24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 7 – Mercy!

Leviticus 16:15-16

Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. – Leviticus 16:15-16

In Leviticus chapter 16, we read how the Lord spoke to Moses and gave him specific instructions for how the high priest should offer the sacrifice of atonement. “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.” (Leviticus 16:2)

The mercy seat, kapporeth in Hebrew, is the top lid of the Ark of the Covenant on which the blood of the sacrifice of atonement was sprinkled by the high priest. There were three items inside the ark, the stone tablets inscribed with the ten commandments, Aaron’s almond rod which had budded and a gold jar of manna. There is significance in the fact that the mercy seat covered the law; as the blood of atonement was sprinkled, sin was covered and the people forgiven. This was done, once a year, every year to forgive the sins committed that year.

In the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, the word hilasterion was used to translate kapporeth, or mercy seat. Hilasterion, is used in Hebrews 9:4-5 in describing “the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat (hilasterion).”

Hilasterion is also used to mean the sacrifice of atonement in the letter to the Romans and is translated as the English word propitiation.

Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Jesus is our propitiation. He is the mercy seat that covers our sin. We read in the book of Hebrews that Jesus is our High Priest who offered his own blood as the sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 9:22-28

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

The apostle John also tells us that God loved us so much that he gave us his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Thank you Jesus!

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

Hymn: What Child is This?

In 1865 William Dix wrote these words sung to the tune of the 16th Century melody “Greensleeves”. You seldom hear the verse that says “Nail, spear shall pierce him through, the Cross be borne for me, for you.” We should always remember that the baby born in a manger grew up to be a man who went to the cross for me and for you.

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading
Nails, spear shall pierce him through
The Cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word Made Flesh
The babe, the son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come, peasant, king, to own Him!
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him!
Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary!

About 24 Verses

24 Verses is a blog advent calendar with one verse of scripture per day from December 1 through December 24. Each day we will feature a verse of scripture related to the Messiah's birth, death and resurrection.

Use the navigation links in the sidebar to follow each day or look at scriptures from the different books of the Bible.