One day per year the High Priest could enter alone into the Most Holy place or Holy of Holies .
Hebrews 9:7 (King James Version)
7. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Exodus 30:10 (King James Version)
10. And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
Leviticus 16:17 (King James Version)
17. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.
The services performed on the Day of Atonement where a shadow or figure of Christ and the heavenly -
Hebrews 8:5 (King James Version)
5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle:
The Day of Atonement was a day of judgment.
The people had from the first day of the month to the 10th day of the month to get right with God, and ensure there was no sin in their lives, or they would be cut off. They were notified to get ready by the blowing of the trumpets.
(The sabbaths involved were special days different from the Sabbath of the 4th commandment observed on the 7th day of every week.)
Leviticus 23:23-32 (King James Version)
23. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
26. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27. Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
29. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
30. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
31. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
On the Day of Atonement the priest had to first make an atonement for himself.
Leviticus 16:3, 6 (King James Version)
3. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.
6. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.
Leviticus 16:11 (King James Version)
11. And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:
The high priest also had to use the golden censer to protect himself as he went behind the vail into the presence of God.
Leviticus 16:12-14 (King James Version)
12. And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off
the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten
small, and bring it within the vail:
14. And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with
his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall
he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
Before entering the Holy place and Most Holy place the priests had to wash and dress making sure to put on undergarments.
Exodus 28:42-43 (King James Version)
42. And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
43. And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.
Leviticus 16:4 (King James Version)
4. He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
On the Day of Atonement the High priest made an atonement for the people to cleanse them from sin -
Leviticus 16:29-30 (King James Version)
29. And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
30. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
Jeremiah 33:8 (King James Version)
8. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
On the Day of Atonement it was also necessary to cleanse
the Holy Place of the sins of the people transferred there during the daily services -
Leviticus 16:16 (King James Version)
16. And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
On the Day of Atonement two goats were also chosen for sin offerings and a ram for a burnt offering. One goat represent the Lord and one represent the scapegoat or Azazel.
Leviticus 16:5; 7-8 (King James Version)
5. And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
7. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
8. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
On the Day of Atonement the Lord’s goat was sacrificed for the sins of the people, and the blood was sprinkled on
the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies
Leviticus 16:9 & 15 (King James Version)
9. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
15. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
Without the shedding of blood on the day of atonement there would be no forgiveness or cleansing from sins –
Hebrews 9:22 (King James Version)
22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
On the Day of Atonement, once God accepted the sacrifices as substitutes the confessed sins were transferred to the scapegoat.
Leviticus 16:20-22 (King James Version)
20. And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
21. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
22. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land
not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
For the heavenly Day of Atonement Jesus is the Lord's goat, while satan is the scapegoat.
Jesus Christ is the heavenly high priest in the sanctuary in heaven.
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Proverbs 3:13-14 (KJV)
13. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.