Priestly Rituals of Atonement

This meditation is based on a passage for May 3, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Leviticus 16:1-19

Reflection and Question: These details of the annual priestly sacrifices and rituals of atonement emphasize how important the temple practices were to the Jews. In Jesus’ time these rules were scrupulously carried out; yet this sanctuary was destroyed not long after Jesus’ crucifixion. One explanation for the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was the belief that Jesus’ suffering and death completed and replaced the rules in Leviticus. Jesus is both the High Priest and the sacrifice itself, and thereby makes us one with God and atones for our sin. What is your response to Jesus as priest and sacrifice?

Prayer: God of Abraham and Sarah, Rebecca and Israel, You laid out the rituals of atonement to Moses and for generations the rules were followed in Your Holy Temple. When Jesus, Your Son, fulfilled Your Will, all this changed and so we praise You. Amen.