|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:15-34 Here are typified the two great gospel privileges, of the remission of sin, and access to God, both of which we owe to our Lord Jesus. See the expiation of guilt. Christ is both the Maker and the Matter of the atonement; for he is the Priest, the High Priest, that makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. And as Christ is the High Priest, so he is the Sacrifice with which atonement is made; for he is all in all in our reconciliation to God. Thus he was figured by the two goats. The slain goat was a type of Christ dying for our sins; the scape-goat a type of Christ rising again for our justification. The atonement is said to be completed by putting the sins of Israel upon the head of the goat, which was sent away into a wilderness, a land not inhabited; and the sending away of the goat represented the free and full remission of their sins. He shall bear upon him all their iniquities. Thus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world, by taking it upon himself, Joh 1:29. The entrance into heaven, which Christ made for us, was typified by the high priest's entrance into the most holy place. See Heb 9:7. The high priest was to come out again; but our Lord Jesus ever lives, making intercession, and always appears in the presence of God for us. Here are typified the two great gospel duties of faith and repentance. By faith we put our hands upon the head of the offering; relying on Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, pleading his satisfaction, as that which alone is able to atone for our sins, and procure us a pardon. By repentance we afflict our souls; not only fasting for a time from the delights of the body, but inwardly sorrowing for sin, and living a life of self-denial, assuring ourselves, that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By the atonement we obtain rest for our souls, and all the glorious liberties of the children of God. Sinner, get the blood of Christ effectually applied to thy soul, or else thou canst never look God in the face with any comfort or acceptance. Take this blood of Christ, apply it by faith, and see how it atones with God.
Verse 34. - This shall be an everlasting statute unto you. It lasted as long as the earthly Jerusalem lasted, and until the heavenly Jerusalem was instituted, when it had a spiritual fulfillment once for all. "Of old there was an high priest that cleansed the people with the blood of bulls and goats, but now that the true High Priest is come, the former priesthood is no more. It is a providential dispensation of God that the city and temple of Jerusalem have been destroyed; for if they were still standing, some who are weak in faith might be dazzled by the outward splendor of the literal types, and not drawn by faith to the spiritual antitypes. If there are any, therefore, who, in considering the Levitical ritual of the great Day of Atonement, and in looking at the two he-goats - the one sacrificed, the other let go, charged with sins, into the wilderness - do not recognize the one Christ who died for our sins and took away our sins, and do not see there the 'everlasting statute' of which God here speaks by Moses, let him go up thrice a year to Jerusalem, and there search for the altar which has crumbled in the dust, and offer up his victims there without a priest. But no; thanks be to God, the earthly priesthood and temple are abolished, that we may raise our heart to the heavenly, and look up with faith and love and joy to him who offered himself once for all, and who ever liveth to make intercession for us" (Origen, 'Hom.' 10, as quoted by Wordsworth). And he did as the Lord commanded Moses; that is. Moses announced to Aaron the Law which was to be carried out about five months later.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you,.... Which is the third time of its being observed, see Leviticus 16:29, to show that this was a law of considerable moment, and to be taken notice of, and strictly and closely kept by the priests, to whom these words are directed, and on whom the chief service of the day lay:
to make atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year; namely, on the tenth day of the seventh month, or Tisri, as before directed:
and he did as the Lord commanded Moses; that is, Aaron did, as the Targum of Jonathan, Aben Ezra, and Ben Gersom supply it; when the day of atonement came, as Jarchi expresses it, he did according to this order, to fulfil the decree of the king, even the King of kings; whose will it was that such a day should be yearly observed, and such and such rules performed in it; so very significant of Christ, and of the atonement to be made by him, and which has been made.
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