The Crucifixion in Some of the Sacrifices
Some aspects of Christ's sacrifice and its relationship to Passover
Jack M. Lane
Message for the First Day of Unleavened Bread, 2002
What have we been taught about what we did when we observed the Passover? When God originally instituted the Passover in Egypt, the Israelites were to sacrifice a lamb or a goat – something “from the flocks.” What the Israelites didn't know was that the lamb or goat prefigured the crucifixion of the Messiah. Passover was "a shadow of things to come" (Colossians 2:16-17).
Somewhere around 30 A.D., "on the night in which He was betrayed" (1 Corinthians 11:23), Messiah gave us bread to represent His broken body, wine to represent His blood which seals the New Covenant, and footwashing to give us a practical expression of our voluntary servitude to each other.
There were some other concepts about “the New Covenant Passover” that we may have picked up along the way which we can't really verify in scripture:
Less than accurate ideas about Passover
1. At Passover, we are renewing our baptismal vows.
The New Testament scriptures don't specifically teach this. However, the bread and wine and footwashing are an annual reminder of Messiah's crucifixion and death. Romans 6 says we are baptized into His death; 1 Corinthians 11 tells us to examine ourselves at this time of year. So it seems appropriate to use this time to go over our personal commitment to God and to His Lamb. But the idea that Passover is an annual renewal of our contract is not specifically taught in scriptures.
2. Eating the bread and drinking the wine caused our sins of the past year to be forgiven.
It's part of the annual renewal theory. Every year people would come to footwashing, people we would never see any other time of year, because they thought it was necessary to renew their covenant by taking the Passover with the Worldwide group, and have their sins forgiven by the bread and wine, once a year.
Of course, the scriptures do teach that if we don't eat Messiah's body and drink His blood, we don’t have life in us (John 6:53-54). So people came to Passover every year, and we would wonder, "Who's that?".
The reason I don't subscribe to the same theory is that the bread and wine are merely symbols of our covenant with God. They don't forgive our sins.
What forgives our sins? God forgives our sins. When? When we repent, and come to Him in prayer, asking Him to forgive us. It's our repentance and confessing our sins to God that leads to forgiveness, not Passover. Forgiveness is instantaneous, not annual. We should be examining ourselves daily, not annually.
I think the people who showed up once a year for Passover thought they were fulfilling the "minimum yearly requirement" to be a firstfruit, and all they had to do is show up each year to re-up into the organization. I think they will find out they are sadly mistaken.
No hidden agenda
So, on to other things. Over the past few years, we’ve studied various questions we’ve had about the Passover, and we’ve come to new understandings, and we’ve found some things in scripture that help to clarify in some cases but help to confuse in other cases, and we have often had to simply throw our hands up and say we can't figure it out.
What I wanted to share with you today may be helpful, because it may add some information into the mix that we may not have been using in the past when we consider the various questions about Passover.
I hope what I have to share won't be inflammatory. I don't mean to make anyone angry, or make people feel as if they have to passionately defend their position. I don't have anyone in mind, or any particular doctrinal understanding in mind. I don't have any hidden agendas. I'm just a simple truth seeker, as you are.
In fact, I intend to share with you today some information I uncovered that actually works against what I have believed. I don't mind doing that. I'm not trying to support and defend my own understandings, or anyone else's. I've said before, I'll throw over things I've believed for 30 years if I can find reliable scriptural evidence that tells me I've been wrong.
So let's get to it.
Problems in the typology
We understand that Messiah's crucifixion and death are related to the Passover. The Passover lamb represented Messiah. John the Baptist saw Yeshua and said, "Look – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29, 36). The apostle John saw a vision of Christ in heaven, where Christ appeared as a lamb who had been slain (Revelation 5:6, etc.). Paul wrote, "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
The Passover lamb was slain on the 14th of Abib. The Last Supper was on the 14th of Abib. There's no question there is a relationship. But is there more? Perhaps something we've missed?
