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Day of Atonement

"Can I go with you to the Temple today, Grandpa?"


"No child, it will be better if you come with your father later. Today I must prepare extra carefully for service. Today I must meet with God face to face. All must be perfect."


"But, why can't I come with you? I love God too. And want to meet Him."


"No one can just come to see God, for He is Holy and cannot look on sin. He must only be approached as God has prescribed. The Bible tells of many who died because they dared to approach God on their own terms."


"Today is the Day of Atonement, the day your Grandfather, High Priest of Israel must present the blood offering to God in His Holiest Place. I must go behind the veil with the atoning blood as God has ordained."


The Tabernacle


God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, the instructions for building the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Through this tent like structure, God provided a way for man to approach his Holy God, and receive forgiveness of sin.


Exodus 26:1 "Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them."


The Tabernacle was about forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide, and fifteen feet high. A thick curtain was hung fifteen feet from the end of the tabernacle, making a separate room called the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt.


God then instructed Moses on how to make the furnishings for the Tabernacle. In the main room were the Candlestick, the Table of Shewbread, and the Alter of Incense. But in the room behind the veil was the most important of the furnishings, the Ark of the Covenant.


Exodus 25:8-11 "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about."


God told Moses to make a box lined and covered with gold. Inside this box, Moses would put the Law that God gave him on Mount Sinai. The Law that showed the standard for mans acceptance before Holy God. The law that showed the sin of all men.


This box had a very special lid.


Exodus 25:17-22 "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the Ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give commandments unto the children of Israel."


 On the lid of the Ark was the mercy seat, were Cherubim on each side facing each other and looking down on the Mercy Seat. God said he would meet with man above the Mercy Seat. Now when God looked down upon the Mercy Seat, he looked straight at the Law that man had broken, and was reminded of the guilt of a sinful people. God cannot look on sin without judging the sinner.

God's Plan for Man


When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God made them coats of skins to cover them. When God killed that innocent animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve, He established the principle that "without shedding of blood is no remission."


Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

At the Tabernacle and later the Temple, God provided a way for man to come to Him. Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was to take the blood of a perfect sacrifice behind the veil and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat. Then when God met with man at the Ark of the Covenant, God would look down upon the Mercy Seat and instead of seeing the broken law, He would see the blood of the sacrifice that paid the price for man's transgressions. But the blood of goats and bulls brought only temporary atonement. Every year for century upon century the blood had to be freshly applied to the Mercy Seat.



God's Plan for Man


At Calvary, Jesus, the sinless Son of God shed his own blood in sacrifice for the sins of mankind. After three days in the tomb, Jesus arose from the dead and was soon confronted by Mary in the garden. Grief stricken Mary, thinking she was addressing the gardener, asked where he had taken Jesus' body. When Jesus spoke her name, she turned to hug him and he told her "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:"


John 20:17 "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

After speaking with Mary, Jesus ascended to the Father and poured out His own sinless blood on the Mercy Seat in heaven.

, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies one sacrifice for sins for everHebrews 10:11 "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Now when God looks upon the Christian, He sees the sacrificial blood of atonement, that Christ shed, instead of the guilt and sin of the transgressor. And Christ's blood need never be shed again. It is the Last Blood that God will ever require. Only a sinless sacrifice would be acceptable to God. Jesus was the only sinless man ever to live, and therefore the only acceptable sacrifice. Only our trust in Jesus' shed blood can cleanse us from sin and make us acceptable to Holy God. Please trust in Jesus, for He is the only way you have to heaven.


John 14:6  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."



The Last Blood

– by Jim Zeigler
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