Leviticus 16 & Hebrews 9


Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the LORD and died, 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. 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. 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. 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.

“Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. 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, 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.

“Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself. And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die. And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

– Leviticus 16:1-14

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.

– Hebrews 9:6-7

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come…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. 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, 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.

– Hebrews 9:6-14


In Leviticus 16 we see the requirements for the Day of Atonement. This holy day took place after the sons of Aaron offered unauthorized fire to God and died for their disobedience.

This day was to be repeated each year to make atonement for the holy sanctuary, the tabernacle of the congregation, the altar, the priests, and all the people of the congregation.

On this day the High priest would mediate between a holy God and sinful people.

Ironically, the high priest needed to offer up a bull to atone for his own sins and his family’s sins prior to being able to atone for the sins of the people.

The weakness of the sacrificial system becomes apparent when the one who was to make atonement could not truly become a perfect mediator between a holy God and the sinful congregation.

Thank God that Jesus came to be the perfect sacrifice and high priest.

Because Jesus lived a sinless life and died for us we have access to God directly through Jesus Christ.

Jesus already paid the price, and we have been atoned for if we have placed our faith in him.

The Big Question

Everyone sins, but do we take our sin lightly or do we live each moment realizing the perfect atoning sacrifice Jesus had to suffer for our transgressions?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.