Richard Agee

‘It’s not us; it’s You’: Unselfishness of God shown on Day of Atonement

Richard AgeeYom haKippurim (literally, Day of Coverings) is a day that wears many people out, because we’re focused on, When are we going to eat? Yet, we are to supposed to focus upon what the Son of God — the ultimate High Priest and fulfillment of the two goats of the day — did for us. He went through a tremendous affliction for us. The Day of Atonement is not about us and what we do but about the High Priest and what He does. It’s all about how God brings us to Himself. We are only drawn to God if He draws us to Himself.

Lev. 23:26-32 tells us how Yom haKippurim is to be kept, while Leviticus 16 gives details about what the High Priest is supposed to do during the day. It also shows us the lengths God is willing to go to reconcile people to Himself. 

Both of the goats brought in on the Day of Atonement are the sin offer, one to die and one to escape into the wilderness. It’s a day of separation, not a day of joining. 

God sits on the mercy seat as a cloud. It belongs to God. Aaron lights up the incense so the cloud will cover God’s glory and the High Priest will not be killed by God’s glory when the High Priest enters the inner sanctum of God’s house. 

God placed His dwelling place in the midst of the people — and their “impurities”:

“He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.” (Lev. 16:16)

Why would God put His house in the midst of uncleanliness? God is going to do a work and deal with the uncleanliness. He will not let the uncleanness persist. 

What the High Priest did was not seen by the people. He is making the atonement and covering for the people and their benefit. The High Priest has to clean up the unclean, following God’s instructions, so that God can dwell with the people. 

Sometimes, we look at our lives in light of Torah and assume that it’s the sin offering that takes away the sin. We hope that we never have to accidentally or even purposefully commit a sin, but sin does happen. What does God want when that happens?

The life of the goat that was killed on Yom haKippurim is just dead — gone — but the one that was sent to the wilderness was cursed to live outside the camp forever. 

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.” (Heb. 10:1)

Hebrews 10 is all about the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement had to happen every year because the Hight Priest, descendant of Aaron, could never remove sin once and for all. This priest (and his descendants) had to go back every year to atone. If it had worked, it would never have had to happen again.

But Yeshua’s body was prepared for not only the goat that was killed but for the goat that was cursed and cast out. His sacrifice was once and for all. How many times did Yeshua say, “Thy will be done”? Three times, when He was facing death. He was under so much stress during that prayer that He sweat blood but God loved the world so much that He sacrificed His Son for us. God wants our heart, He doesn’t want robots. God wants people who will listen and obey because of love for Him, not terror. 

We aren’t any better than the ancient Israelites. He wants us to be His people just as He wanted them to be His people. He wants us to be like His Son. 

“‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.'” (Heb. 10:16–17; quoting Jer. 31:33-34)

When will this happen? Since your baptism, have you sinned since then? Of course. What God wants is a broken and contrite spirit. How hard is that? What else can we offer Him?

The Day of Atonement is not about us and what we do but about the High Priest and what He does. It’s all about how God brings us to Himself. We are only drawn to God if He draws us to Himself. 

How close are you to God? If you walk through that veil through the new and living way, how do you enter without sin, transgression and iniquity? It’s all about the cloud seated on the mercy seat. 

We need to live like Yeshua lived. We have to live as He lived before we can be prepared to do His work. 

What is it going to take for God to make you right with Him? God began a good work and will finish it. All we have to do is respond. It sounds simple but it’s hard for people to respond to something they can’t sense with their five senses. 

What is God’s goal? He makes Himself clear in Jeremiah 31.  

“‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.'” (Jer. 31:33–34)

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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