“Without shedding of blood is no remission” for sin (Hebrews 9:22).
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;
2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.
4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.
7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:
12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail:
13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
15 ¶ Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.
18 And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about.
19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
20 ¶ And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
23 And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there:
24 And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people.
25 And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar.
26 And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp.
27 And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung.
28 And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.
29 ¶ And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:
33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.
34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Leviticus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Leviticus 16:1-14 – The Offerings for Atonement Day
This chapter contains the ritual of the great Day of Atonement, when the high priest entered within the veil, and in virtue of the blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat, and still more of the faith exercised therein, Israel was cleansed from every sin before the Lord, Leviticus 16:30. The death of his two sons acted as a solemn warning that Aaron should not deviate from the prescribed ceremonial in the smallest particular.
Every step is worthy of notice, each illustrates some feature in the sacrifice of Calvary, each is meant by the Holy Spirit of God to signify something. See Hebrews 9:8-9. The first goat was “for the Lord,” representing the work of Christ in its Godward aspect. The second, like the second bird in Leviticus 14:6, signified its manward aspect. It is necessary that we should personally avail ourselves of its efficacy. Our faith must “lay its hand on that dear head of thine!” It was necessary that Aaron, as himself a sinner, must first offer for his own sins; and his offerings had to be repeated every year. See the triumphant contrast of Hebrews 9:24. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Leviticus 16:15-34 – The Scapegoat
The loneliness of the high priest, Leviticus 16:17; the sprinkling of blood within the veil upon the mercy seat, Leviticus 16:16; the fragrant incense, emblematic of a well-pleasing offering, Leviticus 16:13; the confession of sin and its bearing-away into a solitary land, Leviticus 16:22; the linen garments of simplicity and humility, Leviticus 16:23; the destruction of the carcasses of the beasts “without the camp,” Leviticus 16:27; the ultimate coming forth of the high priest to bless the people, bringing them the assurance of a finished and accepted work, Leviticus 16:24, compare Hebrews 9:28 all these points are carefully elaborated in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The fate of the scapegoat was very moving! Laden with the sins of the people, it is led forth through the crowd of penitents, innocent yet execrated, dumb yet eloquent of the doom of the sin bearer, escaping death by the knife, to be forsaken even unto death! So Jesus died, with the cry of “Forsaken” on His lips (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). —Through the Bible Day by Day
Leviticus 16:22 – Unto a land not inhabited.
This chapter is full of Christ in his most precious death for men. Its various aspects are set forth under these diverse sacrifices, as light reflected from the many facets of a diamond. We think now only of the live goat which was led away into the wilderness. We see in it:–
Christ made sin.—With both hands Aaron, in symbol, transferred all the iniquities, sins, and transgressions of the people to the head of the goat, which became so identified with them that it was accounted an unclean thing; and even he who led it away must needs wash his clothes and bathe. This is what the apostle means when he says that Jesus was made sin for us. Our sins met in Him; were assumed by Him; He stood before God as though, in some mysterious sense, they were his own.
Christ bearing sin away.—As the goat went away, the eyes of the people followed it, and they were taught to believe that sin was no longer reckoned to them. Aaron put off his linen garments and arrayed himself in festal robes, and came forth to bless the congregation. What rejoicing must have broken from the crowds! So Jesus, in his matchless grace, has borne away the sin of the world into a land of forgetfulness. “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).
Christ’s loneliness.—He was alone in his mediatorial work. None could bear Him company. Loved ones might stand beside his cross, or in after ages suffer, as He did, deaths of martyrdom; but none could do what He did as the sacrifice for sin. Ah, how lonely He was! Even the Father seemed to have forsaken Him! Before the universe, in that dread hour, the Savior stood in awful, unapproachable solitude! —Our Daily Homily