What Happened on the Day of Atonement? – by Desmond Ford

Dec 22, 2015 2709

Day of AtonementPaul uses the figure of Christ making a sacrifice of atonement. Let me tell you what happened every Day of Atonement. And as I rehearse it briefly, will you think of the closing events of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

This is what happened every Day of Atonement – there was the great sacrifice of the year..

Only the high priest did everything on that day; of the people there were none with him. This was the only day he went into the Most Holy Place, the only day, but let me tell you what happened.

The night before the sacrifice he was kept up all night and his clothes were changed several times lest he defile himself. During the night, the High Priest was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer questions.

Then when the cock crowed in the morning the fires were lit for the sacrifice and the high priest goes in alone after having slain the beast. There were 14 sacrifices that day and he slew them all; no one helped him. Of the people there were none with him.

So the High Priest takes the blood for the only time through the veil into the Most Holy Place and sprinkles it on the mercy seat so that God can look at the broken law through the blood of the substitute. Then the High Priest strips himself of his glorious robes and leaves them there in the sanctuary and puts on the common robe of a common priest. He then comes out and blesses the people.

Now, come with me to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus, on the eve of the atonement, is kept up all night, captured in Gethsemane, rushed for questioning to Pilate, to Caiaphas, to the Sanhedrin, and to Herod, just as the high priest every year for centuries was brought in for questioning through the night.

And Christ’s clothes are changed several times. The soldiers strip him and put a mock purple on him. He is stripped again in order to be flogged. He is stripped again in order to go onto the cross. His clothes are changed several times.

We hear about the cock crowing. And where is Peter when the cock crows? He is by the fire.

Then we see the mighty sacrifice and then on the third day John and Peter come running and they look in the tomb and they see the linen cloth lying just as when the high priest finished the atonement and left his robes there in the Holy Place signifying it was done.

And then our Lord Jesus came at Pentecost and blessed the people. The atonement is done.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 3.


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