Leviticus 16:3
This is how Aaron is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.
The High Priest on the Day of AtonementJ.A. Macdonald Leviticus 16:1-4
The Climax of Sacrificial Worship: the Day of AtonementR.M. Edgar Leviticus 16:1-34
The Great Day of AtonementR.A. Redford Leviticus 16:1-34
Jehovah Appearing in a CloudJ. Irons.Leviticus 16:2-3
The Concealing CloudJ. Cameron.Leviticus 16:2-3
Type and Antitype - the PriestW. Clarkson Leviticus 16:2-17
A Proffered SubstituteW. Thompson.Leviticus 16:3-34
Christ Typified by the Two GoatsJ. Burns, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
Christian's Confession of SinSpurgeon, Charles HaddonLeviticus 16:3-34
Christ's Anesthesia for the Remembrance of SinLeviticus 16:3-34
Hindrances to Repentance RemovedJ. Spencer.Leviticus 16:3-34
Intercession of ChristS. Thodey.Leviticus 16:3-34
LessonsA. Willet, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
Moral ObservationsA. Willet, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
Moses and Christ; the Day of AtonementW. Clarkson, B. A.Leviticus 16:3-34
Need for the Great AtonementJ. Hamilton, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
Sinners Always Ready to Conceal Their SinT. Adams.Leviticus 16:3-34
Spiritual Significance of the Ceremonies on the Day of AtonementT. M. Morris.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Annual AtonementSpurgeon, Charles HaddonLeviticus 16:3-34
The Ceremonies of the Day of AtonementF. E. Clark.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Climax of Sacrificial WorshipR. M.,Edgar, M. A.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Day of AtonementSpurgeon, Charles HaddonLeviticus 16:3-34
The Day of AtonementD. O. Mears.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Day of AtonementD. C. Hughes, M. A.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Day of AtonementH. Melvill, B. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Day of AtonementJ. A. Seiss, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Garments of the PriestF. E. Clark.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Two GoatsF. E. Clark.Leviticus 16:3-34
The Two Goats -- Various InterpretationsJ. Cumming, D. D.Leviticus 16:3-34
There Shalt be no Man in the TabernacleH. C. Trumbull.Leviticus 16:3-34
True RepentanceH. W. Beecher.Leviticus 16:3-34
Trusting in the SubstituteLeviticus 16:3-34
Value of RepentanceJ. Spencer.Leviticus 16:3-34

The high priest offering sacrifices for the sin of the people was a clear type of" the High Priest of our profession," who offered the one sacrifice for sin, who became the Propitiation for our sin, even for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). We have -


1. Aaron acted under Divine direction. He was appointed by God to take the post he took, and was charged to do everything he did. He might not deviate in any particular from the instructions which came from heaven. "Aaron shall" is the continually recurring strain; almost every other verse contains this formula; departure from direction was utter failure in his work and death to himself (verse 2).

2. Aaron divested himself of his rich attire - he wore not the ephod with precious stones, nor the mitre glittering with golden crown; this splendid attire he laid by on this occasion, and he put on the simple linen coat, and was girded with a linen girdle, and wore a linen mitre (verse 4).

3. Aaron did his priestly work alone. "There shall be no man in the tabernacle when he goeth in... until he come out" (verse 17). No other foot but his might enter within the vail; no other hand but his might sprinkle the blood on the mercy-seat.

4. Aaron bore a heavy burden for the people. "So laborious and trying was his work that, after it was over, the people gathered round him with sympathy and congratulation that he was brought through it in safety." So Christ, the great antitype,

(1) was appointed of God (Hebrews 5:4, 5); he was "the Anointed," the Sent One; he "came to do his Father's will," and though under no such minute commandments as those which regulated the actions of Aaron, he was ever consulting the will of the Father, doing "nothing of himself" (John 5:19-30; John 8:28; John 9:4).

(2) Divested himself of the robe of his divinity, and put on the frail garment of our humanity (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14; Philippians 2:7).

(3) "Trod the winepress alone." "Ye shall leave me alone," said he (John 16:32) and alone he agonized in the garden, and alone he suffered and died on the cross. His was a most lonely life, for not even his most loved disciple understood the meaning of his mission; and his was a lonely death, none of those who stood weeping by being able to take any part in the sacrificial work he then wrought out.

(4) Bore so heavy a burden for us that his heart broke beneath it.


1. Aaron was compelled to present offerings for himself (verses 6, 11-14).

2. Had to present an offering that was provided for him; a bullock had to be brought from the herds of Israel (verse 6), or he would have been a priest without an offering.

3. Could offer no availing sacrifice for deliberate transgressions: presumptuous sin had already paid the penalty of death. But Christ Jesus, our Great High Priest,

(1) needed not to present any sacrifice for himself; the holy, harmless, undefiled One, separate from sinners, did not need to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins (Hebrews 7:26, 27).

(2) Had no need to procure a victim, for himself

"... came down to be
The offering and the priest." He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Hebrews 9:26).

(3) Offered a sacrifice which avails for all sin. His blood "cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 7:25, etc.). - C.

Make an atonement.
Before Adam transgressed he lived in communion with God, but after he had broken the covenant he could have no more familiar fellowship with God. Under the Mosaic dispensation, in which God was pleased in His grace to dwell among His people and walk with them in the wilderness, it was still under a reserve: there was a Holy Place wherein the symbol of God's presence was hidden away from mortal gaze. No man might come near to it except in one only way, and then only once in the year, "The Holy Ghost thus signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first Tabernacle was yet standing." Our subject illustrates the appointed way of access to God. This chapter shows that the way of access to God is by atonement, and by no other method. I want you to notice that, of course, this was only a type. The great Day of Atonement did not see an actual atonement made, nor sin really put away; but it was the figure of heavenly things to come. The substance is of Christ.

I. Now, then, let us come to the text, and note, first, WHAT WAS DONE on that particular day. The text tells us what was done symbolically — "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."

1. The persons themselves were cleansed. If any of them had become unclean so as to be denied communion with God and His people, they were made clean, so that they might go up to the Tabernacle, and mingle with the congregation. All the host were that morning regarded as unclean, and all had to bow their heads in penitent sorrow because of their uncleanness. After the sacrifice and the sending away of the scapegoat the whole congregation was clean and in a condition to rejoice. It is a far simpler thing to remove outward stains than it is to purge the very substance and nature of man; yet this is what was done on the Day of Atonement typically, and this is what our redeeming Lord actually does for us. We are outlaws, and His atonement purges us of outlawry, and makes us citizens; we are lepers, and by His stripes we are so healed as to be received among the clean.

2. Their persons being made clean, they were also purged of all the sins confessed. Sin that is confessed is evidently real sin, and not a mere dream of a morbid conscience. There is a certain mythical cloud of sin which people talk about, and affect to deplore, and yet they have no sense of the solid heinousness of their actual iniquity. Sin confessed with tears, sin which causes the very heart to bleed — killing sin — this is the kind of sin for which Jesus died. Sin which you dare not confess to man, but acknowledge only as you lay your hand upon the Divine sacrifice — such sin the Lord removes from you. The passage is very particular to mention "all sins." "The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities." This includes every form of stir, of thought, of word, of deed, of pride, of falsehood, of lust, of malice, of blasphemy. This comprehends crimes against man, and offences against God, of peculiar blackness; and it does not exclude sins of inadvertence, or carelessness, or of omission. Transgressions of the body, the intellect, the affections are all blotted out.

