Faithlife Sermons

The Promised Priest

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Intro

Alright. Go ahead and grab a seat.
We are in the middle of our Christmas series called The Promised Christ where we are taking an in depth look at how Christ serves us as our Mediator between us and God.
All throughout the OT, God promised to save his people from their sins by sending the Christ, by sending his Messiah, the savior of the world.
And God ultimately fulfilled this promise by sending his Son, Jesus, who was born of a virgin around 2,000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem.
nd God ultimately fulfilled this promise by sending his Son, Jesus, who was born of a virgin around 2,000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem.
Jesus is the Christ who was promised. He is our Mediator who reconciles us to God through his sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection.
Without Christ, you and I would not be able to worship the One True God because throughit is in him alone that we are reconciled to God He has reconciled us to God through his sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection so that we could be forgiven and worship the One True God.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
As our Mediator, Jesus reconciles us to God by serving us as our Prophet, Priest and King. Theologically, these are referred to as the three offices of Christ.
You see, in the OT, God lived in relationship with his people through three types of mediators.
There were the prophets who spoke God’s Word and called Israel to repentance.
There were the priests who led God’s people in worship and offered sacrifices on their behalf.
And there were the kings who led God’s people to obey the covenant and walk in relationship with God.
And Christ, being our perfect Mediator, fulfills all three of these offices in one person, Jesus, the Son of God.
To help you understand, think of Christ like Jesus’ job title, and of the offices as his job description.
As our Prophet, Priest, and King, Jesus serves us as our perfect Mediator and saves us from our sin as the Christ of God.
Last week, we focused on how Christ is our Prophet who revealed God’s glory and prophesied, or spoke on God’s behalf, that he alone gives eternal life.
This week, we are going to focus on Christ as our perfect Priest who atones for our sin through the sacrifice of his blood.
In the OT, the priests were the ones called to lead God’s people in worship and most of their job dealt with offering sacrifices for sin.
It wasn’t that these sacrifices actually saved people. After all, the author of Hebrews said it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
But what the sacrifices did do, was point God’s people to how the Messiah would ultimately save them from their sin as their perfect Priest, while at the same time providing a temporary way to deal with Israel’s sin until God sent him.
So even in the OT, God’s people weren’t saved by obeying the law or through animal sacrifices. They, like us, were saved through faith in the Messiah.
They just happened to look forward for a Messiah who was to come whereas we look backward to the Messiah who has come, Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sin through his death on the cross.
And the absolute pinnacle of the ministry of the priesthood, the clearest picture of what the Messiah would ultimately do for God’s people as their perfect Priest, was the Day of Atonement.
And as we study the Day of Atonement, my big Idea for this sermon is that Christ is our Great High Priest who makes atonement for our sin by offering his own blood to forgive us and make us clean.
So I want you to turn to so we can see just what God was trying to show his people about the Christ through the Day of Atonement and how he would ultimately save them from their sin.
First let me give you a little bit of background of the book of Leviticus.
My big Idea for this sermon is
Leviticus is one of those books of the Bible that really confuses Christians and is even very difficult for many Christians to read because it essentially is a book of commands that the people of Israel had to obey to worship the Lord.
It is usually the killer of your Bible reading plan because most Christians can’t seem to see why the book of Leviticus is beneficial to them and their walk as a Christian.
For them it is little more than a book that details all the Laws of the Old Covenant which Christians are not bound to obey because Christ has already obeyed them perfectly on our behalf.
But Leviticus really is a glorious book of the Bible and some have even gone so far to call it the seedbed of New Testament theology.
So Here’s why Leviticus is so beneficial for you as a Christian to understand.
If there is one big idea that permeates every word in the book of Leviticus it is that God is holy. That God is pure and perfect in righteousness, that he is light and in him there is no darkness at all, and because of that, his very nature abhors the presence of sin.
Thus, Leviticus teaches us some pretty bad news. That God in his holiness, cannot accept sinful people into his presence.
But on the other hand, Leviticus also proclaims good news. That God provided a way to deal with sin and allow sinners into his holy presence through sacrifices.
So all of those commands in the book of Leviticus that seem foreign or confusing are meant to show you just how holy God is, and all the instructions about sacrifices show how God, in his grace, atones for his people’s sins so they can worship him.
Leviticus is a book all about Jesus because it points to how God would ultimately atone for sin in the death of Christ and invite us to worship him in holiness, and this is most clearly seen in the Day of Atonement.

