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Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (After the death/Holy Ones) Leviticus 16:1- 20:27
Acharei Mot/Kedoshim "After the death/Holy Ones"
Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:1- 20:27
Acharei Mot (Vayikra 16:1-18:30) is broken up into three sections;
The day of atonement (Yom Kippur)
The sanctity of blood
Laws of sexual immorality
While Kedoshim (Vayikra 19:1-20:27) is in two sections;
Moral and Ceremonial Laws
Penalties for Breaking the Law
For this parachat I will look at Acharei Mot, focusing on Vayikra chapter 16.
Coming into chapter 16 we are reminded point blank of Vayikra 10:1-2 involving the death of Aaron's two sons, that HaShem is Holy, and though He desires that we come into His presence, it must happen the way He states. Yom Kippur was special for all of Yishrael, happening only once per year, and it was a time where the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies twice as Hebrews 9:7 states, "But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance". When the High Priest would come about the sin offering on behalf of all of Yishrael, the High Priest would take two goats, one to be sacrificed, it's blood making atonement for the sins of Yishrael and to be sprinkled on the mercy seat (Vayikra 16:13-14), and the other as a scapegoat. The blood of the ram and goat for the sin offering was sprinkled on the mercy seat seven time, Hebrews 9:22-24 tells us, "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of HaShem for us". Mark 16:19 tell us that Yeshua now sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven. Also speaking of Yeshua, Romans 3:25 says, "whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed". Propitiation in Greek is hilastērion, and means, to cover or mercy seat - Mercy Seat in Hebrew is kaphar, and means to cover or atonement. In Romans 3:25 Paul shows us that the copy as described by Hebrews 9:22-24 is now fulfilled by Yeshua who is now sitting on the Mercy Seat on the right hand of the Father in heaven.
It is feasible to say; Just as the cherubim saw the artifacts representing disobedience (sin) in the ark of the covenant through the blood of the ram and goat, the Father now sees all who believe in Yeshua through His blood.
Reminded of Roman 4:24-25, "It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Yeshua our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification", the two goats are a mirror image of the death and resurrection of our Messiah Yeshua, His blood shed as an offering, once and for all, (Hebrews 9:12). To death, and to life He rose that redemption from sin was complete through His life, and now living eternally again.
Interesting to me is Vayikra 16:21 says, “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. The laying on of hands is mentioned many of times throughout scripture, both Old and New Testaments and including by Yeshua, for the transfer of sin - as in the Vayikra 16, healing - Acts 28:8, blessing - Genesis 48:14, commissioning - Acts 13:3. Although it might not be regarded as biblical doctrine to lay hands on people for such things, I am interested that HaShem appears to desire that we act not only in faith but in action, as James 2:18 says, "But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works".
HaShem is Holy, and perhaps humanity will never really understand what the term 'Holy' is in fullness. HaShem brings to truth the need that we be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16) in order for us to be in His presence. Vayikra 16, not only gives a true understanding of what Yeshua has done for us through His death and resurrection, we can see now the truth that Yeshua has made atonement available for us, and that we are seen by HaShem as holy, even in our current state.