The righteousness of God requires that sin be punished by death. Yet God in His grace wants to dwell (‘to tabernacle’) with His people.
The people of Israel may live in a covenant relationship with Him. Read Exodus.
He makes it possible for sinful man to approach Him in the tent (tabernacle) where He is present. That is only possible in the way of the sacrificial service. Reconciliation may take place symbolically by sacrificing the life of an animal(s). The blood - in which life resides- of the animal is shed instead of the blood of man. However, these animal sacrifices are only a preview of the final atonement for sin wrought by Jesus’ sacrifice. ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’. John 1 verse 29.
The sacrifice of Jesus makes it possible for God to dwell permanently in His people through the Holy Spirit. The body of a believer in Jesus Christ is ‘a temple of the Holy Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 6 verse 19.
Part of the sacrificial service was the annual Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). An important moment of the day of atonement is depicted in the painting. The two goats mentioned together are a sin offering, and a type or exemplar of Jesus, upon Whom God
‘has laid the iniquity of us all’.
Isaiah 53 verse 6.
The blood of the first goat; the evidence that sin has been punished, is sprinkled by the high priest before and on the mercy seat in the most sacred place of the tabernacle; the ‘Holy of Holies’. For God.
The second goat, laden with the sins of the Israelites, is led into the wilderness outside the camp to die there.
Jesus also had to suffer and die outside the gate of Jerusalem, as an unclean one,
‘outside the camp’.
Hebrews 13 verse 12 and 13.
‘For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God'.
2 Corinthians 5 verse 21.
As the high priest on the Day of Atonement wore only the holy linen undergarment, and not the splendid official garb that distinguished him from the priests, so Jesus laid down His heavenly glory, humbled Himself, took on human nature, to make the unique sacrifice of His life, as an atonement for our sins.
‘and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised’. 2 Corinthians 5 verse 15.
The people were to humble themselves before God on the Day of Atonement, thus participating in the confession of sins spoken by the high priest Aaron.
Leviticus 23 verses 27 to 29.
When the high priest, who represented the people, laid his hands on the head of the goat, the sin, the iniquity of all the people, was symbolically placed on the animal. Then it was led away before the eyes of the people. In this way, each Israelite was personally involved in the atonement.
The British puritan preacher Erskine once said in a sermon:
‘There is a crucified Christ available to all. Use Him faithfully'.
Isaiah 53 verse 11b:
'By His knowledge shall the righteous One, My Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities'.
Hebrews 9 verse 28:
’So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him'.
1 John 1 verses 8 and 9:
'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'.
The fall of man disrupted the relationship between God and man. Genesis 3.