We have seen a New Testament typology in many of the Old Testament holy days. For instance, the weekly Sabbath was to commemorate creation week in the past, but also the Millennium in the future. The Passover represented the passing over of the Israelites' houses in ancient Egypt, but also represents the sacrifice of Messiah. The Days of Unleavened Bread represent Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, but also our exodus out of sin. These are examples of the typology of scripture, and show how the things that happened to the ancients were for our benefit and our example (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
That being the case, is there really a clear correlation between the Passover, as given to Israel through Moses, and Messiah's sacrifice on the cross? Can we look at the Old Testament Passover, then look at what we have called "the New Testament Passover," and see a direct correspondence?
We understand that Messiah's death is for the remission of our sins, and those of the world. John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." But back in Egypt, on the first Passover, did the Passover lamb, and the blood on the door posts, take away the sins of Israel? No. Were the Israelites spared from death because their sins had been forgiven? No. So, there's a problem with the typology there.
What did the Passover lamb directly relate to? The 10th plague against Egypt, the death of the firstborn. Yahweh was coming to destroy all the firstborn of Egypt, but He passed over the Israelites' houses when He saw the blood.
Did Yahweh pass over the Israelites because He had forgiven their sins? No, the Israelites put the blood on their doors to proclaim that they were Yahweh's people! God knew what He was doing; He knew where the Israelites lived. It wasn't a sign for Him -- it was for them! And once the Israelites left Egypt, the blood on the doorposts of the abandoned villages of the Israelites would be a sign to the Egyptians -- a stark reminder of the wrath of God.
The Israelites were declaring themselves to be God's people. We do that today when we repent and accept the Messiah as our personal Savior. What followed for the Israelites was the exodus, pictured by the Days of Unleavened Bread, and their baptism into Moses in the Red Sea (1 Corinthians 10:2).
When we are baptized, that's the time when we rush out of the Egypt that has kept us captive, and plunge into our own personal Red Sea that God has opened up so we can escape. But that's not what Passover pictures.
Instruct the children
Let’s turn to Exodus 12 and read where God gives Moses the commands for Passover on the 14th of Abib.
Exodus 12:24 (Moses is instructing the Israelites): "'Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.
25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony.
26 And when your children ask you, "What does this ceremony mean to you?"
27 then tell them, "It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians."' Then the people bowed down and worshiped" (Exodus 12:24-27).
In the next chapter, Exodus 13, God gives Moses the commands regarding the Days of Unleavened Bread and redeeming their firstborn.
Exodus 13:5-8: "When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites -- the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey -- you are to observe this ceremony in this month:
6 For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the LORD.
7 Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders.
8 On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'"
Did we come out of Egypt? Sure we did. We came out of spiritual Egypt and slavery to sin (Romans 6). So we should be telling our children this same story: “I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt."
Exodus 13:11-15: "After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your forefathers,
12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.
13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons. In days to come, when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' say to him, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons'" (Exodus 13:11-15).
God commanded that the firstborn of the children were to be redeemed (no matter how much the parents would like to break their necks).
Notice how the fathers are to instruct the sons about the passing over in chapter 12, and the exodus and the 10th plague in chapter 13. It gets a little confusing, and many commentators lump everything here together into a common command regarding the Passover.
But the separating out of firstborns, and redeeming them through a substitutionary sacrifice, was for later. They were not going to be doing this on the 14th of Abib, as Israel was about to leave Egypt. This was a statute for later on, not that day. It was to be done "in days to come," "after the LORD has brought you into the land."
Let's look at that redeeming aspect a little more closely. The redeeming of the firstborn was a commemoration of the 10th plague on Egypt. It isn't a commemoration of the passing over, but the reason for the passing over -- the 10th plague. The redeeming of the firstborn was not going to be done once a year, on Passover, but it was done any time during the year.
I want to repeat this point: The redeeming of the firstborn, by a substitutionary sacrifice, was not done annually, on the Passover. It was done throughout the year, as children and animals were born.
