Willie Jamieson - Leviticus 16 Priest, Aaron versus Christ - Bakersfield, CA - 1936

Leviticus 16 tells about the high priest of Israel, that God had ordained in the Old Testament days, going into the presence of God once every year and on that one day that person was commanded by God to do something that he was not allowed to do any other day of the year.   He had to go into the most holy place, but he was not allowed to go into the presence of God apart from, first of all, killing a bullock.  He had to shed its blood, and that was for the common people of Israel.  There was the bullock for the sins of the priesthood and the goat for the sins of the people of Israel.  God told Aaron that in order to atone for the sins of the people, he was to do this. 


Where did God, on that day, promise to Aaron to meet him?  He said, "I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat."  There is where God promised to meet the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.  God gave that promise because the mercy seat was a type of the mercy seat in Heaven on which God always sits, and the cloud of incense going up into His nostrils was a type of the intercessory prayer that had gone up from the foundation of the world from the lips of Jesus for His people who were transgressing.    


Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchisedec.  He was one who was without father or mother, having neither beginning of days nor length of life, but abiding a high priest continually.  And when Jesus came as our High Priest, God said of Him, "You are a High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.”   


Why was it necessary for God to order this Day of Atonement?  It was because He wanted to make the children of Israel sure about it.  Before going within the holy place, Aaron killed the bullock.  He first took a censer in one hand and went to offer up burnt offering before the Lord, and the censer was filled with coals of live fire from off the altar.  It speaks of the thing that was fire in it, and that speaks of love.  In his other hand he took sweet incense, beaten small, and carried it within the veil. The incense was put upon the fire, and as the fire burned, the incense went up into the presence of God in a cloud, covering the mercy seat that was upon the testimony.  Your God and mine sits upon a seat of mercy, not upon a seat of Judgment…not to condemn men, but to have mercy upon them.  The high priest took the incense and it ascended in a pillar of smoke into the nostrils of God.  That incense burning was just a picture of Jesus interceding for God's people.  Afterwards, the priest came out and took his finger and dipped it in the blood of the slain bullock.  Every time I commit a sin or yield to iniquity or come short, a price has to be paid for that.  Do you believe I myself can pay that price?  No man has ever been given the opportunity of paying that price.  It was paid for us by the Son of God on the cross. One of the reasons why God gave His Son to die for us was to prove to every man the love that has been in the heart of God for mankind right since the beginning of the world. 


The priesthood had sinned during the year, and their sins had to be atoned for; and that bullock, in figure, paid the price of their sins. It was all to speak to them about the Son of God, the great High Priest who would come and give His own blood, not as the bullock, but gladly and freely upon the cross.  The high priest took the blood within the veil and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat once and in front of the mercy seat seven times.  Then the two goats had to be taken.  One was the scapegoat and the other was the goat of the sin offering.  Aaron came out of the holy place and took the goat that had been allotted as the goat for the sin offering and shed its blood.  That blood was for the sins of all the people for all that year.  Then Aaron took it within the veil and sprinkled its blood upon the mercy seat once and in front of it seven times. Then he went out and took the living goat that had never committed any sin, and led it to the door of the tabernacle, and as he did these things, thousands of people were looking on.  If I had been there, I would have been saying, "I ought to be killed like that goat up in front at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and ought to be confessing my sins to God."  God allowed the high priest to take the goat there, and then he took his two hands and placed them upon the head of the living goat and confessed all the iniquities and all the sins of all the people for all the days of that year. In the New Testament it says, "He was made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."  Isaiah 53 says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all."  He is talking about the people of God here.  The hands of the high priest were on the head of that living goat; he was confessing all the sins of all the people for all that year, and taking them off the head of the people and putting them on the goat.  How many sins still remained upon the people after that was done?  There were no sins upon the heads of the people because God's love had taken them from off the people and out of their hearts and lives and placed them upon the living goat. 


There was one man who had been especially prepared to take that goat out into the wilderness, out in that wilderness, without a single soul there, and with all the sins of the people upon its head, the goat was let loose, and there wasn't a person there to point at that goat.  That is what I see in God's goodness toward my sins and failures.  When I come to God and ask Him to forgive me for my shortcomings, He not only forgives me but He will also forget all about it.  One of the most gracious truths in the Bible is this: that God not only forgives but He forgets our sins and will never bring them up again.  That is the kind of a God the Bible speaks about today. 


What happened when the goat was let loose in the wilderness?  The man who had brought him there came away from that place and washed his body in water.  Some people tell me I should not preach that way to God's people.  They say if I preach this way, the children of God will think God is so good it will give them a license to sin, but I don't think that is so.  And you know what happened after that Aaron took a bullock and offered it as a burnt offering, and then took the goat and offered it also.  I want to picture that when the children of Israel saw their sins so completely forgiven, they brought their lives afresh and laid them upon God's altar as a whole burnt offering.  


Do you think God's love for you will make it easy for you to do the things He does not want you to do?  Every time I drink of His love, it makes it harder for me to do those things that would grieve Him, but if, in my weakness, I sometimes do those things, it gives me a little taste of hell on earth as a result of doing them.  I believe the more I preach to you of God's love, the more it will put into your heart a desire not to offend Him. Why, having such a High Priest, should I fail to believe the stain of my sins can be taken out of my life by the blood of Christ?