I. The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement occured once a year and was performed by the High Priest. It was the highest holy day of Israel’s worship and the biggest day on their calendar every year because it was the day that laid the foundation for the rest of Israel’s worship.
The Day of Atonement did a few things:

The High Priest

For one, it atoned for Israel’s sin so that God could continue dwelling in the midst of his people.
It also purified the tabernacle (and later the temple), as well as all the instruments Israel used to worship the Lord so that the worship they offered to God would be holy and acceptable to him.
Basically, The Day of Atonement was the ceremony that allowed God’s people to live in relationship with him in his presence and worship him as God.
and the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.
And it all started with the High Priest preparing himself to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people.
He shall put on the holy linen coat and shall have the linen undergarment on his body, and he shall tie the linen sash around his waist, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water and then put them on.
Now ordinarily, when the priests would offer sacrifices they would only wash their hands and their feet. But on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would bathe his entire body.
This was to make sure that the high priest would not enter the Holy of Holies with any kind of dirt or impurity on his body because the Holy of Holies was where God’s very presence dwelt in the midst of his people.
And if the high priest entered into God’s presence unclean or impure in any way, then he would literally die for his sin.
Not only that, but the high priest also took off the high priestly garments that he normally wore to show dignity and glory as the religious leader of the One True God, and instead would put on a simple linen outfit.
The simplicity of these clothes were meant to remind the high priest and the people that they could not enter God’s presence arrogantly.
It was solely by God’s grace that they were able to live in relationship with the living God.
Then, after the high priest would prepare himself, he would offer sacrifices for his own sins.
; But in this way Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with a bull from the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering... Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.
So the priest would make two sacrifices for himself.
The first was a bull as a sin offering and the second was a ram as a burnt offering.
The sin offering was a sacrifice that paid the penalty of sin on behalf of the one offering it. The wages of sin is death so when someone would kill an animal as a sin offering that animal would serve as a substitute for the sinner dying in their place.
A bull was offered because it was the most prized sacrificial animal, and if the priest was going to offer sacrifices on behalf of all the people of Israel, then they had to offer the best sacrifice possible for their own sin.
And the high priest would take the blood of the bull and enter the holy of holies. Now, if you look on this picture (Tabernacle), the holy of holies was where God’s very presence dwelt in the midst of his people so in order to protect himself from looking upon the glory of the Lord and dying for his sin, the priest would take a censer full of coals to fill the holy of holies with smoke to veil God’s glory.
Then he would take the blood of the bull and sprinkle it on the mercy seat which we will talk about in a moment.
After that, the priest offered the ram as a burnt offering to make atonement for the himself.
Atonement is the word we use to describe how we are reconciled to God.
The Hebrew word for atonement means to purge or wipe clean. So when someone has their sin atoned for, their sin is purged and through the blood of the sacrifice they are made clean.
Basically, the burnt offering was an offering that cleansed someone from their sin and reconciled that person to God to worship him.
Then, after the priest offered sacrifices for his own sin, he would offer sacrifices on behalf of the people.
; And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering...Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel.
So after the high priest offered sacrifices for himself, he took the sacrifices from the people to offer to the Lord.
Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering, 10 but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.
And these sacrifices were two goats and one ram.
The ram was used for the same purpose as the priest’s ram. It was to be sacrificed as a burnt offering to the Lord after all the other sacrifices to make atonement for Israel so that they could once again worship the Lord.
Where we want to focus our attention is on the two goats.
Each goat had a specific purpose to symbolically deal with Israel’s sin.
Upon receiving the two goats, the high priest would take each goat to the entrance of the tent of meeting where the Lord’s presence dwelt and he would cast lots for each goat.
Think of lots like rolling the dice or drawing straws.
And casting lots determined which goat was to be for the Lord and which was to be for Azazel.
Azazel is a debated word that we don’t exactly know the meaning of, but most likely it is the general name used to refer to the desolate wilderness far from God’s people which we will see the importance of in just a moment.