Actually, the 10th plague, the death of the firstborn, was planned by God right from the beginning. It was intended to be the final blow, the culmination of all the plagues.
19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead."
20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,
23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'"
God actually had this in mind before the first plague ever got under way.
Later on, following the Passover and the departure from Egypt, God gave Moses a major modification during their time in the wilderness.
Numbers 3:5-13: "The LORD said to Moses,
6 'Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him.
7 They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the Tent of Meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle.
8 They are to take care of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle.
9 Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.
10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary must be put to death.'
11 The LORD also said to Moses,
12 'I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine,
13 for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD'" (Numbers 3:5-13).
At first, the redeeming of the firstborn children was done through a substitutionary sacrifice. Later, this sacrifice for redeeming the firstborn child was replaced by having the Levites stand in for the firstborn by doing service and assisting the sons of Aaron.
We can trace the substitutionary service of the Levites back to the 10th plague of Egypt, which was the slaughter of the firstborn, and to the Passover, which was not only the redemption of the firstborn of Israel, but it was the redemption of all Israel. Israel’s firstborn were saved by not being slaughtered, and all of Israel was saved by being set free from slavery to Egypt.
There’s an interesting scripture in Jeremiah 31:
Jeremiah 31:7-9: "This is what the LORD says: 'Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, "O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel."
8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return.
9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son'" (Jeremiah 31:7-9).
God looks on the nation of Israel as His firstborn son. The terms "Israel" and "Ephraim" are interchangeable in many contexts, or refers specifically to the northern kingdom, the majority of Israel. God refers to the nation of Israel as His firstborn. This is how the Levites could serve as assistants to the sons of Aaron in redeeming all of Israel, not just Israel's firstborn. God considers all of the nation of Israel to be his firstborn son.
We might also consider the prophecy that Assyria and Egypt will rise to prominence in the Millennium (Isaiah 19:23-25). There will be the three nations, Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, with major highways connecting them. But Israel will always be God’s firstborn.
We can also see the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah on Calvary. However, Christ’s crucifixion was pictured, not just specifically by Passover, but also by two other sacrifices – the Day of Atonement, and the morning and evening sacrifices.
Let's look first at the morning and evening sacrifices, and see how those picture Christ's sacrifice. Then we'll come back and examine the Day of Atonement.
The daily sacrifice
What do we know about the morning and evening sacrifices? If you're like me, you probably don't really know much about them at all.
The following is quoted from McClintock, John and Strong, James, Cyclopedia, article "Daily Offering": "Daily Offering or SACRIFICE …, was a burnt-offering of two year-old lambs, which were daily immolated in the name of the whole Israelitish people … upon the great altar; the first lamb early (as soon as it became light, …) the other (…“the evening oblation,” Daniel 9:21) at evening (more definitely ben ha arbayim, between the two evenings …; according to Pesach, v. 1, the eve-offering was sacrificed as a rule between the eighth-and-a-half and the ninth-and-a-half hour [2:30 to 3:30 P.M.], but on Sabbath-eve and Passover-eve [14th Nisan] one hour earlier; Josephus … designates “about the ninth hour” as the time; … each with one tenth of an ephah of fine wheaten flour as a meat [or meal] offering, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-8; Ezra 3:5). It was not superseded by the Sabbath or festival offerings (Numbers 28:9 sq., 15 sq.; not even by those of the Passover, Pesach, v. 1). …"
Did you notice the timing of the daily sacrifices? The evening sacrifice was offered ben ha arbayim – often translated "between the two evenings" – about 3:00 in the afternoon. It might be a misnomer to call it the evening sacrifice, since we usually translate "evening" from the Hebrew word ereb, or erev.
I had wanted to research the phrase ben ha arbayim to determine its exact meaning, and to note how many times it was used in the Hebrew scriptures. I finally got around to it about a week ago. Here's what I found:
Ben ha arbayim does not mean "between the two evenings." It does, however, mean "between the evenings." Arbayim is the plural of the singular word ereb, or erev, which usually denotes sunset, evening, the end of the day. One can assume that if there is more than one erev, and something falls between them, there would be two of them. So the idea of “two evenings” is understood. The word simply means “evenings.”