3. It seems that the Divine atonement puts away the sin of sin — the essence and heart of sin. Sin has its core, its mortal spot, within each iniquity there seems to lie a something more essentially evil than the act itself: this is the inner hate of the mind. Whatever may be the sin of the soul, or the soul of the sin, atonement has been made for it all. The Lord Jesus has not left upon those for whom He has made atonement a single spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, so far as their justification is concerned. He has not left an iniquity for which they can be condemned before the bar of judgment. "Ye are clean every whit" is His sure verdict, and none can contradict it

4. Not only were all the sins that they had committed put away, but also all their holy things were purged. I do feel so glad that our Lord has atoned for the sins of our holy things. I feel so glad that Jesus has purified our prayers. Many saints spend much time in hearty, earnest cries to God; but even on your knees you sin; and herein is our comfort — that the precious blood has made atonement for the shortcomings of our supplications. We need pardon for our psalms and cleansing for our hymns. Jesus puts away not only our unholy things, but the sins of our holy things also.

5. Once more, on that day all the people were cleansed. This gives great comfort to those of us who love the souls of the multitude. All who believe are justified from all things.

II. Now we notice, in the second place, HOW IT WAS DONE.

1. The atonement was made first of all by sacrifice. We know that the blood of bulls and of goats could never take away sin; but very distinctly do these point to the sufferings of our Redeemer. The woes He bore are the expiation for our guilt.

2. Notice, next, that the atonement was made not only by the blood of sacrifice, but by the presentation of the blood within the veil. With the smoke of incense and a bowl filled with blood Aaron passed into the most Holy Place. Let us never forget that our Lord has gone into the heavenly places with better sacrifices than Aaron could present. His merits are the sweet incense which burns before the throne of the heavenly grace. His death supplies that blood of sprinkling which we find even in heaven.

3. Furthermore, atonement was made effectual by its application to the thing or person cleansed. The atonement was made for the Holy Place: it was sprinkled seven times with blood. The same was done to the altar; the horns thereof were smeared seven times. So to make the atonement effectual between you and God the blood of Jesus must be sprinkled upon you by a lively faith.

4. Further, inasmuch as no one type was sufficient, the Lord set forth the method of the removal of sin, as far as we are concerned, by the scapegoat. One of two goats was chosen to live. It stood before the Lord, and Aaron confessed all the sins of Israel upon its head. A fit man, selected for the purpose, led this goat away into a land not inhabited. What became of it? Why do you ask the question? It is not to edification. You may have seen the famous picture of the scapegoat, representing it as expiring in misery in a desert place. That is all very pretty, and I do not wonder that imagination should picture the poor devoted scapegoat as a sort of cursed thing, left to perish amid accumulated horrors. But please observe that this is all mere groundless fancy. The Scripture is entirely silent as to anything of the kind, and purposely so. All that the type teaches is this: in symbol the scapegoat, has all the sin of the people laid upon it, and when it is led away into the solitary wilderness, it has gone, and the sin with it. We may not follow the scapegoat even in imagination. It is gone where it can never be found, for there is nobody to find it: it is gone into a land not inhabited — into "no man's land," in fact. Stop where the Scripture stops. Sin is carried away into the silent land, the unknown wilderness. The sins of God's people have gone beyond recall. Where to? Do not ask anything about that. If they were sought for they could not be found; they are so gone that they are blotted out. Into oblivion our sins have gone, even as the scapegoat went out of track of mortal man. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"

5. Yet the ceremony was not quite finished; for now everybody who had had a hand in it must needs be washed, so that everybody might be clean. Everybody becomes purged; the whole camp is clean right through. No sin remains upon Him on whom the Lord once .laid the iniquities of us all. The great atonement is made, and everything is cleansed, from beginning to end. Christ hath put it all away for ever by the water and the blood which flowed from His riven side. All is purified, and the Lord looks down on a clean camp; and soon He will have them rejoicing before Him, each man in His tabernacle, feasting to the full.

III. In the third place, I ask your attention, for a brief interval, to this special point — WHO DID IT? The answer is, Aaron did it all. Now fix your eye on the great Antitype of Aaron. There was none with our Lord: He trod the winepress alone. He His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree. He alone went to where the thick darkness covered the throne of God, and none stood by to comfort Him. "All the disciples forsook Him, and fled." Worship our Lord as working salvation by His own single arm. Let that truth abide in your hearts — our High Priest alone has made reconciliation.

IV. Lastly, WHAT WERE THE PEOPLE TO DO for whom this atonement was made? There were two things they had to do that day, only I must add that one of them was doing nothing.

1. For the first thing, they had to afflict their souls that day. It was a day of confession of sin. And should not confession be made with sorrowful repentance? To acknowledge sin without grieving over it is to aggravate sin.

2. Not only was it a day of confession, but it was a day of sacrifice. No tender-hearted Israelite could think of that bullock, and ram, and goat dying for him, without saying, "That is what I deserve." When we think of our dying Lord our emotions are mingled: we feel a pleasing grief and a mournful joy as we stand at Calvary.

3. Once more, it was a day of perfect cleansing, and hence, by a strange logic, a day of the affliction of the soul; for, oh 1 when sin is forgiven, when by Divine assurance we know that God has blotted out our sins like a cloud, then it is we mourn over our iniquities. Afflict your soul when you remember what you once were.

4. On the Day of Atonement they were to afflict their souls, and yet they were to rest. Can these things come together — mourning and resting? I never am so truly happy as when a sober sadness tinges my joy. Nothing is more really sweet than the bitterness of repentance" Nothing is more healthful than self-abhorrence, mixed with the grateful love which hides itself in the wounds of Jesus. The purified people were to rest; they were to rest from all servile work. I will never do a hand's turn to save myself by my own merits, works, or feelings. I have done for ever with all interference with my Lord's sole work. They were assuredly to cease from all sinful work. How can the pardoned man continue in sin? We have done with toiling for the devil now. We will no more waste our lives in his service. We are slaves no longer: we quit the hard bondage of Egypt and rest in the Lord. We have also done with selfish work; we now seek first the kingdom of heaven, and look that all other things shall be added unto us by the goodness of our Heavenly Father. Henceforth we find rest by bearing the easy yoke of Christ. We joy to spend and be spent in His beloved service.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. First, THE PERSON WHO WAS TO MAKE THE ATONEMENT. And at the outset we remark that Aaron, the high priest, did it. Inferior priests slaughtered lambs; other priests at other times did almost all the work of the sanctuary; but on this day nothing was done by any one, as a part of the business of the great Day of Atonement, except by the high priest. Old rabbinical traditions tell us that everything on that day was done by him, even the lighting of the candles, and the fires, and the incense, and all the offices that were required, and that, for a fortnight beforehand, he was obliged to go into the Tabernacle to slaughter the bullocks and assist in the work of the priests and Levites, that he might be prepared to do the work which was unusual to him. All the labour was left to him. So Jesus Christ, the High Priest, and He only, works the atonement. There are other priests, for "He hath made us priests and kings unto God." Every Christian is a priest to offer sacrifice of prayer and praise unto God, but none save the High Priest must offer atonement.

