“…But we exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
Jesus is the believer’s atonement. His blood shed on Calvary covers our sins. Only through Christ and His work on the Cross can we be reconciled back to God.
In ancient Israel, under the ceremonial laws of Moses, there was one day in a year when the high priest would enter into the “Holy of Holies“. The day was called Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This was the annual opportunity given to the priests and the nation to atone for their sins.
The Holy of Holies was the most sacred of three compartments of the Tabernacle, the central site of their worship. The first tabernacle area was the “Outer Court”. All persons were welcome to congregate in the Outer Court. Beyond the Outer Court was the Holy Place. The Holy Place was consecrated for priests and Levites only. This was the professional class of ministry. The third area was separated by the partition of a great curtain, this was the “Holy of Holies”.
Only the high priest once a year was allowed into the Holy of Holies. He would enter carrying the blood of an innocent lamb. He would intercede for Israel as he approached the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the most important piece of furniture in the Tabernacle. It was a box made of wood layered with gold. It was called “the throne of God”. The high priest would pour and apply the blood of the lamb upon the lid of the ark. This was the act of atonement.
Once the blood was applied the “throne of God” was called a “mercy seat”. The blood transformed the throne into an altar. The blood applied appeased the demands of righteousness for one more year. For one more year the sins of the nation were covered by the blood.
Jesus is our High Priest and has became our atonement. He has, through the Cross, torn away the veil that separated people from God. On the Cross Jesus did what no high priest had ever done. He entered the Holy of Holies on the hill called Calvary and applied his own blood to the ark. His blood shed on Calvary and its power must be received by faith if sins are to be forgiven.
We are covered by the blood. Our lives are redeemed because of who Jesus is and what he has done. We have more than a day of atonement. We have Jesus! We don’t have the symbol, we have the Savior.