The word ha in the phrase ben ha arbayim is the definite article, like our word "the." That part of the phrase, ha arbayim, simply means "the evenings."
Ben in this context means "between." It sounds like the ben used to signify that someone is the son of someone else, such as Yeshua ben-Yoseph, or "Jesus the son of Joseph." But this is not that word; the spelling is apparently different, even though they sound alike. This ben signifies "between."
So we have the phrase ben ha arbayim -- "between the evenings." There remains a large question among us, as well as in many other groups: What does it mean?
Quoting again from McClintock and Strong, from the article "Evening": "The Hebrews appear to have reckoned two evenings in each day; as in the phrase ben ha arbayim, between the two evenings (Exodus 16:12; 30:8), by which they designated that part of the day in which the paschal lamb was to be killed (Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:3, 5; in the Hebrews and margin); and, at the same time, the evening sacrifice was offered, the lamps lighted, and the incense burned (Exodus 29:39, 41; Numbers 28:4). But the ancients themselves disagreed concerning this usage; for the Samaritans and Caraites … understood the time to be that between sunset and twilight…; the Pharisees, on the other hand, as early as the time of Josephus …, and the Rabbins …, thought that ‘the first evening’ was that period of the afternoon when the sun is verging towards setting …, ‘the second evening’ the precise moment of sunset itself …, according to which opinion the paschal lamb would be slaughtered from the ninth to the eleventh hour (3 to 5 o'clock P.M.). The former of these opinions [sunset to twilight] seems preferable on account of the expression in Deuteronomy 16:6, "when the sun goeth down," …; and also on account of the similar phraseology among the Arabs…."
Quoting now from the article, "Passover": "The precise meaning of the phrase ben ha arbayim, between the two evenings, which is used with reference to the time when the paschal animal is to be slain (Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:3, 5), as well as in connection with the offering of the evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:39, 41; Numbers 28:4), and elsewhere (Exodus 16:12; 30:8), is greatly disputed. The Samaritans, the Karaites, and Aben-Ezra, who are followed by Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Maurer, Kalisch, Knobel, Keil, and most modern commentators, take it to denote the space between the setting of the sun and the moment when the stars become visible, or when darkness sets in, i.e. between six and seven o’clock. Accordingly, Aben-Ezra explains the phrase between the two evenings as follows: ‘Behold we have two evenings, the first is when the sun sets, and that is at the time when it disappears beneath the horizon; while the second is at the time when the light disappears which is reflected in the clouds, and there is between them an interval of about one hour and twenty minutes’ (Comment. on Exodus 12:6). Tradition, however, interprets the phrase between the two evenings to mean from afternoon to the disappearing of the sun, the first evening being from the time when the sun begins to decline from its vertical or noontide point towards the west; and the second from its going down and vanishing out of sight, which is the reason why the daily sacrifice might be killed at 12:30 P.M. on a Friday …. But as the paschal lamb was slain after the daily sacrifice, it generally took place from 2:30 to 5:50 P.M. …."
Here we’ve seen the two major possibilities of what ben ha arbayim might actually mean, and the various groups of Jews who follow each of the two ideas.
A third definition
There is a third possibility, which McClintock and Strong did not mention here, which is this: If arbayim is simply the plural of ereb -- one ereb, two arbayim; one sunset, two sunsets -- then the phrase could just as easily mean a period of time between two consecutive sunsets. In this understanding, the Passover lamb could, legally, be slaughtered at any time from the sunset which begins the 14th of Abib to the sunset which ends the 14th of Abib.
