Scripture Reading: Lev. 16; Rom. 3:24-25; Heb. 2:17; 4:16; 9:5; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
I. Chapter 16 of Leviticus describes the expiation:
A. Because of the negative situation of God's people, as portrayed in chapters 11 through 15, according to God's concept and in His divine economy there is the need of redemption—Col. 1:14; Eph. 1:7:
1. Because the Old Testament time was not the time for redemption to take place, a type, a shadow, of the coming redemption was needed; this shadow is the expiation in Leviticus 16.
2. The expiation accomplished through the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament is a type pointing to the redemption accomplished by Christ in the New Testament—Heb. 9:11-12.
B. The root of the Hebrew word translated "expiation" means "to cover"; the noun form of this word is rendered "expiation cover" in Leviticus 16:2 and Exodus 25:17:
1. On the Day of Expiation the blood of the sin offering was brought into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the expiation cover, the lid of the Ark, which covered the Ten Commandments within the Ark, signifying that the sin of the ones coming to contact God had been covered but not yet removed—Lev. 16:14-15; Exo. 25:16.
2. In this way the situation of fallen man in relation to God was appeased but was not fully settled, until Christ came to accomplish redemption by offering Himself as the propitiatory sacrifice to take away man's sin—Heb. 9:12; 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; John 1:29.
C. Leviticus 16:15-19 presents a picture of the accomplishing of expiation, the covering of sins:
1. The first step for the accomplishing of expiation was to slaughter the goat of the sin offering for the people—v. 15a:
a. Goats signify sinners—Matt. 25:32-33, 41.
b. The slaughtered goat of the sin offering is a type of Christ, who was made sin for us, the sinners—Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21.
2. The second step for the accomplishing of expiation was to bring the blood of the goat inside the veil and sprinkle it on and before the expiation cover—Lev. 16:15b:
a. The sprinkling of the blood of the goat on and before the expiation cover, which was the lid of the Ark, was for the fulfillment of God's requirement so that God might have fellowship with the approaching one.
b. The sprinkling of the blood of the sin offering on the expiation cover signifies that the redeeming blood of Christ was brought into the heavens, into the presence of God, and sprinkled before God to meet God's righteous requirements for our redemption—vv. 14-15; Heb. 9:12.
3. Putting the blood on and around the four horns of the burnt offering altar signifies that the efficacy of the redemption of the blood of Christ is for the four corners of the earth—Lev. 16:18.
4. The sprinkling of the blood on the altar seven times signifies that the full efficacy of Christ's blood is so that the sinner may look at it and be at peace in his heart—v. 19a.
5. The blood sprinkled on the altar was for the peace of the sinner, but the blood sprinkled on the expiation cover was for God's satisfaction—vv. 14, 18-19a:
a. The blood sprinkled on the expiation cover was for God to see; the blood sprinkled on the altar was for the sinner to see.
b. Both God and man are satisfied by the redeeming blood of Christ.
D. The goat that was for Jehovah was to be killed, but the goat that was for Azazel was to be sent away into the wilderness to bear away all the iniquities of the children of Israel on itself—vv. 9-10, 20-22:
1. Azazel signifies Satan, the devil, the sinful one, the one who is the source, the origin, of sin—John 8:44.
2. Christ as the sin offering for God's people, on the one hand, deals with our sin before God and, on the other hand, sends sin, through the efficacy of the cross, back to Satan, from whom sin came into man.
3. Through the cross the Lord Jesus has the position and qualification with the power, strength, and authority to take sin away from the redeemed ones and send it back to its source, Satan, who will bear it in the lake of fire forever—1:29; Heb. 9:26; Rev. 20:10.
II. The expiation in the Old Testament is a type of the propitiation in the New Testament—Rom. 3:24-25; Heb. 2:17; 4:16; 1 John 2:2; 4:10:
A. Propitiation is to conciliate two parties and make them one—Heb. 2:17:
1. Propitiation is to appease the situation between us and God and to reconcile us to God by satisfying His righteous demands—Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2.
2. This is to solve the problem between us and God—our sins—that kept us away from God's presence and hindered God from coming to us—4:10.
B. As sinners, we needed propitiation to appease our situation with God and to satisfy His demands—Rom. 3:23; Luke 18:13-14:
1. Propitiation involves two parties, one of whom has wronged the other, has become indebted to the other, and must act to satisfy the demands of the other.
2. The tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 is an illustration of the need of propitiation:
a. "Standing at a distance, [he] would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be propitiated to me, the sinner!" (v. 13); this implies the need of a Redeemer and also the need of propitiation.
b. Realizing how his sinfulness offended God, the tax collector asked God to be propitiated, to be appeased toward him by a propitiatory sacrifice for sins, that God might be merciful and gracious to him—vv. 13-14.
C. Christ is the One who makes propitiation to God for us, He is the propitiatory sacrifice, and He is also the propitiation place where God can meet with His redeemed people—Heb. 2:17; 9:5; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Exo. 25:17; Rom. 3:25:
1. Hilaskomai means "to propitiate," that is, "to appease," to reconcile two parties by satisfying the demand of one upon the other—Heb. 2:17:
a. On the cross Christ propitiated for us and brought us back to God.
b. The Lord Jesus made propitiation for our sins, thereby satisfying the demand of God's righteousness and appeasing the relationship between God and us, so that God may be peacefully gracious to us.
2. Hilasmos means "that which propitiates," that is, a propitiatory sacrifice—1 John 2:2; 4:10:
a. Christ Himself is the propitiation for our sins, the sacrifice for our propitiation before God.
b. Christ offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins, not only for our redemption but also for satisfying God's demands—Heb. 9:28.
3. Hilasterion denotes the place where propitiation is made—Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:5:
a. The propitiatory cover signifies Christ as the place where God speaks to His people in grace.
b. The propitiatory cover equals the throne of grace, where we may receive mercy and find grace—4:16.
c. The propitiatory cover is needed by both God and us for the Ark of the Testimony to become our experience and enjoyment—Exo. 25:22.
D. Through the entire process of crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, God has set forth Christ as the propitiation place—Rom. 3:24-25; Acts 2:24, 32-36; Heb. 9:5:
1. Christ as the reality of the propitiation place is openly set forth before all men—Rom. 3:24-25.
2. Because of the blood of redemption, we can now have fellowship with the righteous God in the glory of Christ—Lev. 16:14-15; Heb. 10:19; Rev. 22:14:
a. The way to experience Christ as the propitiation place is through faith in His blood—Rom. 3:25.
b. Because the blood has been sprinkled on the propitiatory cover and because God's standing is on the blood, He can meet with us in the midst of His shining glory—Exo. 25:22.
c. Whenever we meet with God in glory, we have the sense deep within our spirit that we are washed by the blood; this is the propitiation place in our experience—1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5; 7:13-14.
3. In His ascension Christ is the place, the propitiation cover, for God to meet with us—Rom. 3:24-25:
a. In Hebrews 4:16 this place is called the throne of grace; the throne of grace is the cover of the Ark on which Christ sprinkled the blood He shed on the cross for our redemption.
b. Because of the sprinkling of His redeeming blood, the cover of the Ark has become a propitiation cover, a place where God may contact us and where we may enjoy His grace in full—v. 16.