READ: Leviticus 16
THINK: When was the last time you saw a sign that said, "NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL," and had a burning desire to peek behind the door or beyond the barrier? Then again, it's no big deal to be denied access to janitorial supplies, high voltage equipment or an employee restroom. But it's a different story if you've been excluded from relationships or events that you wanted to be a part of. Perhaps you didn't get invited to the party. Or maybe you were too young to go on the missions trip. All of us know the hurt of feeling left out. But with God, you never have to feel left out. Though other people may exclude you, the One who spoke the universe into existence has given you open access to His presence. You don't have to earn it. You don't have to deserve it. If you come to Him with a humble heart you can find forgiveness, fellowship and faith to become all He created you to be.
RESPOND: Why couldn't Aaron enter the Most Holy Place whenever he wanted (16:1-2)? Why must we come to God on His terms, not our own? How has people's access to God changed from Old Testament times to now, and what accounts for the change? What happened on The Day of Atonement? (See article on The Day of Atonement, section 1, The Need for Atonement, p. 174 in the FBSE.) What does it mean to make "atonement," and why is it necessary? Why were two goats involved in the atonement ritual (16:8-9)? What happened with the blood of the sacrificial goat, and what did this process represent? (See article, section 2, The Ritual of The Day of Atonement.) What was the scapegoat and what did the priest do with it? What did the goat's release into the desert symbolize? (See article, section 2, The Ritual of The Day of Atonement.) In what way did the Day of Atonement point to a future event? (See article, section 3, Christ and The Day of Atonement.) How is this ritual symbolic of what Jesus did? (See Hebrews 9:6-10:18) What did the repetitive nature of Old Testament sacrifices indicate about them? How does Jesus' sacrifice differ from Old Testament sacrifices? (See article, section 3, subpoint 3.) Why is Jesus' sacrifice able to remove sin permanently rather than just cover it temporarily?
PRAY: Thank Jesus for the access He's given you to God the Father. Give Him gratitude for forgiving and forgetting your sin and for removing the guilt of those things you've confessed to Him and left behind.
ACT: If there is unconfessed sin in your life, admit it to God now and receive His forgiveness. Perhaps you are still struggling with the memories or guilt of things for which God has forgiven you. Confess your struggle to God. Then rely on His love and strength to leave these things behind for good so you can get on with God's purposes for your life. If you're holding a grudge or harboring unforgiveness toward anyone, confess this to God and ask Him to help you resolve the issue in your own mind and, if appropriate, with the other person.
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