by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Leviticus 16:13-16, 21-22 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
Yesterday, I began to touch on the significance of "rachamim", the mercies of God. The scripture expressed that our sins are removed as far as "the east is from the west" — meaning they are completely forgiven when confessed. On the feast of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement two goats are involved in the sacrifice. The blood of the first goat was placed on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The other, or "scapegoat" was released into the wilderness, signifying that our sins were not only covered, but also removed. In the days of the Temple, this "scapegoat" was led through the Eastern Gate toward the Mount of Olives where it would disappear from view, as it fulfilled the removal of sins from the people.
Now the Mount of Olives was also the location of the ascension of Yeshua (Jesus) when he left this earth after his death and resurrection. His shed blood took away our sins when He brought it to the Heavenly Mercy Seat, typified by the goat who was slain on Yom Kippur. But He also ascended and disappeared from just east of the Temple on the Mount of Olives in the same way as the "scapegoat"….. showing that our sins are completely removed, as far as the east is from the west!
Yeshua's sacrifice completely covered and removed our sins. We can walk in full assurance of His forgiveness, with a cleansed conscience in newness of life today and every day. We are perfect in Him. Receive His mercy, confess your sins, and walk in freedom fully realizing they have been removed — as far as the east is from the west…by His amazing grace!