1. Then it is interesting to notice, that the high priest on this day was a humbled priest. As Mayer tells us, he wore garments, and glorious ones, on other days, but on this day he wore four humble ones. Jesus Christ, then, when He made atonement, was a humbled priest. He did not make atonement arrayed in all the glories of His ancient throne in heaven. Upon His brow there was no diadem, save the crown of thorns; around Him was cast no purple robe, save that which He wore for a time in mockery; in His hand was no sceptre, save the reed which they thrust in cruel contempt upon Him; He had no sandals of pure gold, neither was He dressed as king; He had none of those splendours about Him which should make Him distinguished among men. Oh! my soul, adore thy Jesus, who when He made atonement, humbled Himself and wrapped around Him a garb of thine inferior clay.

2. In the next place, the high priest who offered the atonement must be a spotless high priest; and because there were none such to be found, Aaron being a sinner himself as well as the people, you will remark that Aaron had to sanctify himself and make an atonement for his own sin before he could go in to make an atonement for the sins of the people. We have a spotless High Priest; we have one who needed no washing, for He had no filth to wash away,

3. Again, the atonement was made by a solitary high priest — alone and unassisted. No other man was to be present, so that the people might be quite certain that everything was done by the high priest alone. God kept that holy circle of Calvary select to Christ, and none of His disciples must go to die there with Him. O glorious High Priest, thou hast done it all alone!

4. Again it was a laborious high priest who did the work on that day. It is astonishing how, after comparative rest, he should be so accustomed to his work as to be able to perform all that he had to do on that day. I have endeavoured to count up how many creatures he had to kill, and I find that there were fifteen beasts which he slaughtered at different times, besides the other offices, which were all left to him. He was ordained priest in Jeshurun, for that day, toiled like a common Levite, worked as laboriously as priest could do, and far more so than on any ordinary day. Just so with our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a labour the atonement was to Him! It was a work that all the hands of the universe could not have accomplished; yet He completed it alone.

II. THE MEANS WHEREBY THIS ATONEMENT WAS MADE (see vers. 5, 7-10). The first goat I consider to be the great type of Jesus Christ the Atonement; such I do not consider the scapegoat to be. The first is the type of the means whereby the atonement was made, and we shall keep to that first.

1. Notice that this goat, of course, answered all the pre-requisites of every other thing that was sacrificed; it must be a perfect, unblemished goat of the first year. Even so was our Lord a perfect Man, in the prime and vigour of His manhood.

2. And further, this goat was an eminent type of Christ from the fact that it was taken of the congregation of the children of Israel, as we are told at the fifth verse. The public treasury furnished the goat. So Jesus Christ was, first of all, purchased by the public treasury of the Jewish people before He died. Thirty pieces of silver they had valued Him at — a goodly price; and as they had been accustomed to bring the goat so they brought Him to be offered, not indeed with the intention that He should be their sacrifice, but unwittingly. Indeed, Jesus Christ came out from the midst of the people, and the people brought Him. Strange that it should be so! "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not"; His own led Him forth to slaughter; His own dragged Him before the mercy-seat.

3. Note, again, that though this goat, like the scapegoat, was brought by the people, God's decision was in it still. Mark, it is said, "Aaron shall east lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat." I conceive this mention of lots is to teach that although the Jews brought Jesus Christ of their own will to die, yet, Christ had been appointed to die; and even the very man who sold Him was appointed to it — so saith the Scripture. Christ's death was fore-ordained, and there was not only man's hand in it, but God's.

4. Next, behold the goat that destiny has marked out to make the atonement. Come and see it die. The priest stabs it. Mark it in its agonies; behold it struggling for a moment; observe the blood as it gushes forth. Ye have here your Saviour. See His Father's vengeful sword sheathed in His heart; behold His death agonies; hear His sighs and groans upon the Cross; hark to His shriek, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," and you have more now to think of than you could have if you only stood to see the death of a goat for your atonement. As the blood of the goat made the atonement typically, so thy Saviour dying for thee made the great atonement for thy sins, and thou mayest go free.

5. But mark, this goat's blood was not only shed for many for the remission of sins as a type of Christ, but that blood was taken within the veil, and there it was sprinkled. So with Jesus' blood, "Sprinkled now with blood the throne."

III. We now come to the EFFECTS.

1. One of the first effects of the death of this goat was the sanctification of the holy things which had been made unholy. Is it not sweet to reflect that our holy things are now really holy?

2. But observe, the second great tact was that their sins were taken away. This was set forth by the scapegoat.

3. One more thought concerning the effects of this great Day of Atonement, and you will observe that it runs throughout the whole of the chapter — entrance within the veil. Only on one day in the year might the high priest enter within the veil, and then it must be for the great purposes of the atonement. Now the atonement is finished, and you may enter within the veil: "Having boldness, therefore, to enter into the holiest, let us come with boldness unto the throne of the heavenly grace." The veil of the Temple is rent by the atonement of Christ, and access to the throne is now ours.

IV. Now we come to notice, in the fourth place, what is OUR PROPER BEHAVIOUR WHEN WE CONSIDER THE DAY OF ATONEMENT. YOU read at ver. 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." That is one thing that we ought to do when we remember the atonement. "Law and terrors do but harden," but methinks the thought that Jesus died is enough to make us melt. Then, better still, we are to "do no work at all," as ye find in the same verse (29th). When we consider the atonement, we should rest, and "do no work at all." Rest from your own righteousness; rest from your toilsome duties: rest in Him. "We that believe do enter into rest." As soon as thou seest the atonement finished, say, "It is done, it is done!" Then there was another thing which always happened. When the priest had made the atonement, it was usual for him, after he had washed himself, to come out again in his glorious garments. When the people saw him they attended him to his house with joy, and they offered burnt-offerings of praise on that day: he being thankful that his life was spared, and they being thankful that the atonement was accepted; both of them offering burnt-offerings as a type that they desired now to be "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God." The atonement is finished; the High Priest is gone within the veil; salvation is now complete. He has laid aside the linen garments, and He stands before you with His breastplate, and His mitre, and His embroidered vest, in all His glory. Hear how He rejoices over us, for He hath redeemed His people, and ransomed them out of the hands of His enemies. Come, let us go home with the High Priest; let us clap our hands with joy, for He liveth; the atonement is accepted, and we are accepted too; the scapegoat is gone, our sins are gone with it. Let us, then, go to our houses with thankfulness, and let us come up to His gates with praise, for He hath loved His people, He hath blessed His children, and given unto us a day of atonement, and a day of acceptance, and a year of jubilee.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)


1. His humiliation.

2. His sinlessness.


1. God admits vicarious suffering into His righteous rule.(1) Involuntarily we suffer for one another.(2) The finer instincts of the animal world lead the parent to endure suffering and death to shield and save the young.(3) Voluntarily, man interposes to rescue his brother by his own loss and suffering.(4) In proportion to the spiritual nobility of men we find voluntary vicarious suffering in their hearts and lives.

