Lev. 16 details the various sacrifices and ceremony to be carried out on the Day of Atonement under the Levitical Law. Throughout, it is a study in both contrasts and comparisons between Aaron (and all the successive High Priests from his lineage) – And Christ Jesus our “Great High Priest.” It is a study in the glorious work of Christ at Calvary. Here are at least some of the Contrasts and Comparisons to consider.
1. (2) Contrast: Aaron could not enter the holy place “at any time”./ Jesus both went in & remains – Heb. 9:6-12
2. (3) Contrast: Aaron had animal sacrifices./ Jesus had only His own blood – Heb. 9:12
3. (4) Comparison: Aaron was dressed in the linen garments, plain – not the High Priestly “gorgeous garments” of Exodus 28:2 (glory & beauty). / The soldiers at the Cross cast lots for Jesus’ seamless garment – probably a linen garment: John 19:23-24 (Flax linen was common).
4. (4) Comparison: Aaron was to bathe first./ Jesus is baptized in the Jordan – Matt. 3;13
5. (5) Contrast: Aaron receives the two goats FROM the congregation. / Jesus receive nothing from the “congregation” but supplies all in Himself. Heb. 9:12
6. (3 & 5) Contrast: Aaron has TWO rams as burnt offerings. / Jesus has no burnt offering. He is not to see corruption. Offered but not consumed. Ps. 16:10.
7. (6) Contrast: Aaron must offer up a sacrifice for his OWN sins first. / Jesus has no need to offer anything for Himself. Heb. 9:6-7 / Hebrews 7:26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
8. (6-10) Comparison: Aaron has one goat whose blood is shed and sprinkled on the mercy seat, and the other sent away with the confessed sins of the people. / Jesus carries out both pictures in Himself. Rom. 3:21-25 / John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
9. (11-13) Contrast: Aaron must burn incense to obscure God’s presence that he may not die. / Jesus enters right into God’s presence as the radiance of God’s own glory. Heb. 1:3-4
10. (11-13) Comparison: Aaron offers up incense which is used as a type of prayer in Rev. 8:3-5. / Jesus offers up His High Priestly prayer in John 17.
11. (15-16) Contrast: Aaron’s service was to cleanse only the types and shadows. / Jesus’ work was to actually cleanse the Heavenly things themselves – Heb. 9:23-24
12. (17) Comparison: Aaron had to perform this service alone. / Jesus had to perform this work alone – no one could assist Him. Heb. 1:3
13. (20-22) Contrast: Aaron confesses the sins of the people over the goat and sends it away. / Jesus allows the sins of the people to be imputed to Him – 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
14. (27-28) Comparison: The sin offerings must be finally consumed outside of the camp. In uncleanness. / Jesus was counted with the unclean, outside of the camp – Heb. 13:11-13
15. (29-34) Comparison: The Day of Atonement allowed the worshipers to bring their various offerings again for the coming year without fear of rejection. / Since Christ’s atonement, we can now draw near too.
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Philippians 4:18 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.