The Sacrifice of Atonement
In the Old Testament: Just like
the other sacrifices, the sacrifice of sanctification for all Israelites
was offered in the tabernacle. The High Priest cleaned himself and
put on the holy linen garments instead of the usual formal dress
for rituals, selected a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as
a burnt offering for himself and his house (Leviticus 16:3-4). The
High Priest laid his hands on the head of the offerings to pass
on the yearly sins of his people.
The laying on of hands was an essential
part of the Day of Atonement. If it had not been performed, offering
the sacrifice couldn't have been carried out because the atonement
for sin could not be accomplished without the laying on of hands,
thus passing the yearly sins of the Israelites onto the sin offering.
In Leviticus 16:21, "And Aaron
shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over
it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions,
concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat,
and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable
He took two goats as sin offerings
and a ram as a burnt offering from the people (Leviticus 16:5).
Then, he presented two goats before the Lord at the door of the
tabernacle and cast lots to select the one for 'the Lord' and
the other to be the 'scapegoat.'
The one for the Lord was offered as
a sin offering, and the scapegoat was offered alive before the Lord
to atone for the yearly sins of the people of Israel and then put
out into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:7-10).
The sins of Israel had to be passed
onto the scapegoat by the laying on of the hands of the High Priest.
Then, the scapegoat, which took on itself all the sins of Israel,
was put out into the wilderness for reconciliation between the people
and God. Thus the yearly sins of Israel were washed away.
In the New Testament: In the
same way, Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist (the laying
on of hands in the Old Testament) and took away all the sins of
the world as the sacrificial Lamb to fulfill the salvation of God
(Leviticus 20:22, Matthew 3:15, John 1:29, 36).
In the Old Testament, before the casting
of lots, Aaron killed the young bull as a sin offering for himself
and his house (Leviticus 16:11). Then, he took a censer full of
burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord with his hands
full of sweet incense, beaten fine, and took it beyond the veil.
He then put the incense on the fire before the Lord so that the
cloud of incense might hover over the mercy seat. He also took some
of the blood of the bull and sprinkled it with his finger on and
before the mercy seat seven times (Leviticus 16:12-19).
On the Day of Atonement, the laying
of Aaron's hands on the head of the offering could not be omitted.
Aaron laid hands on the head of the goat and passed all the sins
and all the iniquities of Israel on to his head. Then, a suitable
man took the goat into the wilderness and sent it forth. The scapegoat
wandered in the wilderness with the sins of Israel and died for
them in the end. This was the typical sacrifice of atonement in
the Old Testament.
It is the same in the New Testament
except the scapegoat was substituted by Jesus Christ, who took away
all the sins of the world upon Himself through His baptism, bled
and died on the Cross for us all.
Therefore now, the salvation from all
sins cannot be brought without the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus
Christ, the heavenly High Priest. This is the fulfillment of salvation
of being born again of water and the Spirit.