2. The sacrifice of Christ avails to remove all condemnation.

III. THE HUMAN WORSHIPPER — Our sinning, seeking selves.

1. Without personal participation everything will be as nothing.

2. The spirit in which we must participate is that of penitence and faith.

(W. Clarkson, B. A.)

Now, what did such a ritual mean? If it be said that the Divine forgiveness depended upon such a day, then why did the world wait twenty-five hundred years before its appointment? If absolutely necessary, why was it not enjoined upon Abraham, and especially upon Adam in Paradise? What is the meaning of sacrifice? What relation does it bear to forgiveness of sin? We observe —

1. God's character is not changed by sacrifices. He neither regards sin with less hatred, nor loves the sinner more because of these. The Sacrifice of Calvary — compared with which all others are as shadows to the light — was the natural outcome of the Divine nature, rather than the means of changing that nature (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9, 10).

2. These mere sacrifices possessed no intrinsic value. If there were a value in these, it must have been either to Him in whose name they are offered, or to man for whom they were offered. Happily for us the Scriptures settle both points (Isaiah 1:13; Micah 6:6-8; Psalm 40:6; Psalm 51:16, 17). Thus much, therefore, follows: these sacrifices were not transactions of any intrinsic value to God, in themselves considered. Every part of that ceremonial for the childhood age was a Divine lesson, pointing to a greater offering and sacrifice to come. While God accommodated His laws to the perception of childhood, He made use of them to proclaim eternal truths — a fact we shall see illustrated in the lessons of the Day of Atonement. In it we have —




(D. O. Mears.)

I. THERE IS THE VOLUNTARY HUMILIATION OF THE HIGH PRIEST. The Day of Atonement was the high priest's day: he undertook the atoning work, and no man was to venture near the Tabernacle (ver. 17) while he was engaged in it. The first thing required of him was humiliation.

II. THE HIGH PRIEST WAS REQUIRED NEXT TO PERFUME THE AUDIENCE-CHAMBER WITH INCENSE. Prayer is the beginning, middle, and end of the redemptive work. It seems evident from this that we must put away those business-like illustrations of atonement as a hard bargain driven on the one side and paid literally and in full on the other. We must allow a sufficient sphere in our conceptions for the play of intercession and appeal, and remember that while it is a God of justice who is satisfied, He proves Himself in the transaction a God of grace.

III. AFTER THE INCENSE THERE IS BROUGHT IN THE BLOOD, FIRST OF HIS OWN SIN-OFFERING AND THEN OF THE PEOPLE'S. The blood of Jesus Christ is symbolised by both, and the act of sprinkling it before God is also to be attributed to our great High Priest. The law of mediation is that self-sacrifice stimulates the element of mercy in the Judge. And if it be objected that surely God does not require such an expensive stimulant, the reply is, that the self-sacrificing Son and the stimulated Father and Judge are in essence one. The act is consequently a Divine self-sacrifice to stimulate the element of mercy towards man and make it harmonise with justice.

IV. BUT THE HIGH PRIEST WAS EXPECTED NOT ONLY TO SECURE THE PARDON OF SIN, BUT ALSO TO PUT IT AWAY BY THE DISMISSAL OF THE SCAPEGOAT. For the pardon of sin is not all man needs. He requires sin to be put away from him. Now this putting away of sin was beautifully represented in the dismissal of the scapegoat. This second sin-offering, after having the sins of the people heaped upon its head by the priestly confession, is sent away in care of a faithful servant in the wilderness, there to be left in loneliness either to live or die. Here again we have a type of Jesus.

V. THE HIGH PRIEST HAVING THUS DISPOSED OF SIN, RESUMED HIS GLORIOUS GARMENTS AND OFFERED THE BURNT-OFFERINGS FOR HIMSELF AND THE PEOPLE. It is Christ who offers this burnt-offering, and is the Burnt-offering. That is to say, He has offered for men a perfect righteousness, as well as afforded us a perfect example. Our consecration to God is ideally to be a perfect one — but really how imperfect! But Christ is made unto us sanctification; we are complete in Him; we are accepted in the beloved; and we learn and try to live as He lived, holy as He was holy. Moreover, upon the burnt-offering was presented the fat of the sin-offering, the Lord thus emphasising His satisfaction with the atonement, and His acceptance of it.


(R. M.,Edgar, M. A.)


1. Both authorised of God (vers. 1, 2).

2. Both, then, Divinely important.

(1)In regard to the definiteness of the day.

(2)In regard to the meaning and order of its ceremonies.


1. The Divinely stated reason for its appointment (ver. 16).

(1)The fact of sin and the necessity for its expiation by blood.

(2)Sin necessitates atonement if it is to be pardoned.

(3)This fact bespeaks the antagonism of sin against the Divine will, and the holiness and righteousness of the Divine character.

2. The Divinely appointed measures for its observance.

(1)In respect to the agent.

(2)In respect to the measures themselves.Lessons:

1. The hatefulness, heinousness, and guiltiness of sin are here shown.

2. God's desire to provide for the removal of its guilt, and the prevention of its consequences, demonstrated.

3. The comprehensiveness of the provision in the atonement.

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)


II. SHOW THAT THE SACRIFICES THEN OFFERED WERE STRICTLY PROPITIATORY. When you consider the two goats as together constituting the sin-offering, you must receive as the only satisfactory account of the transaction that which sets forth the scapegoat as exhibiting the effects of the expiation which was represented by the death of the other. The sins of the people were laid upon the head of the scapegoat, and borne away to the wilderness; but this scapegoat was a part of the sin-offering, and therefore, by combining the parts of the sin. offering, you have before you both the means and the effect: you have the means, the shedding of blood without which there is no remission; you have the effect, the removal of guilt, so that iniquity, though searched for, can nowhere be found. It seems certain that such was the view entertained by the Jews, who were wont to treat the scapegoat as actually an accursed thing. Though not commanded by the law, they used to maltreat the gnat Azazel — for by this name was the scapegoat known — to spit upon him, and pluck off his hair. Thus they acted towards the goat as they acted towards Christ, who, in a truer sense than the Azazel, was "made sin for us." And if further proof were needed of the idea which the Jews themselves attached to the ceremony of the imposition of hands on the head of the victim, it is to be found in the forms of confession which their writers have transmitted as used ordinarily in expiatory sacrifices. It appears, for example, that when an individual presented his own sacrifice, he laid his hands on the head of the offering, saying amongst other things, "Let this victim be my expiation" — words which were universally considered equivalent to an entreaty that evils which ought in justice to have alighted upon the offender might fall upon the sacrifice. And it is every way worthy of note, as marking the traditional idea of the great day of expiation, that the modern Jews, as well as the ancient, hold fast the notion of a strict propitiatory atonement. Where, then, can be the ground for doubting, that by "atonement," in our text, is to be understood what we understand by it in Christian phraseology; that there was effected a real removal of guilt and its consequences from the Jewish transgressor, when on the great and solemn day of expiation, in compliance with a Divine statute an atonement was made for the children of Israel for all their sins once every year?

