Leviticus 16 – Leviticus 18
As we enter Chapter 16, the celebration for the Day of Atonement is established. Jew’s know it better now as Yon Kippur, and is typically celebrated near the end of September or early October.
The Day of Atonement, as spelled out in Leviticus gives specific instructions to Aaron, on how and when he is to enter the Holy of Holies. We have to remember back to chapter 10 when Nadab and Abihu didn’t follow God’s command and were just going in and out as they pleased, burning the incorrect fire, etc., all of which resulted in their death. In response to that, God speaks to Moses on how and when Aaron is allowed in the inner most portion of the Tabernacle. One day a year. Only after bathing and offering the ritual sacrifice.
These instructions are important for God. These instructions are important for Aaron. These instructions are important for us.
As the Day of Atonement is honored, it is a day when our sins are remembered and set free. Also, take note that the people’s sins are set free in two different ways. One, as the goat as sacrificed on the altar. Two, as a second goat is set free (the scapegoat). Both important in their own way. One, erases the stain of our sin by burning it on the altar. The other, sets us free from the guilt of our sins by setting them free. Both to be celebrated. Both to be honored on the Day of Atonement.
Lastly, Chapter 16 is a pivot point for the Book of Leviticus. From here we go back into the clean/unclean imagery. However, rather than being focused on the relationship between us and God. These next several chapters define our relationships with one another.
Next reading: Leviticus 19-21