sins of the nation. Hebrews sees this day as symbolic of the achievements of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The priestly rituals on the Day of Atonement

The priest’s own preparations See also Lev 16:4,6,11-14

The preparation of two male goats Lev 16:7-10 The sacrifice atones for the people’s sins: Ex 30:10; Lev 16:15-19 The scapegoat symbolically carries away the people’s sins: Lev 16:10,20-22

Concluding procedures Lev 16:23-28

Additional offerings on the Day of Atonement Nu 29:8-11

Features unique to the Day of Atonement

The priest entered the Most Holy Place Heb 9:7 See also Lev 16:2

Sacrifice was made for all the sins of all the people Lev 16:30 See also Ex 30:10; Lev 16:16-17,21-22,34

It was a festival requiring humility and fasting Nu 29:7 This provides a contrast to all other religious festivals which were times of joyous celebration and feasting. “deny yourselves” includes the idea of fasting. See also Lev 16:29,31; Lev 23:27-32; Ac 27:9

The Day of Atonement is paralleled and contrasted with the achievements of Jesus Christ in his death

Jesus Christ entered the Most Holy Place Heb 9:24 See also Heb 6:19-20; Heb 9:11-12

Jesus Christ’s blood was offered in sacrifice Heb 9:12 See also Ro 3:25

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice was outside the city gates Heb 13:11-12

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice was once for all Heb 9:25-26 See also Heb 10:12

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice gives inner rather than ritual cleansing Heb 9:13-14 See also Heb 9:9-10

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice gives access to God Heb 10:19-20 On the Day of Atonement no-one else was allowed to be in the Tent of Meeting, let alone in the Most Holy Place. Access into the intimate presence of God is now the right of all believers. See also Lev 16:17; Mt 27:51; Eph 2:18; Eph 3:12

See also

2306Christ, high priest
2315Christ as Lamb
2324Christ as Saviour
2410cross, the
6606access to God
7376high priest
7396Most Holy Place

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