III. And here we bring you back to the main argument we have all along had in hand — THE INFERRING FROM THE CHARACTER OF THE LEGAL SACRIFICE THAT OF THE CHRISTIAN. If you can once show that the sacrifices of the law typify the sacrifice of Christ, and that the sacrifices of the law were strictly propitiatory, it follows as an irresistible deduction — notwithstanding the cavils of philosophising sects — that the Lamb of God died truly as a Sin-offering, making, by His death, atonement for the world. Indeed, if no reference were made to the Old Testament, the language of the New is so explicit that nothing but the most determined prepossession could fail to find in it the doctrine that Christ's death was a propitiatory sacrifice. But the connection between the two dispensations, and therefore the two Testaments, is so strict in every point, that it were no just examination of the gospel which would keep the law out of sight; therefore we come to examine more definitely the correspondence between the sacrifice of the Saviour and those which have just been reviewed.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

By referring to ver. 29, you will find that this Day of Atonement was appointed for "the seventh month." Seven, as you remember, is a symbol of completeness. This location of these solemnities in the seventh month, would therefore seem to refer to the fact noted by the apostle, that it was only "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son to redeem them that were under the law." He lived when. the world was sufficiently at peace to give Him a hearing — when the human mind was maturely developed, and competent to investigate His claims — when the ways were sufficiently open for the immediate universal promulgation of His gospel — and when the experience of four thousand years was before men to prove to them how much they needed such a Teacher and Priest as He. His appearance, therefore, to take away our sins, was in "the fulness of time" — in the Tisri or September of the world — when everything was mature and ripe. He put the Day of Atonement in "the seventh month." You will also notice that this great expiation service occurred but once in a complete revolution of time — "once a year." A year is a full and complete period. There is no time which does not fall within the year. And the occurrence of the Day of Atonement but once in the entire year plainly pointed to another great fact noted by the apostle, that "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." There is no repetition in His sacrificial work. "Christ was once offered"; and in that one offering of Himself, all the eras of human existence were condensed and included. It was the event of this world's year. It is also to be observed, that the atoning services of this remarkable day had respect to the whole nation at once. They were "to make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation." Most of the other offerings were personal, having respect to particular individuals, and to special cases of sin, uncleanness, or anxiety. But on this day the offerings were general, and the atonement had respect to the entire people. This recalls another great evangelic truth, namely, that Christ "died for all" — "gave Himself a ransom for all" — "by the grace of God tasted death for every man" — and "is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world."

I. IT WAS TO THE HIGH PRIEST A DAY WHICH IMPOSED NUMEROUS INCONVENIENCES, ANXIETIES, AND HUMILIATIONS. And so was it with our great High Priest when He undertook to expiate the guilt of man. Separated from His heavenly home, He became a suffering, laborious, self-denying servant. No gold glittered upon His brow, or tinkled with His steps, or mingled its glory with royal colours to adorn His robe. No jewelry sparkled on his shoulders or on His breast. No chariots of grandeur bore Him to the place of His mighty deeds of love. And thus amid privations, humiliations, and anxieties which made Him sorrowful even unto death, did He go through with the services of the great day of the world's expiation.

2. It was to the high priest a day which imposed all its services upon him alone. Thus, when Jesus undertook the expiation of the world's guilt, "of the people, there was none with Him." Isaiah says, "I looked, and there was none to help." His "own arm brought salvation." He "His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree."

3. The Day of Atonement was to the high priest also a very oppressive and exhausting day. His duties, in his complete isolation, were really crushing. So laborious and trying was his work that after it was over the people gathered round him with sympathy and congratulation that he was brought through it in safety. But it was only a picture of that still more crushing load which was laid upon our great High Priest when making atonement for the sins of the world. None among all the sons of the mighty could ever have performed the work which He performed, and lived. All His life through there was a weight upon Him so heavy, and ever pressing so mightily upon His soul, that there is no account that He ever smiled. Groans and tears and deep oppression accompanied Him at almost every step. And when we come to view Him in His agonising watchings and prayers in the garden, and under the burdens of insult and wrong which were heaped upon Him in the halls of judgment, and struggling with His load along that dolorous way until the muscles of His frame yielded, and He fell faint upon the ground, and oppressed upon the Cross until His inmost soul uttered itself in cries which startled the heavens and shook the world; we have an exhibition of labour, exhaustion, and distress, at which we may well sit down and gaze, and wonder, and weep, in mere sympathy with a sorrow and bitterness beyond all other sorrow.

II. We come now to LOOK AT THE ATONEMENT ITSELF. Here we find that several kinds of offerings were to be made. The object was to make the picture complete, by bringing out in different offerings what could not all be expressed by one. They were only different phases of the same unity, pointing to the one offering of Jesus "Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God." There is a multiplication of victims, that we may see the amplitude and varied applications of the one great atonement effected by Christ Jesus. The most vital, essential, and remarkable of these atoning services was that relating to the two goats, as provided for in vers. 7-10, 15-17, 21, 22. One of these goats was to be slain as a sin-offering, and the other was to have the sins of Israel laid upon its head, and then to be taken away alive and left in the wilderness. The one typified the atonement of Christ in its means and essence; the other the same atonement in its effects.

III. A word now with REGARD TO THE PEOPLE TO BE BENEFITED BY THE SERVICES Of this remarkable day. That the services and offerings of this day were meant for the entire Jewish nation is very clear and distinct. But not all were therefore reconciled and forgiven. The efficacy of these services, in any given case, depended upon the individual himself. The atonement day was to be a day of contrition, of weeping, of soul-sorrow for sin, of confession, reformation, and return to God, a day of heart-melting and charity. Without these accompaniments its oblations were vain, its incense useless, its solemnities but idle ceremonies. And, as it was with the type, so it is with the Antitype. Would you, then, have Christ's atoning day to be a blessing to thy soul, come to it with a moved and melting heart; come to it with thy spirit bowed for thy many, many sins; come to it as the humbled prodigal came back to the kind father he had wronged; come to it as the poor heart-broken publican came, smiting thy guilty breast and crying, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"

(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)

