“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. (Exodus 29:38–39, ESV)
A regular sacrifice was instituted by God at least by the time of Exodus 29:38 of two lambs, one in the morning and one in the evening. This probably was to keep the sacrifice of the Christ before the Lord on a consistent basis. But another intriguing possibility is it speaks of the way the Messiah will come two times, or come in two different ways. In the gospels He comes as a meek lamb to the slaughter, and takes on the sin of the world in the process. At the end of the Tribulation the lamb comes back as a triumphant conqueror and “takes on” the sin of the world in a different way.
While slaughter is still in view it’s not the Lamb that gets it this time. It’s His enemies. Two different Greek words are used (Strong’s 286 ἀμνὸς amnos John 1:29; Strong’s 721 ἀρνίου arnion Revelation 22:3) which both mean lamb but from the context one (amnos) seems to be the meek Lamb and the other (arnion) is the conquering Lamb.
The meek Lamb took on the sin of the word and offers forgiveness of that sin to anyone who believes. By His stripes they are healed. He will wipe away every tear of those and give them a place He has prepared for them in glory. The conquering Lamb will destroy the ones who reject His gracious offer. The blood will flow to the depth of a horse’s bridle and birds of the air will feast on the carcasses. At the end of a thousand years His enemies will be resurrected only to be thrown into the lake of fire.
Which Lamb do you want to meet?
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21–26, ESV)
“And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins. (Leviticus 16:29–30, ESV)
Thanks be to God for the atoning sacrifice of His only begotten son Jesus our Messiah, who appeared in the presence of God on our behalf and will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. We afflict ourselves by fasting today to remember what He did for us, what He is doing for us, and will do soon. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Here’s an introductory article for the Day of Atonement (tomorrow the 26th) if you’d like ideas on what it’s about and how to participate.
The Day of Atonement is coming up on Wednesday. We will be having a day of fasting and blowing shofars. Excellent for reflection and prayer. At the end of the day we will celebrate with a nice dinner at a restaurant. A solemn day; a day reminding us of the coming wrath for the unrepentant; a day of smoke and burning.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lamentations 3:21–26, ESV)