While that may be logical, this understanding doesn't appear to be as reputable as the other two, and isn't given much credence in the literature. From what I can see, this is a late understanding, and is not mentioned in historical analyses such as the Cyclopedia. Yet, if this understanding is legitimate according to the Hebrew, we can't simply set it aside. There are a number of people today who accept this as the meaning. “The 14th is the 14th, a rose is a rose, the Passover is the Passover – what's the big deal? The Passover can be observed any time on the 14th of Abib.”
This is the interpretation of many today, and it has the happy effect of completely eliminating the controversy regarding what time of day the Passover should be observed. If this understanding is followed, it simply doesn’t matter what time of day the observance is scheduled – it’s only an observance, a commemoration. However, this third interpretation of ben ha arbayim is not given serious consideration in the literature.
Dailies sacrificed at a specific time
But let's get back to our study of the daily sacrifices. We understand that the evening sacrifice in the tabernacle and temple were not done just any old time, but toward the end of the day, in the afternoon, to distinguish those sacrifices from the morning sacrifices, which were (obviously) done in the morning.
There’s no controversy that I'm aware of regarding the timing of the morning sacrifice, but the timing of the evening sacrifice has jumped from the fat into the fire, because it is to be sacrificed ben ha arbayim – between some two points in time we don't fully understand.
However, one thing seems certain: In the temple in Jerusalem, the evening sacrifice was always offered at about 3:00 in the afternoon, every day. It was displaced by about an hour on the 14th of Abib to allow for the Passover sacrifices, but it was not stopped on that day. Both sacrifices were done, on the same day, at the same altar, at about the same time.
My point is this: Messiah was crucified about 9:00 in the morning, at about the time of the morning sacrifice, and died about 3:00 in the afternoon, at about the time of the Passover sacrifice, and at the regular time of the evening sacrifice.
I’m not trying to set the proper time for services. That’s not my intent. I’m trying to show that here is an important aspect of Messiah's sacrifice that has been entirely overlooked. I’ve never read anything about this in our literature, or heard any sermon on the subject.
What are the dailies?
What are the daily sacrifices, the morning and evening sacrifice? They consist of one lamb in the morning and one lamb in the evening, accompanied by unleavened flour mixed with olive oil, and wine. Does that ring any bells?
Let's look at Exodus chapter 29. In this section of Exodus, God is giving instructions about the tabernacle, and about consecrating Aaron and his sons to be priests at the tabernacle. God has given instructions about the altar, about Aaron's special linen underwear and turban, and a number of other things.
In Exodus 29:38, God gives this instruction: "This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old.
39 Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight [ben ha arbayim].
40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering.
41 Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning -- a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.
42 For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you;
43 there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.
44 So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests.
45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.
46 They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God" (Exodus 29:38-46).
This was a burnt offering, a sin offering. Here are some further commands about burnt offerings:
Leviticus 6:8: "The LORD said to Moses:
9 'Give Aaron and his sons this command: "These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar.
11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean"'" (Leviticus 6:8-11).
Numbers 28:1: "The LORD said to Moses,
2 'Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: "See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me."
3 Say to them: "This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to the LORD: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day.
4 Prepare one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight,
5 together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives.
6 This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.
7 The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the LORD at the sanctuary.
8 Prepare the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you prepare in the morning. This is an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD"'" (Numbers 28:1-8).
A spotless young lamb, substituted for us, completely devoured by fire so we won't be completely devoured by fire.
The lamb, bread, and wine produce an aroma which is pleasing to God. Because it smells so good? Probably not. More likely it's pleasing to Him because of what it represents. Because of the Lamb of God, because of the body and blood, our Father can have us with Him forever, in eternity, as His dearly beloved children. The very thought of that is an aroma pleasing to our Father.
The daily offerings were instituted at the time Aaron and his sons were being consecrated as priests of Yahweh, immediately following Israel's departure from Egypt. Yeshua, the Lamb who was slain, who takes away the sin of the world, became our High Priest in heaven who we can turn to when we are freed from our own personal Egypt.
The wine is to be poured out to Yahweh at the sanctuary, just as Messiah's blood was poured out for us on Calvary, near the temple, but outside the gate, just as Aaron carried the ashes outside the camp.
