In V’yikrah/Leviticus 16 we read of the Yom haKippurim protocols to effect an atonement and cleansing for Am Yisrael. The instructions include the taking of two goats, one as a sin offering and one to bear Yisrael’s crookednesses into the wilderness.  The Kohen haGadol/High Priest is to take the blood of the sin offering, which is for the people according to 16:15, and sprinkle it upon the Lid of Atonement. This sprinkling is “…because of the uncleanness of the children of Yisrael and because of their transgressions in all their sins.”

In verse 18 we read, “And he shall go out to the slaughter-place that is before YHWH and make atonement for it.” Read that verse again. The atonement is stated to be for the Altar or Slaughter-Place, not the people. 

A careful reading of these most set apart procedures and protocols will reveal that blood is not placed upon people, but upon sacred objects that are a part of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. While we were trained to pray, “Wash me in your blood” or “I plead the blood of Messiah”, this particular text reveals that it is the Altar and the Mercy Seat that is tainted and in need of cleansing. Actually, it is only a few occasions that the blood of offerings are placed on people. See Shemot/Exodus 24:8, V’yikrah/Leviticus 8:23-24, and 14:14 as examples of the rare occasions of humans having blood place on them. 

What is the Torah trying to teach us? 

The sins that you and I commit are included among those of the corporate body of Messiah, of Am Yisrael. We have sinned corporately as well as individually and our sins have the result of tainting the very altar that brings atonement. In Daniel 9 the prophet confesses “…we have sinned…And all Yisrael have transgressed Your Torah and turned aside…” As a people, all of our collective sins stain and defile the very altar that should be effectual for our cleansing and atonement. In other words, when we transgress Yah’s commands, individually and corporately, we cause our offerings of worship, of prayers, and of giving to have little or no value as the altar is defiled and now unclean. However, we yet have hope of being heard and being forgiven because of Y’shua’s blood! 

Consider that there are significant differences in the realm of the Ruach/Spirit and the realm of the physical. The concept and reality of time stand among those differences, being experienced in the physical realm but not necessarily in the spiritual. Yah does not wear a wrist watch and has already declared the end from the beginning. It is the effect of time that causes us to age and physically deteriorate. Spilled blood will dry up and darken because of time causing it to be exposed to air. The blood of Y’shua however was not presented in an earthly realm physical temple but rather in the heavenly spiritual realm. Being placed upon the Altar of Slaughtering in that realm, a place not affected by time, should result in blood that is eternally wet, filled with continuing life and cleansing. 

My point is that our individual and corporate sins may defile the earthly copy of the Altar but in the spiritual realm above, the blood of Messiah continually offers cleansing and purifying. Therefore we should cry out with boldness and fervent hearts that His blood provide access to the Father for us, that He continually hear us and find our offerings acceptable. Further, let us repent and turn from our corporate sins as well as our individual sins, that we may find acceptance in Yah’s sight as a people and that He might restore us as His people; a nation set apart unto Him. May He cleanse and forgive our sins that all Yisrael may be saved. Blessed be Y’shua our Messiah for presenting His blood once and for all on behalf of a fallen and wayward people. Blessed be YHWH the Father Who forgives our sins and cleanses our iniquities. Amen.

 

-Barry Phillips

 

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