The Day of Atonement was one of the most interesting, as it was perhaps the most solemn and impressive, of all the holy days of the Jews. For seven days previously the high priest had been making preparation for taking up his abode within the Temple precincts. The services of the day began with the first grey light of dawn; for then the high priest, after performing the ordinary morning service, arrayed himself in his fine white liner garments and prepared to go within the awful sanctuary where the Shechinah dwelt. But first he must confess his own sins, and so he lays his hand upon the head of the bullock, which was to be for his sin-offering, and said, "O Jehovah, I have committed iniquity, I have sinned, I and my house." Ten times in this prayer he repeated the name of Jehovah — a word which had an awful significance in the ears of every Jew; and every time he repeated it, those who stood near cast themselves with their faces to the ground, while the multitude responded, "Blessed be the name; the glory of His kingdom is for ever and ever." "After some other ceremonies," says Edersheim, "advancing to the altar of burnt-offering, he next filled the censer with burning coals, and then ranged a handful of frankincense in the dish destined to hold it. Every eye was now strained toward the sanctuary as, slowly bearing the censer and the incense, the figure of the white-robed priest was seen to disappear within the Holy Place — the place that had never been visited by any other except the high priest, and which he had not seen for a full twelvemonth. After that nothing further could be seen of his movements. The curtain of the most Holy Place was folded back, and he stood alone and separated from all the people in that awful gloom of the holiest of all, only lit up by the red glow of the coals in the priest's censer." What a sight met his eyes as they became accustomed to the gloom! — the mercy-seat; on either side the outstretched wings of the cherubim; and above them the visible presence of Jehovah in the cloud of the Shechinah. He whose name alone, in after-years, the Jews dared not pronounce was there, and upon him, revealed in the cloud, gazed the white-robed priest as he stood alone in that awful presence. Then, when the smoke of the incense filled the place, came this prayer from the lips of the priest: "May it please thee, O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, that neither this day nor during this year any captivity come upon us. Yet if captivity befall us this day or this year, let it be to a place where the law is cultivated. May it please Thee, O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, that want come not upon us either this day or this year. But if want visit us this day or this year, let it be due to the liberality of our charitable deeds." After further prayer and other ceremonies the priest returned to the people, and then began perhaps the most unique and interesting service of the day — the sending away of the scapegoat. Earlier in the day two goats, as similar in all respects as could be found, were chosen; lots were cast upon their heads, one being reserved for a sacrifice, the other to be sent into the wilderness. Upon the horns of the latter a piece of scarlet cloth or "tongue" was tied, telling of the guilt it had to bear. After the sacrificing of the first animal the priest laid both his hands upon the head of the second and confessed the sins of the people. "O Jehovah, they have committed iniquity; they have transgressed; they have sinned," &c. "Then," as Edersheim further says, "a strange scene would be witnessed. The priest led the sin-burdened goat out through Solomon's Porch and, as tradition has it, through the Eastern Gate, which opened upon the Mount of Olives. Here an arched bridge spanned the intervening valley, and over it they brought the goat to the Mount of Olives, where one specially appointed took him in charge." The distance between Jerusalem and the beginning of the wilderness was divided into ten stations, where one or more persons were placed to offer refreshment to the man leading the goat, and then to accompany him to the next station. At last they reached the wilderness, and their arrival was telegraphed by the waving of flags from one station back to another until in a few minutes "it was known in the Temple and whispered from ear to ear that the goat had borne upon him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited."

(F. E. Clark.)

We cannot regard the symbolical arrangements of this Day of Atonement without feeling that it is a matter of supreme importance, of urgent, indispensable necessity, that some means be devised whereby man may be separated, and separated for ever, from his sins — their guilt, their power, their memory. All the ceremonies of this day declare this fact, as do all the arrangements of the old economy, and indeed all the utterances of God's Word. What is the meaning of those abortive attempts to discover some scapegoat, who, if he cannot wholly bear, may at least share the burden and the blame? The religions and the irreligions, the beliefs and the infidelities of men declare the same fact with unmistakable plainness. Nothing can be more evident than that men have the haunting consciousness of sin, from which they seek to escape; some in one way, some in another. Man everywhere has knowledge enough of sin to feel that it would be indeed a good thing to be separated, if not from sin itself (and from that the sinner is not willing to part) at least from those wretched, miserable consequences which follow in its train. Turning away from the vain and fruitless efforts of men in this direction, we find that what is impossible with men is possible with God. We find, indeed, that God has interposed in a very wonderful way to secure this result — the separation of man from Bin, and all the hateful and deadly consequences of sin, and that by the sacrifice and substitution of His own Son, our Saviour. And the arrangements of the Day of Atonement were Divinely ordered that they might prefigure, in its character and consequences, that true atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ — that complete and finished sacrifice offered once for all by Him, "who is a priest, not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an endless life" — "a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizelek." And, as we have already remarked, our attention is especially directed to two things — the means of atonement, and the result, the consequences of atonement; in other words, to the sacrifice for sin, and the separation from it. We have a picture of the one in the goat slain and the blood sprinkled; we have a picture of the other in the leading forth into the wilderness of the sin-burdened goat, to return no more. The truth to which there is need for the most express testimony to be borne is the atonement of Christ — atonement by means of blood-shedding and blood-sprinkling. Whether men bear or forbear, whether it seem to them wisdom or foolishness, we must everywhere proclaim the same truth, that the only atonement made known in God's Word is atonement by sacrifice by the substitutionary sacrifice of God's own Son.

(T. M. Morris.)

They were of pure white linen. The ordinary "golden garments" were laid aside, for only the vestments of snowy purity must be worn when the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies. The most extraordinary care, too, must be taken to avoid defilement of every kind. Five times during the Day of Atonement must the priest bathe his whole body; ten times must he wash his feet; many times must he change his garments. These precautions, at first thought, seem to our modern views unnecessary and finical, but when we remember Him to whom all these symbols point, what type can express His purity who was holy, harmless, and undefiled; who lived among sinners yet without sin; who lived in leprous Judaea yet without spot or taint of leprosy? The sinlessness of Christ! What can typify it? The snow, perhaps we think, as it falls from the laboratory of the clouds, each flake a crystal of exquisite form and all covering with a fleecy mantle every brown, dirty, unsightly thing in the landscape. But the snow itself, when it touches earth, soon becomes defiled. The lamb washed in the running stream soon loses his purity; the high priest himself, even for a single day, could not keep his garments unpolluted, but must change them and wash his flesh over and over and over; but our High Priest came and lived among sinners for three-and-thirty years, and yet knew no sin. Pure as was the priest's linen robe, it is but a poor, faulty representative of the robe of righteousness of our High Priest.

(F. E. Clark.)

When sin is to be accounted for, we must face God each for himself, coming alone, one by one, into His presence. Friends and loved ones can be with us in sinning, but not in answering for sin. Help and cheer and sympathy can be given to us by our fellows, up to the time when we are to meet God and give an account of ourselves; then "every one of us shall give account of himself to God," then "every man shall bear his own burden," then "every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour," then "every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." How we lean on human helpers: children on parents, husband and wife on one another, scholar on teacher, people on pastor, friend on friend! But there shall be no one of these earthly supporters with us when we enter the holy place of God's presence, seeking an atonement for our sins. Then we must stand alone, face to face with God.

(H. C. Trumbull.)

A good old Christian woman in humble life was once asked, as she lay on her dying pillow, the ground of her hope for eternity. She replied, with great composure, "I rely on the justice of God"; but seeing that the reply excited surprise, added, "Justice, not to me, but to my Substitute, in whom I trust."