Sin Offering

The goat that was for the Lord was to be offered as a sin offering.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
; And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering...Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
If you remember from earlier, sin offerings were sacrificed to the Lord in order to pay the penalty of sin which is death.
In this sacrifice, God would pour out his wrath against sin on this goat in the place of the one who offered in, and in the case of the Day of Atonement, it was all the people of Israel.
It this way, the goat sacrificed as a sin offering was a sacrifice of propitiation.
Now propitiation is not a familiar word to most Christians even though it is the very backbone of our faith.
A sacrifice of propitiation is a sacrifice offered to God in order to satisfy his wrath against sin. In other words, the sacrifice would act as a substitute in the place of the sinner to take the penalty for the very sin that invoked God’s wrath in the first place..
Then after offering this sacrifice, the priest would take the blood of the sin offering and just like he did with the blood of the bull, enter the holy of holies and sprinkle the blood of the goat on the mercy seat.
The mercy seat was made of gold and sat on the Ark (which is just another way of saying chest) of the Covenant.
It was the base of the two cherubim which were gold figures of angels. says that God would dwell with his people enthroned on the cherubim above the mercy seat.
Its name comes from the same Hebrew word that means “to atone.” So what’s significant about that is that when the priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat, it was a way of acknowledging that the only way Israel could be forgiven was by God’s mercy in providing a substitutionary sacrifice on their behalf.
Thus, the mercy seat was where God atoned for his people’s sins by pouring out his wrath and satisfying his anger against sin through the blood of a substitutionary sacrifice.
What’s also significant about the mercy seat is its placement. The ark of the covenant held the tablets of stone upon which God wrote the ten commandments. So the mercy seat sitting between the tablets of the covenant
Thus, the mercy seat was where God showed mercy to his people and atoned for their sins by pouring out his wrath and satisfying his anger against sin on the blood of the substitutionary sacrifice.
After this, the priest would then take the blood and sprinkle it on the altar outside the tent of meeting where sacrifices were offered the rest of the year to sanctify it once again and open the door for Israel to continue to worship the Lord.
Then, after the priest was done with the goat of the sin offering, the priest would take the live goat to prepare it for sacrifice.

Scapegoat

And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. 22 The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.
When the priest would lay his hands on the head of the goat and confess the sins of the people, he was symbolically transferring the burden of Israel’s sin and guilt from the people onto the goat.
Have you ever heard the term scapegoat? Someone who takes all the blame on behalf of someone else? This is where that term comes from.
Then, instead of killing this goat, they would chase it off into the wilderness, far away from the people of Israel.
In this way, the scapegoat would carry away all the sin and iniquities of God’s people effectively cleansing them from their sin.
Where the goat sacrificed as a sin offering served as a sacrifice of propitiation that satisfied God’s wrath by paying the penalty of sin, the scapegoat serves as a sacrifice of expiation.
A sacrifice of expiation would remove someone’s guilt of sin and make them clean. It effectively canceled someones debt of sin by transferring the sin from the sinner to the sacrifice as their substitute.
This is why Israel chased the goat off into the desolate wilderness. It was a sacrifice that removed their sin and they wanted to chase it away as far as possible to never be seen again. It cleansed them.
So in the day of atonement, the two goats offered to the Lord showed two aspects of the salvation Jesus would ultimately give his people. One goat would symbolically satisfy God’s wrath and pay for their sin with its own blood, and the other goat would make them clean by carrying their sin far away.
Then, after sacrificing the two goats, the priest would offer the ram as a burnt offering to make atonement for the people of Israel. It was an act of worship that reaffirmed that God was one with his people and would live in their midst because in his mercy he dealt with his people’s sin.
atonement as an act of worship that reaffirmed that God was one with his peope and would live in their midst.

