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Communion Meditations (2023)


High Priest

Originally scheduled for March 12

The grave of many a plan to read through the Bible in a year is found in the book of Leviticus. It seems to be one large collection of small regulations which, 3000 years later, seemed to have no relationship to the Christian life. It is only when we remember that many of these things are pictures of what is to come that we can learn from. One example of this is the Day of Atonement, detailed in Leviticus chapter 16. Let’s take a look at what the High Priest does on the Day of Atonement.
·        He brings a sin offering, both for himself and for the people.
·        He goes through ritual cleansing, both himself and his priestly clothing.
·        He brings two goats, one to be the atonement and the other to be the scapegoat.
·        He produces a thick cloud of incense.
·        He uses blood to ceremonially cleanse the Holy Place.
·        He confesses the sins of the people over the scapegoat.
All this seems like just so much legalistic ritual until you look at it from the point of view of Christ coming. Christ is our sin offerings, sacrificed at the cross for all of us. It was made by the one sinless man to walk this planet. He served both as atonement sacrifice and scapegoat. The offering looks backwards to our sins; the scapegoat means God will remember them no more. And of course, it is by his blood we are cleansed.
But some of the things in this ritual also picture the nation of royal priests, the church.
·        One such aspect is confessing our sins. Communion includes the time of self-examination in which this should be done.
·        We are told that incense represents the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8). Let us bring our intercessory prayers to Him.
·        And as we go through the week, let us wear the clean linen of the saints which we are told represents our righteous acts (Revelation 19:8).
More than 3000 years ago God had already planned the atonement for us. He showed the ancient Jews what it was like in the hopes they would recognize the real thing when they saw it. They pictured it in a ritual; we remember it as a memorial ceremony. Examine you sins and repent; then go forth with intercessory prayers and righteousness displayed to the world.

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