June 20, 2021 – Leviticus 16
Lesson Date: June 20, 2021
Focal Scripture Passage: Leviticus 11:44-45; 16:1-30; Hebrews 9:11-12, 25-28
AIM: To lead students to discover the steps required in the complex rituals of the annual Day of Atonement, and to either turn to Jesus for salvation or thank Him for being our great high priest who obtained eternal redemption for us.
Before class: Read the notes on Leviticus 11 – 16 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the “Day of Atonement Sequence of Events” handout for your anticipated attendance. Draw a simple diagram of the Tabernacle on the marker board or chalkboard. Enlist volunteers to look up the following verses and be prepared to read them to the class when called upon: 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15. Bring a wall calendar to class.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Hold the wall calendar up for the students to see. Ask: “What is the most important day of the year?” Allow time for responses. Some students might name their birthday, their wedding anniversary, their child’s birthday, or some national holiday.
Ask: “What is the most important religious holiday of the year?” Allow time for responses. Some students might name Easter, Christmas, or the date on which they received Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Tell the class today’s lesson is about the most important day on the Jewish religious calendar, The Day of Atonement. Tell them today might also prove to be the most important day in the life of someone present.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the Old Testament book of Leviticus.
- Ask: “What was last Sunday’s lesson about?” (the requirements and responsibilities of priests).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Rom. 12:1).
- God’s Perfect Standard.
- Tell the class that Leviticus was written about a year after God freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.
- Explain the following:
- The Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai (locate on the Map of Egypt, Sinai, and Canaan).
- By this time their Tabernacle was complete (Ex. 40), God had told them how to carry out the various offerings and sacrifices (Lev. 1 – 7), and Aaron and his sons had been consecrated as priests (Lev. 8 – 10).
- In Leviticus 11 – 15 God gave the Israelites many, many complex and precise laws concerning what they could eat, how to ritually cleanse themselves after childbirth, how to diagnose and deal with skin diseases and contaminated houses, and what to do about people defiled by bodily discharges.
- Tell the students that Leviticus 11:44-45 reveals why God gave the Israelites so many rules to follow. Ask a volunteer to read those verses.
- Ask: “What standard did God set for His people?” (they were to be holy).
- Ask: “Why did God expect His people to be holy?” (because He is holy).
- Stress the fact that God set a perfect standard for His people, which is impossible for anyone to live up to. Since we cannot be as holy as God, we have a sin problem that must be dealt with.
- Summarize: God expected His people to be holy, but since they were sinners like us they needed a way to atone for their sins.
- The Day of Atonement Sequence of Events.
- Give everyone a copy of the “Day of Atonement Sequence of Events” handout. Ask them to follow along on the handout as you teach the remainder of the lesson.
- Read Leviticus 16:1-28, stopping after each verse listed on the handout.
- Use the information on the handout to explain who did what, the significance of what they did, and the New Testament parallels. Use the diagram of the Tabernacle you drew on the board to illustrate Aaron’s movements and actions.
- Note the following important facts as you work your way through the verses:
- The high priest was the only person who could ever venture beyond the veil into the Most Holy Place, and he could only do that on the Day of Atonement.
- Aaron, the High Priest, was the person carrying out all these rituals.
- Aaron had to first offer a sacrifice to atone for his own sins before he could offer the sacrifice for the sins of the people.
- Aaron then offered sacrifices on behalf of the people, who were not allowed to enter the Most Holy Place.
- Summarize: On the Day of Atonement the High Priest had to follow a complex set of rituals to atone for his own sin and then for the sins of the people.
- The Day of Atonement was an Annual Event.
- Ask a volunteer to read Leviticus 16:29-30.
- Ask: “How often did they have to repeat these rituals?” (every year).
- Explain the following:
- God commanded the Israelites to repeat the Day of Atonement sacrifices and rituals every year on the 10th day of the 7th month (late September or early October).
- That’s because the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement only provided temporary covering for sins.
- In addition to the Day of Atonement, throughout the year the Israelites had to offer all of the other regular sacrifices that we learned about two weeks ago.
- The sacrifices on the Day of Atonement could not completely deal with man’s sin, but they pointed to Jesus Christ, the one who was able to deal with man’s sin once and for all.
- Summarize: God commanded the Israelites to repeat the Day of Atonement sacrifices and rituals every year.
- Jesus Gave Himself as the Perfect and Final Sacrifice.
- Ask everyone to turn to Hebrews 9.
- Read Hebrews 9:11-12.
- Ask: “What does verse 11 call Jesus?” (a “high priest of good things to come”).
- Ask: “What blood did He bring into the holy place?” (His own).
- Ask: “What did He obtain for us with His blood?” (eternal redemption).
- Remind the students that the high priest went through an elaborate ritual to make atonement for himself before he offered the sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people. He did that because he was a sinner.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 4:15.
- Ask: “Why didn’t Jesus need to bring animal blood to pay for His sin?” (because He NEVER sinned).
- Read Hebrews 9:25-26.
- Remind the students that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement were repeated every year.
- Ask: “How many times did Jesus have to die on the cross for our sins?” (once).
- Tell the class verse 26 says Jesus “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
- Summarize: The Old Testament priests had to repeat their offerings over and over, but Jesus Christ died once to pay for our sin forever!
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that Christ’s redemptive work is finished. There is no other way to deal with sin. Nothing we could ever do is good enough to pay our sin debt. No amount of good works or church attendance can do it. No amount of self-sacrifice or giving to others can do it. The only way that our sins can be paid for is through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 9:27-28. Ask: “What terrible fact does verse 27 remind us of?” (we will all die and face God one day). Tell the students that every person on earth has an appointment with death.
Ask: “According to verse 28, for whom did Jesus die?” (“many”).
Tell the students if they have never trusted Jesus Christ for salvation but desire to do so now they can become one of the “many” mentioned in that verse.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Urge them to examine their own hearts, and if they are not saved to confess their sins and ask Jesus to save them right now. Tell those who are already saved to thank Jesus for being their great high priest and obtaining eternal redemption for them. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Offer to speak privately with anyone who might have questions about their salvation. Tell everyone to thank God every day this week for the fact that we no longer have to go to a priest with an animal sacrifice. Encourage them to do the Daily Bible Readings every day this week.
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