The Day of Atonement comes right before the Feast of Tabernacles. It reminds us that the door to paradise (the good times after the harvest) is through being made clean in God’s sight – that is, atonement has to be made for us. Hebrews 9:23-28 reminds us that Christ did not have to offer Himself every year, but only once – He is the atonement we need!
The Lord says at the start of this passage,
“For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.”
Further down we read, of Aaron,
“… 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.”
We see that God put into place boundaries to both allow for the high priest to make atonement before the presence of the Lord _and_ to make it possible that the high priest would not die (in the presence of the Lord).
The presence of the LORD (Yahweh) was a powerful and significant thing, not just in a head-space way, but physically – We needed to be protected.
Moses, up on the mountain, only saw the train of God’s glory, where He had been. And even that small fraction of presence was enough to alter Moses so that the people were filled with fear at his own appearance (Exodus 34).
When thinking on this – How much sense does Jesus make, that God would send Himself to make full and lasting (forever) atonement as High Priest (Hebrews 9).
He is a High Priest who could enter the most holy of holies and not die! God humbling Himself to walk this road in the person of the Son.
This is our God, how good He is! This is our Saviour, Hallelujah!
* Great God Above,
Creator, sustainer, life-giver.
Thank You for making atonement for Your people, for us.
Thank You that Jesus was a once-for-all sacrifice.