Christ Our High Priest

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Now why is all of this significant for us? The Bible says that Jesus is our Great High Priest who atones for our sins by offering his own blood.
; Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession...For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
When the author says passed through the heavens, that is an allusion to the Day of Atonement because the high priest would pass through the veil into the holy of holies to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat.
Where the high priest past through a veil on the Day of Atonement to make atonement for Israel’s sins, Jesus passed through the heavens and sat at the right hand of God after he accomplished salvation for all those that put their faith in him.
Ultimately, the priesthood always pointed to what Christ himself would do for his people. They served as mediators between God and his people by offering sacrifices on their behalf, and today, Christ is our Great High Priest who offered himself as a sacrifice to atone for our sin.
When the Bible says that Christ is the Great High Priest, it means that he is superior in every way to the priests of the OT.
One of the ways that Christ is the greater priest than those of Israel is because he didn’t need to offer sacrifices for his own sin.
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest could only offer sacrifices on behalf of the people after he offered sacrifices for himself. But Jesus...
27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.
Jesus lived a sinless life. He never had to offer up a prized bull so that he could make atonement for us. Why? Because his blood is superior to the blood of bulls and goats.
But that is not the only way Christ is superior to the priests of Israel. Not only does he serve as our sinless priest, he also serves the church as a priest forever.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Because Jesus conquered sin and death in his resurrection, he lives forever to make intercession for us. He does not serve as our priest for a little while and then has to retire when he gets too old. He serves as our Mediator for all eternity.
That’s why he can save to the uttermost. There is no limit to the power of his salvation because he has made atonement with his blood and he lives forever to see the salvation of his people through to the end.
But there is another way Christ’s ministry as our high priest is superior to the priests of Israel.
We’ve already looked at how he is our sinless high priest, and how he serves as a priest forever so that we can have confidence that he will see our salvation through to the end.
But Christ is also superior because he didn’t offer sacrifices of animals like the OT priests. Instead, Christ offered himself as the spotless lamb of God.
He not only is our priest who offers sacrifice to make atonement, he is the very sacrifice that makes atonement.

II. Christ Is Our Atonement

High Priest (maybe before poi
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Sacrifice
I want you to turn to . This passage truly is the first Gospel that reveals 700 years before Christ actually came to earth, how he would be the one true and perfect sacrifice who would save his people from their sin.
purification of the flesh,
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
I want to walk you through some of the verses of this passage to show you how Christ is our atoning sacrifice that forgives us and makes us clean.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 9:13.how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14  As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15  so shall he sprinkle many nations.
By saying my servant shall act wisely, God was promising that his Messiah would perfectly obey him. The Proverbs tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and Christ perfectly feared the Lord on our behalf.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
And for his work, God promised that he would exalt Christ to be worshiped by all people.
Then Isaiah tells us that his appearance was so marred that he did not even look like a man.
This spoke to the kind of death Christ was going to die. The Lord Jesus was flogged and beaten before he was hung on a cross and this passage tells us that he was so deformed by the abuse that his own mother would not have been able to recognize him.
But by this death, Isaiah promised that Christ would sprinkle many nations.
