February 4

Leviticus 16-18, Psalm 35

The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, while the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed. We have heard our whole lives that Jesus died for our sins, but, how many just accept this without really understanding why? If you have the time, read Hebrews chapter 9 to see how Jesus fulfilled what was required according to Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16) to atone for our sins. In Hebrews 9:7-8, we see the reference to the day of Yom Kippur, “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; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was standing.” This sacrifice could only cover, not take away sin. We read of the perfect sacrifice in Christ in Hebrews 9:11-12, “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” We, then, realize our reason for our hope in Hebrews 9:15, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Interestingly, in both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud which is the main writings of rabbinic Judaism, there is an interesting portion. 

We read in the Jerusalem Talmud: “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open” (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). Realize the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70A.D. 

A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states: “Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves” (Soncino version, Yoma 39b). Though all 4 points are interesting, the crimson strap( though not in the Bible), was attached to the scapegoat and a portion would be attached to the wall of the Temple. Tradition has it that every year, when God accepted the sacrifice for the people on Yom Kippur the strap would miraculously turn white (Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”) But 40 years before the Temple was destroyed, which would correlate to when Jesus was sacrificed, the strap did not change therefore their sacrifice was not accepted. In John 14:6 , we read, “Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.

Interestingly we see in the next chapter, in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” This is restated in Hebrews 9:22, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” For many who claim to be Christians they mistakenly trust in their own goodness. Our eternal security rests on what Jesus did on the cross alone. Our works are merely an expression of gratitude for His completed work. Without the Temple and the shedding of innocent blood there is no other way for the Jewish people to atone for their sins. Jesus is the only way for all people.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato