What do the OT laying on of hands and NT baptism mean?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Confession Of Faith In God The Son

Scripture Verses: Lev 1:3-4; 16:6-10; 16:14: 16:21-22; 16:29; Jer 17:1; Mt 3:15-17; 1 Pet 3:21

The OT tells us that when the people of Israel gave to God their offering of the remission of sin, they have to make sure to bring an unblemished animal and to put their hands on its head. It is also written that when priests, on their behalf killed the animal, drew its blood, put the blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and poured the rest of it on the ground, then they would receive the remission of a day’s worth of sins. Lev 1:3-4

On the other hand, to be forgiven a year’s worth of sin, the people of Israel needed the High Priest, this was Aaron at that time. To make a year’s worth of Israelites sin, it was absolutely required to have Aaron as their representative. Aaron brought a goat into the tabernacle’s court, pass his sins onto it by first putting his hands on its head to make atonement for himself and his house, cut its throat open, drew its blood and took some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his fingers on the mercy seat on the east side 7 times. This is how Aaron and his house first received the remission of sin. Atonement means passing one’s sin onto the sacrificial animal by putting his hands on its head. The vicarious death of this sacrificial animal is atonement.

The sinful must die because of their own sins but when they pass their sins onto the sacrificial offering by laying their hands on its head, then this animal is put to death instead. This is how the High Priest and his house were first remitted of their sins. After doing so, he entered into the tabernacle by himself and offered one of the two goats to God by laying their hands upon his head and killing it to take its blood. On behalf of the people of Israel, he then laid his hands on the other goat before their presence and thereby passed their sins onto this goat.

Putting his hands on the head of the goat, the High Priest prayed and confessed all the sins of Israel for the whole year that they have committed. He then cut the goat’s throat, drew its blood and took this blood into the Most Holy Place, where he was allowed to enter only once a year. He then sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat on the east side, covering the Ark of the Testimony and before the mercy seat 7 times. 

The Ark of Testimony was placed inside the Most Holy Place. The covering of this Ark was called the mercy seat and when this covering was removed, one would have seen the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, the golden pot that had the manna and Aaron’s rod that budded inside the Ark. Aaron’s rod that budded refers to resurrection, the two stones refers to the righteousness of God and the golden pot that had the manna refers to God’s Word of life. On top of the Ark of the testimony, the covering called the mercy seat was placed. The blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled 7 times before the covering. As bells of gold were attached to the hems of the robe worn by the High Priest, whenever he sprinkled, the blood dipped in hyssop, the bells made sound.  When they heard the golden bells sounding 7 times, they told themselves, “I am free now. I had been burdened by all the sins that accumulated over the past year but now this burden has been lifted.”  On this Day of Atonement, the people of Israel won their freedom from all their sins and then went back to their everyday life in joy. Now, in the present, this sound of bells is none other than the very sounds of blessings that enables us to be born again of water and the Spirit. The Gospel has the power of dynamite that can blow away all sins once and for all. We have been saved by hearing with our ears, believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths our faith in the Word of God, the Gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Gospel of the remission of sin enables us to be born again of water and the Spirit.

When people hear this good news of the Gospel, some people realise it soon, while others are slow to understand it. Those who say, as soon as they hear, “if I had been sinful but my sins were passed onto the goat, then it is the goat that now has these sins.” –these are the ones whose realisation is quick. When our sins are passed onto the sacrificial offering, then we become sinless. How simple is this? Once one realises it, truth is easy to grasp. When the goat disappears from the sight and the man who sent it off returns, the goat then roams in the wilderness with neither vegetation nor water and in the end dies with the sins of all Israelites on its shoulder. 

This is how the righteous Law of God, that “the wages of sin is death” was fulfilled. God, in other words, saved the nation of Israel by sacrificing this goat, the sacrificial offering for their sake. In the NT, Jesus has given us salvation by being baptised and crucified.  Mt 3:15-17; 1 Pet 3:21