Atonement Day

Author: Melissa Yeagle — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: November 12, 2019

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Atonement Day

READ: LEVITICUS 16:2, 11-19, 30-34; ROMANS 8:1-4

Did you know in Arizona it’s illegal to spit on the sidewalk? Or that, in Waterbury, Connecticut, barbers can’t hum while doing your hair? Obviously, these funny laws aren’t strictly enforced—otherwise the jails would be filled.

The book of Leviticus in the Bible is filled with laws God gave His people after He rescued them from Egypt. The laws included what they could eat, wear, celebrate, touch, etc.

These laws were so hard to follow that everyone broke them at some point in their lives. But that was the purpose of the laws: God is holy—totally good, set apart, and without sin—and He was dwelling with His people, who were just as sinful as we are today. The strictness of the laws shows us we can’t earn God’s love or forgiveness, which are gifts from Him that we can only receive by faith (Galatians 3:10, 13-14, 24).

And why do we need the gift of forgiveness? Sinning, which is breaking God’s good laws, has always had a serious consequence: death (Romans 6:23). Yet, even back then, God made a way for His people to be rescued from sin and death. When they sinned, they went to their priest to make sacrifices to God by killing animals, such as goats and lambs. Today’s Scripture reading talks about Atonement Day, a yearly event when the people had to make special sacrifices in order to make up for their sins.

So, today, why don’t Christians need to follow all of the levitical laws or have an Atonement Day? Because Jesus came to be our atonement—the payment for our sin. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says He didn’t come to get rid of the law but to meet the law’s requirements. That’s why He’s referred to as the Lamb of God (John 1:29). When He died on the cross for our sins, He was the ultimate sacrifice (Hebrews 10:1-4, 11-14). When we put our trust in Jesus as our Savior from sin, He covers all our sins—past, present, and future (Psalm 103:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:21). • Melissa Yeagle

• Thousands of animals had to be sacrificed to cover the sins of Israel. (Leviticus 5 gives some examples of sins that would require a sacrifice.) Why, then, did the sacrifice of just one Person (Jesus) cover all of our sins forever (Romans 5:15-19; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:23-28)?

• How does our freedom from the levitical law empower us to serve Christ (Galatians 3:23–4:7)?

• Why is it important to remember that Jesus’ life and sacrifice cover all of your sins—even the ones you commit today?

• What questions do you have about the law in Leviticus? Who is a trusted Christian friend you can bring those questions to?

He himself [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 (CSB)