During the Franco-Prussian War, an English clergyman was travelling in the district occupied by the German army. There he met a German gentleman, whose route lay in the same direction, and quickly becoming friends, they resolved to accompany each other. As they walked out one day they saw a small company of soldiers come out of the camp with a handcuffed prisoner in their midst. Wondering what was about to be done, they waited until the party had approached, then asked the officer what they were going to do with that man. "Shoot him." "Why?" "He has been robbing the dead, and by the law of the land he must die." "Poor man," said the clergyman, "is he prepared to die?" "I do not know," replied the officer, "but you can speak to him if you like." The minister at once took advantage of the permission, and began to speak to the prisoner about his soul. He had not spoken long when the wretched man burst into tears. The clergyman stopped, thinking something he had said had broken him down, but he was speedily undeceived by the man exclaiming, "Oh, sir, I am not weeping because of anything you have said, or because I am going to die; I am weeping because I do not know what will become of my wife and children when I am gone." These words touched the old German gentleman, who said as he gazed with tears in his eyes at the prisoner, "I tell you what. I have no one in the world to feel my loss. I shall take your place, and as your law demands a life I shall lay down mine." And turning to the officer, he continued, "Now, please, take off these handcuffs and put them on me." "But," interposed the Englishman, "think what you are doing; is there no one who will miss you?" "No one." "Well," said the officer, as soon as he had recovered from his amazement, "I have no power to do what you wish, but you can come to the camp and hear what the general says." But it turned out the general had not the power: the general, however, said, "The Crown Prince is here, and he has the power." To the Crown Prince they went, and when he heard the strange story he was very much affected. "Our laws," he said, "will not admit of a substitute being executed for another, but though I cannot take your life, I can give you a present of this man's life. He is yours." The prince could pardon, but God cannot pardon without a Substitute, even Jesus who died in our stead that we might live.

(W. Thompson.)

Mr. Hardcastle, when dying, said, "My last act of faith I wish to be to take the blood of Jesus, as the high priest did when he entered behind the veil; and when I have passed the veil I would appear with it before the throne." So, in making the transit from one year to another, this is our most appropriate exercise. We see much sin in the retrospect; we see many a broken purpose, many a misspent hour, many a rash and unadvised word; we see much pride and anger, and worldliness and unbelief; we see a long track of inconsistency. There is nothing for us but the great atonement. With that atonement let us, like believing Israel, end and begin anew. Bearing its precious blood, let us pass within the veil of a solemn and eventful future. Let a visit to the fountain be the last act of the closing year, and let a new year still find us there.

(J. Hamilton, D. D.)

If the Creator of the universe has provided in nature an anaesthesia for physical pain, shall He not much more, in grace, provide one for moral pain? There is a wholesome and necessary pain for both the physical and the moral natures — the pain which gives warning of the disease, or indicates its presence; but when the physician comes, his province is to effect the cure without the pain as far as possible, as it is a retarding element in the process of recovery, exhausting the patient's strength, which is all needed for recuperation. Just such a useless devitalising pain for the soul would be the eternal regretful remembrance of sin, therefore it is that God declares, "Your sins and transgressions shall not be remembered nor come into mind"; "Blessed is he whose transgression is covered"; "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." "As far as the east is from the west, so far will I remove thy transgressions from thee"; "I will not look upon them nor remember them." And yet in this age of questioning people say, "How shall I not remember when science tells me memory is indestructible?" As well may the patient in his incredulity ask, "How shall I not feel the knife penetrating to the bone, when the mere scratch of a pin gives me pain?" Christ is the anaesthesia for the soul's regretful remembrance of sin.

It is said of the elephant that before he drinks in the river he troubleth the water with his feet, that so he may not see his own deformity, and it is usual with such as are well struck in years, not so much to mind the looking-glass, lest therein they behold nothing but hollow eyes, pale cheeks, and a wrinkled front, the ruins of a sometime more beautiful visage. Thus it is that men by nature are hardly drawn to the confession of their sins, but every man is ready to hide his sins by excusing them with Aaron, by colouring them with fair pretences, as did the Jews, by laying them on others as Adam did, or by denying them with Solo-men's harlots; they are ready to decline sin through all the cases, as one said wittily: in the nominative by pride, in the genitive by luxury, in the dative by bribery, in the accusative by detraction, in the vocative by adulation, in the ablative by extortion, but very loth to acknowledge them in any case, very hardly brought to make any confession of them at all.

(T. Adams.)

In the country of Arabia, where almost all trees are savoury, and frankincense and myrrh are even as common firewood, styrax is sold at a dear rate, though it be a wood of unpleasant smell, because experience proveth it to be a present remedy to recover their smell, who before had lost it. We all of us have lived in the pleasures of sin, have our senses stuffed and debilitated, if not overcome; and the best remedy against this malady will be the smelling to styrax, the unsavoury and unpleasing smell of our former corruptions; thus David's sin was ever before him, and St. (as Possidonius noteth), a little before his death, caused the penitential psalms to be written about his bed, which he still looking upon, out of a bitter remembrance of his sins, continually wept, giving not over long before he died. This practice will work repentance not to be repented of.

(J. Spencer.)

You may have noticed in the biography of some eminent men how badly they speak of themselves. Robert Southey, in his "Life of Bunyan," seems at a difficulty to understand how John Bunyan could have used such depreciating language concerning his own character. For it is true, according to all we know of his biography, that he was not, except in the case of profane swearing, at all so bad as most of the villagers. Indeed, there were some virtues in the man which were worthy of all commendation. Southey attributes it to a morbid state of mind, but we rather ascribe it to a return of spiritual health. The great light which shone around Saul of Tarsus brighter than the midday sun, was the outward type of that inner light which flashes into a regenerate soul, and reveals the horrible character of the sin which dwells within. Believe me, when you hear Christians making confessions which seem to you to be unnecessarily abject, it is not that they are worse than others, but that they see themselves in a clearer light than others.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

They who have water running home in conduit pipes to their houses, as soon as they find a want of that which their neighbours have in abundance, by and by they search into the causes, run to the conduit-head, or take up the pipes to see where they be stopped, or what is the defect, that so they may be supplied accordingly. Even so must every man do, when he finds that the grace of repentance flows into other men's hearts, and hath no recourse or access into his soul, by and by sit down and search himself what the cause should be, where the hindrance is that stays the course, where the rub lies which stoppeth the grace of repentance in him, seeing they that live lit may be) in the same house, sit at the same table, lie in the same bed, they can be penitent for their sins, sorry that they have offended God, and so complain in bitterness of soul for their sins; but he that had the same means, the same occasions, more sins to be humbled for, more time to repent, and more motives to draw him to the duty, is not yet moved with the same, nor any way affected with the sense of sin; this must needs be matter of high concernment to look about him.

(J. Spencer.)

I think that men look upon repentance and humiliation before God very much as they do upon a voyage from the tropics to the North Pole. Every single league as they advance toward the Arctic region they leave more and more behind them greenness, and fruit, and warmth, and civilisation, and find themselves more and more in the midst of sterility, barrenness, ice, and barbarism. I think that men repent toward the frigid zones. They think that to go to God is dreary and desolate in the extreme. It is not. The sinner is an Esquimaux! He lives in ice and burrows underground, and is but little better than a beast. But if by any means he becomes fired with a conception of a better clime, and leaving his hibernating quarters, he takes the ship Repentance and sails toward the torrid zone, at every league he is surprised by the new forms of vegetation by which he is surrounded. He has seen oak-trees only about as high as his knee. Not long after he sets out on his voyage he is astonished to see them as high as his head. By and by, as he draws near the tropics, he is lost in wonder and ecstasy to see them lifting themselves far above him in the air. And with what satisfaction does he compare the delightful home that he has found with the miserable one that he has left behind.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Two kids of the goats for a sin-offering.
I. As TO THE GOAT THAT WAS PUT TO DEATH. To die as a sacrifice for human guilt was the great end of Christ's life and mission into our world. Thus was He represented by the goat that was sacrificed. Notice how the figure was still further carried out.


