Understanding Propitiation ~ Part II
The clearest and best example of propitiation is seen by observing the sacrifices presented on the Day of Atonement as recorded in Leviticus, chapter 16. Unlike the Passover, which was a memorial celebration each year in remembrance of Israel’s redemption from the bondage of Egypt, the Day of Atonement was a necessary provision by God in order for Him to be gracious and merciful towards sinful Israel. The spiritual truth shown through the Passover celebration being called a memorial celebration is the fact that redemption is a one-time event. No one who has ever truly been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb ever needs to be re-redeemed. Anyone who has been born from above has been crucified with Christ. That person is a new creation in the Last Adam and a partaker of the divine nature of God. That person stands accepted in the beloved, possessing a perfect righteousness, the very righteousness of the Son of God Himself. Eternal life is in fact, eternal life!
Upon returning to the subject of propitiation as demonstrated on the Day of Atonement, it becomes necessary to look at some background information pertaining to the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the veil, the room called the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, and more particularly the lid of the Ark, called the Mercy Seat. Let us begin.
Israel, God’s elect nation, was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb, as previously mentioned. God personally led the nation for 40 years through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night. After passing through the Red Sea, Israel camped at a mountain range called Horeb wherein was Mt. Sinai. At Mt. Sinai, God made a covenant of Law with Israel. The covenant was written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone called the “Ten Commandments”…Deut.4:13. Moses, in anger, broke the two tablets when he descended the mountain and saw Israel worshiping a golden calf instead of the one true God who had delivered them. God instructed Moses to return to Sinai and bring with him two new tablets of stone on which He again with His finger wrote His law. Moses was then instructed by God to build a wooden box, or Ark, to protect the Law of God. The tablets were placed inside the Ark and then the lid was put in place. The lid was solid gold and fashioned with two Cherubim facing downward toward the Law of God. The Ark was placed in a 15×15 room called the “Holy of Holies”. The veil prevented anyone from looking upon or approaching the Ark. The lid above the Ark was called the “Mercy Seat”. Above the Mercy Seat was the only place on planet Earth where God chose to dwell among His people and speak to Moses. Only once per year, on the Day of Atonement, the Glory of God would appear above the Mercy Seat, and forgiveness of sin would be granted to the Nation Israel through the person of the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies with the blood of the propitiation. Only by propitiation could holy God dwell among sinful men!
Next week, details of the sacrifice.
Tony Register, Pastor
Cornerstone of Faith
P.O. Box 155, Cordele