Today you should read: Leviticus 16
Today we are talking about an important theological idea: the atonement. This idea is everywhere in the Scriptures. The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology says, “The Bible’s central message is atonement, that is, that God has provided a way for humankind to come back into harmonious relation with him.” Atonement is a sacrifice that has the purpose of reconciliation.
Leviticus 16 talks about the need for atonement through the sin offerings that we have already looked at. Sacrificial, substitutionary atonement was seen immediately following sin entering the world in Genesis 3. After Adam and Eve sinned, God entered the garden, uncovered their sin and brokenness, and then provided them with animal skins to cover themselves with. They had attempted to cover themselves with coverings of their own making, but the only thing that could truly cover their sin before God was a sacrifice that God provided. So in this chapter we see a continuation of this provision in the sacrificial system.
For us, passages like this should remind us of the ultimate, substitutionary atonement brought to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. While the sacrificial system was an act of grace, it was just a shadow of the true and finished work of Jesus on the cross to atone for our sin. The sacrifice of Jesus once and for all took away the curse of sin and death. Remind yourself of the beautiful message of the gospel today, remembering that while you can do nothing to atone for your sin, Jesus paid it all on your behalf.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate
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