1. Over the head of this goat the sins of the people were confessed, and on it symbolically laid. Thus Jesus came to be our Surety and Substitute.

2. Iniquities, transgressions, and sins, were confessed, and laid on the scapegoat. Showing us here the extent of Christ's sacrifice for all kinds of guilt, whether arising from neglect of God's commands or the wilful violation of His righteous prohibitions. In the sacrifice of Christ there was an atonement for every kind of sin, and for all grades and classes of sinners.

3. The scapegoat was dismissed into the wilderness with the imputed iniquity of the people upon it. Thus has Jesus truly borne our guilt away. He has obtained for a world of transgressors the offer of pardon. For the polluted race of Adam the means of purity. For condemned and dying sinners the favour of God and the gift of eternal life. Notice —

III. HOW THE BENEFITS OF THE SCAPEGOAT WERE CONFERRED UPON THE PEOPLE. Aaron was to lay both his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, and there confess all the sins of the people. How clearly does this show us the appointed medium by which we enjoy the salvation of Christ.

1. There must be implicit faith or confidence in His person and sacrifice.

2. Faith in Jesus will ever be accompanied by sincere repentance. It will be connected with ingenious confession, deep contrition, entire self-abasement, and self-loathing before God, with earnest forsaking of the paths of impenitence and sin.Application:

1. We see here the connection between sin and death. Sin deserves death, exposes to death; where it is unforgiven it will involve in eternal death. "The soul that sinneth," &c.

2. In Christ's death is the only real sacrifice for sin: "He died for our sins." What a glorious truth! How precious! how momentous!

3. Faith is the only medium of securing to the soul the benefits of that death.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

1. Of the divers lots appointed for men, of some unto life, some unto death.

2. Ministers should have a great care to govern their families.

3. Christ alone sufficient to save us.

4. Remission of sins not procured by any strength in man, but by faith in Christ.

5. Righteousness not by the words of the law, but by faith only in Christ.

(A. Willet, D. D.)

1. Divine secrets not curiously to be searched into.

2. To approach and draw near before God with holiness and reverence.

3. Of the force and efficacy of prayer.

4. Of the profit and fruit of fasting.

5. Remission of sins only granted to the penitent.

6. Evil thoughts and lusts to be cast away.

(A. Willet, D. D.)

The two goats really formed one and the same figure — one was slain and one was led off into the wilderness; but to typify that the figure was one, and the same, they must both be exactly alike, they must cost the same price, they must be bought at the same time; one was slain for sin, the other was led away far into the wilderness, bearing the sins of all the people laid upon His head. Our Lord, in His life and death, combined both these types. He was slain for sin and bears the sin away. There is one element of this ceremonial that we must carefully note. The idea of vicarious sacrifice is very prominent. This element must never be lost out of our doctrine of the atonement. An atonement without the sacrifice is no atonement. "According to the law I may almost say all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from the shedding of blood is no remission." Bring every beautiful thought and theory into the atonement that belongs there: the example, the upholding of law, the lustral effect on man's moral nature, are all there; but this is there too. Through the vicarious sacrifice of the God Man our sins are borne for ever away into the wilderness, and are remembered no more against us.

(F. E. Clark.)

There have been disputes about the interpretation of this. I may state that Faber, a very acute and able critic upon Leviticus, thinks that the one goat was sacrificed for sin-representing Christ's death; that the scapegoat was dedicated to the evil spirit-representing Christ put into the power of Satan to be tempted in the wilderness. The reason that he thinks so is that the word for goat of "scape" is azazel; and that name was applied to the fallen spirit by the Jews. And therefore Faber thinks it was one goat for a sacrifice — to denote Christ's atonement; the other goat let loose to Satan, or sent away to Satan — to represent the Saviour given up into the hands of the wicked one to be tempted for a season. The second interpretation is by Bush, the American commentator, a man of great sagacity and talent; and he thinks that the one goat that was slain as a sacrifice represented Christ's atonement for us, but that the other goat represented the Jewish races let loose, bearing the fearful responsibility of having trodden under foot the precious blood of Christ, and crucified the Son of God, and stained their name and their nation with the infamy of that crime; and that they, a blasted race, driven into the desert, were represented by the scapegoat that was here let go. And he thinks on the same ground, that when the lots were cast, and Jesus was condemned and Barabbas was let go, that that was the carrying out of the same great symbol — Barabbas, the representative of the Jews, let go, but branded with an inexpiable crime; and Jesus, the Great Atonement. sacrificed for the sins of all that believe. These criticisms, however, are more plausible than true. I do think the old-fashioned interpretation is the just one, and there is no valid reason for superseding it: that the one goat sacrificed on the altar was the symbol of Christ our Saviour or Atonement sacrificed for us; and that the other goat let loose into the desert was the symbol and representation to the children of Israel of Jesus rising from the dead, bearing the sins that He had exhausted, entering into heaven, and there ever living to make intercession for us. I know there are difficulties even in accepting the last of these; but those difficulties, if they do not completely vanish, are much diluted when you notice the accompaniments or the rites by which this goat was let loose into the wilderness: that the priest was to lay his hands upon the head of the scapegoat — the one that was presented alive; over it he was to confess all the sins of the children of Israel, and then this scapegoat was let loose with the sins of Israel upon its head. Now, the very phraseology that is applied to the scapegoat is applied to Jesus: "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away" — that carrieth away "the sins of the world." And I cannot conceive a more beautiful type of Christ our Saviour, or a more expressive exhibition of the mode in which we become interested in Him than that of the high priest laying his hand upon his head, transferring the sins of Israel to it, dismissing it, and the sins blotted out, no more remembered, carried into a desert, passed away from the reminiscences of Israel and of God for ever.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

The cloud of the incense.

1. AS typically exhibited under the law.

2. As actually fulfilled in Christ. He not only suffered on the Cross, but ascended; not on His own account, but ours. Illustrated by common analogies: as an advocate appears on behalf of his clients; a king on behalf of his subjects; a general as representative of his troops; a priest at the altar as representative of whole body of worshippers; so Christ appears as the representative of all His believing people. As our King He appears in beauty; as Captain of salvation appears victorious; as Elder Brother; as Priest, Counsellor, Advocate. Grand expression of His love. Not content to offer one life on the Cross. He consecrates His new existence. Though raised to the throne of reverence, does not overlook His little flock (John 17.).


1. The forgiveness of our sins. "If any man sin." After all done for us, we are guilty and undeserving. But while our sins are crying out against us on earth, Christ is pleading in heaven.

2. Relief of our sorrows. Christ possesses a capacity of sympathy, especially in mental distresses, tenderness of conscience, &c. Hannah prayed, but Eli's heart was not touched with feeling of her infirmity.

3. The acceptance of our duties. These are maimed and imperfect. Enough evil in them to render them offensive and displeasing to God. But Christ presents them (Revelation 8:2).

4. The frustration of spiritual enemies. Satan is the avenger, but Christ is our Advocate. "Peter, I have prayed for thee."

(S. Thodey.)

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