Do you remember how the high priest would sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat to atone for Israel’s sin? Christ also sprinkles his blood on anyone that believes in him for salvation so that their sins can be atoned for and they can be forgiven.
The prophet continues...
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
The substitutionary language of is rich in this verse.
Surely he has borne our griefs. He has carried our sorrows. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.
We were the sheep who went astray. Who turned from God to follow our own way as little god’s chasing after sin and death, and yet God took all our sins and laid them on Christ.
He is the scapegoat. Through faith, God transfers all our sin to Jesus and he forgives us. He cleanses us from all our sins and removes them for us just like the goat was chased off into the wilderness far off from the people.
Christ is our sacrifice of expiation who cleanses us from sin.
Not only that, he is our propitiation who satisfies God’s wrath against our sin.
He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his wounds we are healed.
These words are used to show how the punishment we deserved for our sin was poured out on Christ as our substitute. Jesus is our propitiation.
And go down to verse 10.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11  Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah says it was God’s will to crush Christ. That he was the one that put him to grief when Christ offered himself as a sacrifice because God poured out all his wrath against sin on Jesus.
Truly, in his death, Christ met all the requirements for being a substitutionary sacrifice.
He was identified with sinners who were condemned for their sin. It says he shall bear their iniquities.
He was pure and holy without spot or blemish like the animal sacrifices offered to the Lord because it says that he is the Lord’s righteous one. That is Christ was without sin.
And finally he was an acceptable sacrifice to God because it was God’s own will to crush him.
Jesus is the substitutionary sacrifice who atones for our sin if we put our faith in him and his sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection.
And if we do that, we will be forgiven of all our sin and we will be clean.
This is why Isaiah says that the Christ who God promised to send to save his people would make many to be accounted righteous. That is that in Him we would be declared holy. That we would be justified and accepted into God’s holy presence to worship him.
And God promised that his will would prosper in Christ’s hand. God’s will is to forgive anyone who puts their faith in his Messiah and give them eternal life.
Then Isaiah closes out this prophecy with verse 12 which says
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Now when God says that he will divide with him a portion with the many and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, God is saying that he will exalt Christ and through faith in him give salvation to anyone who believes in him because Christ poured out his soul to death on behalf of his people.
Again, saying that Jesus poured out his soul to death harkens back to how the blood of sacrifices were poured out to forgive sins.
Christ is the fulfilment of the Day of Atonement. He is the goat of the sin sacrifice that makes propitiation and satisfies God’s wrath against our sin. He is also the scapegoat of expiation because he takes our sin upon himself and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus is our High Priest who offers himself as our perfect sacrifice because he bore our sins on our behalf. That’s why Isaiah said Christ was numbered with the transgressors.
When Christ died, God poured out his wrath on him as if it had been you and I hanging on that cross.
And Isaiah says that today Jesus lives to make intercession for us, the very ones he died for, as our Mediator.
By offering himself as our sacrifice, Christ atones for our sins so that we can enjoy the blessings of his salvation.
And you’ll notice that the word for intercession communic is the Mediator type language that says Jesus is our Great High Priest, f
So far we’ve looked at the Day of Atonement and how it pointed to what Christ would ultimately do to save his people as our Great High Priest and atoning sacrifice.
So for the last section of this sermon, I want you to turn to to see how why we are so blessed by the ministry of our Great High priest.

