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THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Monday, Sept. 29th last, was, according to the Hebrew calendar, „the tenth day of the seventh month”—the day of Atonement for sins. To the Jew it is the most solemn day of the year, and to all those who appreciate this feature of their law, and see its significant import, the day and its ceremonies are full of valuable lessons.
When God selected Israel to be his specially favored nation, through whom he would make types and illustrations of his gracious plans for the world and the Gospel Church, we find that he so arranged all their ceremonies and laws as to illustrate higher things, as a fulfilment is always higher than a type.
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Because the removal of sin, and its consequences, was in God’s plan the most important thing to be done for man, therefore, those ceremonies which illustrated and typified it, were the most solemn and momentous. More than any other type, the work of the Day of Atonement showed the process by which sin would be removed, and a consequent blessing come upon man instead of the curse which will be removed, and as a result the harmony and communion between God and man, lost at the threshold of Eden, will be restored.
The poor Jew busied in making the type saw not the typical nature of the work he performed. He saw not that their Priesthood represented the Little Flock of the Gospel age—the Royal Priesthood, whose Chief Priest is Christ Jesus, and that they as a people for whom the typical sacrifices making satisfaction typically for their sins, were offered, represented the world of mankind for whose sins Christ was set forth to be a propitiatory covering. They saw only the type and mistook it for the reality.
We cannot to-day step into their synagogues and see the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement performed, for nowhere in the world are they performed to-day as enjoined in their law. True, they observe the day by strict self-denial, fasting, abstinence from all business and pleasure. (Afflicting their souls. Lev. 16:29.) But since the law made the Temple or Tabernacle part of the type, it follows as a necessity that the Jew being without either cannot perform the type as specified in the law, hence must not attempt any part of it.
Looking back to Lev. 16, we find the detailed account of how the typical service was observed. And thank God, we, looking at the type lighted up with the revelations and instructions of the New Testament, can see the real, the antitypical Atonement Day, the anti-typical „sacrifices for sins,” and the anti-typical priests performing the sacrifices, and the people in distress under sin. And by faith looking into the future, we can see the priestly garments of sacrifice changed for robes of glory and beauty, and the
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coming forth of the Great High Priest with every member of his body [church] complete and the great blessing and raising up of the world, the atonement sacrifice for whose sins will be fully complete with this Gospel age—this anti-typical Day of Atonement in which not only Jesus [the bullock] dies for sin, but the priesthood in general [the Lord’s goat] fill up, that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.
In view of the fact that to suffer with Christ is not a necessity but a privilege to which is attached the grand hopes of wearing with him the glorious garments of honor and dominion, and of blessing fleshly Israel and through them all the families of the earth, „Let no man beguile you of your reward”! Let no man take thy crown”! Faithfulness—”even unto death,” is the condition upon which our exceeding great and precious promises hang. We are in the closing hours of the great anti-typical Atonement Day, and we beseech you by the mercy of God that you neither lose your hold upon your share in Jesus’ atonement sacrifice nor relax your effort to fulfill your covenant to sacrifice with him, by presenting your bodies living sacrifices to God, on behalf of others.
— October, 1884 —