“Next, he is to slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the ark-cover and in front of the ark-cover. He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses.”-Leviticus 16:15-16
The YOM KIPPUR ritual is a wonderful picture of God’s love for us and how He cleanses us from all sin.
When making atonement, Aaron dips his finger into the bowl of bull’s blood and sprinkles some of the blood 7 times onto the front of the KAPPORET.
The KAPPORET is the lid that sits atop the Ark of the Covenant.
We know for sure that the blood is being sprinkled on the front side of the Mercy Seat because we’re being told it’s being done from the “East” end and we also know that the Holy of Holies faces eastward.
After sprinkling the bull’s blood seven times, the same thing is done with the blood of the sacrificed goat.
Again, notice the dual nature of this ritual.
The bull’s blood atones for Aaron personally and the goat’s blood atones for all of Israel.
Let’s take a good look at verse 16.
“He will make atonement for the Holy Place because of the uncleannesses of the people of Isra’el and because of their transgressions — all their sins; and he is to do the same for the tent of meeting which is there with them right in the middle of their uncleannesses.”
The word “uncleannesses” which I bolded and underlined is TUM’OT in Hebrew.
Now take a good look at the ultimate reason given for why this ritual is being done.
The purpose is to cleanse the sanctuary from all of its accumulated TUM’OT or “uncleannesses”.
And we are that some of the UNCLEANNESS is brought about by sin and of course some isn’t.
Remember that not all UNCLEANNESS comes from sin.
What I find inspiring about all this is that here we get a picture of God dwelling with Israel in the midst of their TUM’OT or UNCLEANNESS.
Isn’t this inspiring?!
I mean what a merciful and loving God we worship!!!
He has chosen to live in our midst for our benefit because He loved us.
And He only required of the Israelites that once a year His HOLY dwelling place be purified all of the manmade pollution that had defiled it.
After the sanctuary is purged of impurities, verse 18 tells us that the Altar of Burnt Offering also has to be purified by sprinkling some Bull and goat’s blood on it.
Afterward, from verse 20, we arrive at the Scapegoat ritual which is just one of the most amazing and mind-blowing demonstrations of how our sin is transferred to a SUBSTITUTE and that sin is removed far from us.
The sins of the Israelites are NOT just covered but their sins are completely gotten rid of.
Notice also that the Scapegoat is an innocent living creature.
And also notice that during the ceremony there was nothing the Israelites could do to “help” God.
All they could do was just stand back and watch in awe as the Lord applied His remedy to remove the sins from the people.
No doubt this is a shadow of our helpless position today.
There is nothing we of our own power can do to rescue us from our sins.
Our Father in Heaven, He has to come down and help us or we’re done for.
We’re told that Aaron performs SEMICHAH (laying on of hands) on the goat chosen for AZAZEL and confesses all of Israel’s sins committed over the past year.
For a fuller treatment of what the goat for AZAZEL is all about, click here.
The weight of all of Israel’s iniquities is placed onto the male goat and then the goat is sent to carry all the sins of Israel away into the wilderness, NEVER TO RETURN!