III. The Blessing of Atonement

is actually my favorite Psalm and one I turn to often for encouragement when I struggle with sin because when you read it, you see just how much God has done to atone for our sin in Jesus Christ.
First God gives us redemption.

1. Redemption

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Psalm opens with a call to worship. Bless the LORD O my soul and all that is within me. Bless his holy name.
Then verse two calls us to worship God by remembering all the benefits, all the blessings, of his salvation.
God deserves all our worship because he forgives all our iniquity, he heals all our diseases, speaking to the brokenness that sin and death breed in our life.
God, saving us in Christ, is like being redeemed out of a pit. In our sin we dug our own grave and there was nothing we could do to get out of it.
But God reached down and pulled us out in Christ. He redeems us from our pit of sin where we were lower than dirt, and he crowned us with his steadfast love and mercy, and gave us eternal life.
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
And not only does God pick us up, to redeem us by giving us new life, he also gives us the fullness of forgiveness.
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Is 53:12.

2. Forgiveness

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west,
Instead of dealing with us according to our sin, God looks at us ann sees us in Christ.
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice as our great high priest, God pours out his steadfast love, mercy, and grace instead of giving us what we deserve, his wrath.
And because of Christ, God does not repay us according to our iniquities because all of our sins have been fully paid for by the blood of Jesus.
13  As a father shows compassion to his children,
And look at verse 11 to see just how full and perfect this forgiveness fully is.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
This passage tells us two amazing things about God’s grace for us in Christ.
14  For he knows our frame;
First, his love for us reaches as high as the heavens are above the earth.
he remembers that we are dust.
Think about that. Do you ever doubt whether or not God actually loves you? Do you sometimes feel like God looks at you like someone he is stuck with as one of his children?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Then remember this verse. God does not love you begrudgingly. He loves you wholeheartedly in Christ. It says that as high as the sky is above the earth, that is how much he loves you!
And some of us, with our weak and feeble faith will be tempted to ask “How high is that exactly?” And the answer is, higher than you can possibly imagine.
That is how much God loves you, and even with you don’t feel it, take God at his word and step outside, look up at the sky and preach to yourself, “Because of Christ, God loves me like that.”
And that love will never go away for any reason because God loves his children with a love that is steadfast and will never change.
The other thing that this verse tells us is that God does not deal with you or hate you because of your sin because in Christ he takes your sin and removes it from you as far as the east is from the west.
Dear Christian, you don’t have to prove yourself to earn God’s love.
When God looks at you he is not displeased. He is not disappointed because Christ has cleansed you from all your sin.
Christ is the greater scape goat from the Day of Atonement because that goat was only chased off into the wilderness.
When Christ takes away your sin, he doesn’t just take it to the next town over, takes it as far from you as the east is from the west. How far is that? Just like with his love, it is as far as you can imagine.
There is never a time where east and west will be in the same place. They are always running away from each other. That means that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, there is never a time that God will look at you and identify you as someone stained or marked by their sin.
In Christ, God removes our sin from us and pours out his steadfast love as our heavenly Father.
That’s why the Psalmist says that in the same way a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord shows compassion to us.
And then it says for. That means because. It is the reason why God shows compassion to us and it is because God knows our frame. In other words, he knows how we are made and God remembers that we are nothing more than dust.
This is one of the most encouraging verses in all of Scripture because it says that when we struggle with and stumble over our sin, we don’t need to fear God.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17  But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18  to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
We don’t need to run away from him believing we have dirtied the atonement he has given us in Christ and that we need to go off obey enough so that we can clean ourselves up before he will accept us again.
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
No. We can come to God as our father when we sin because God knows we are weak. He knows we are little more than dust and he will deal with us in compassion and give more grace.
16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
That is why the Bible says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
and its place knows it no more.
Praise God that he poured out his steadfast love on us in Christ. That through his sacrifice as our Great High Priest he gives us redemption and the fullness of forgiveness.
17  But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
Finally, salvation that comes through faith in Christ not only gives redemption and the fullness of forgiveness, it also gives us eternal security as God’s children.
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18  to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

IV. Application

So now that we’ve seen how the Day of Atonement is ultimately fulfilled in Christ’s own sacrifice where he offered himself as our Great High Priest, how should this office of Christ drive our worship of the Lord Jesus.

IV. Application

1. Believe in Christ

I’m speaking specifically to those who have yet to put their faith in Jesus and trust in him for salvation.
The Bible says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and because of that we all deserve to suffer under his wrath in hell for all eternity.
But there is good news. You don’t have to suffer for your sins because there is a savior who suffered on your behalf.
Trust in Christ and let him be your substitute. Let him be your sin offering who satisfies God’s wrath against you and let him be your scapegoat who bears your iniquities and carries them as far from you as the east is from the west.
Even though we sinned against God, he sent his Son Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin to live the sinless life you failed to live and die the death you deserved to die on the cross absorbing God’s wrath on your behalf. Then three days later he rose again so that if you will only put your faith in him and follow him as your Lord and Savior you will not die but have eternal life.
If you have not trusted in Jesus for salvation, hear the Lord today who says in As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die?
As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die
So if that is you today, trust in Jesus and be saved. And if you are sitting there, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit that you need to be forgiven and cleansed from your sin, asking what do you need to do to be saved, then look no further than .
if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

2. Worship the Lord

For those that have placed our faith in Christ as our Great High Priest and substitutionary sacrifice, let us worship Him.
Praise God that he sent us our Great High Priest who not only offers sacrifice for our sin, but offers the perfect sacrifice of his own blood so that we can be forgiven.
In Christ, God has made atonement for all our sin so that we could worship him in his holy presence. If that is true, then we should worship him like it.
the only response we can have to Christ as our Priest is whole hearted praise. Returning to which we looked at earlier, let us worship Christ as our priest by celebrating all the blessings of his salvation.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21  Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22  Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
22  Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

The Sin Offering

The Guilt Offering/Scapegoat

II. Christ Is Our Atonement

Christ is Our High Priest

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

Christ is Our Sacrifice

III. The Blessing of Atonement

Redemption

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

Forgiveness and Love

Eternal Security

IV. Application

Believe in Christ
Worship the Lord

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ”
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