What else happened with Messiah's blood? To learn more about the double sacrifice of Messiah pictured in the daily offerings, we must next look at the double sacrifice of Messiah as pictured by the two goats on the Day of Atonement. This is found in Leviticus 16.
The Day of Atonement
Remember, the Passover sacrifice could be either a lamb or a goat. We just saw the role of two lambs in the daily sacrifices; now we’ll see the role of two goats in the Atonement sacrifice.
Leviticus 16:6: “Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household.
7 Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
8 He is to cast lots for the two goats -- one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat.
9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering.
10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.”
The Hebrew word mistranslated here as “scapegoat” is azazel, meaning to depart, to leave, to go away. The live goat is “a goat of departure.”
Verse 11: "Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering.
12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain.
13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the Testimony, so that he will not die.
14 He is to take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.
15 "He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.
16 In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
17 No one is to be in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.
18 "Then he shall come out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it. He shall take some of the bull's blood and some of the goat's blood and put it on all the horns of the altar.
19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.
20 "When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat.
21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites -- all their sins -- and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task.
22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.”
There are some other regulations listed. Then in verse 29:
29 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work -- whether native-born or an alien living among you --
30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins.
31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.”
The picture emerges
Once, in Egypt, a long time ago, the Israelites sacrificed lambs or goats for Passover, and the blood on the doorway saved their firstborn from death. Then they left to go out into a wilderness area, to come out of slavery to Egypt.
Later, God gave them the Day of Atonement, when a goat was sacrificed, and the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, and on the altar, to atone for the sins of Israel. Then another goat carried their sins out into a wilderness area, to take Israel’s sins away from them. The goat took away the sins of Israel.
One day, a long time later, Yeshua was walking along, and John the Baptist said, “Look -- the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Herbert Armstrong taught that the goat of departure represented Satan. Almost everyone else in the Christian world, who knew anything at all about the holy days, understood that the goat of departure represented Christ. Like the daily offerings, the Atonement offerings were a sacrifice in two parts, requiring two animals, both representing Messiah.
Our two-part religion
The Passover week is a two-part observance, including Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. These picture, historically, the passing over during the 10th plague, followed by the escape from Egypt. These also picture, in Christian typology, the forgiveness of our sins, and our departure from sin.
The daily sacrifice in the temple was a two-part sacrifice, requiring two animals. Each animal was offered up as a lamb without blemish, accompanied by an offering of unleavened bread and wine.
The sacrifice of our Messiah was a two-part sacrifice, requiring His body and His blood. It required that He be crucified at the time of the morning sacrifice, and that He die at the time of the evening sacrifice, when the Passover lambs were also being slain.
We live in a two-part universe. Have you ever heard of the duality of scripture?The fact that there were two daily sacrifices, and two goats at Atonement, only further serve to illustrate the two-part nature of God’s plan.- The Old Covenant, the New Covenant;
- The Old Testament, the New Testament;
- type, antitype;
- Old Jerusalem , New Jerusalem;
- the old man, the new man;
- the first Adam, the last Adam;
- the first coming, the second coming;
- the son of man, the Son of God;
- literal Egypt, spiritual Egypt;
- physical Israel, spiritual Israel;
- the exodus, the second exodus;
- Babylon, Babylon the Great;
- the earthly pictures the heavenly;
- the bread and the wine;
- and on and on.
For us, we’re now in part one of the plan -- this physical, temporary, mortal life. The second part of the plan, eternal life as spirit-born sons of God, is yet future for us. But since we eat the flesh and drink the blood, symbolically at Passover, we have eternal life in us, and our place in the Family of God is assured -- unless we really go out of our way to choose death rather than life.
I hope this study will help us all to realize that there are more dimensions to understanding the Passover, and Christ’s sacrifice, than we may have realized. I hope we can use this knowledge constructively, to build on it, and to learn more about what it is God wants us to do, so we can serve Him better.