Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
It was a busy day in Jerusalem. A crowd of people stood in the outer court of the temple. Some had come from as far as Laish. People of all ages were there, yes, even children. Sarah and Joshua had come with their mom and dad and some neighbours from their village. The last part of the journey was pretty steep! But it sure was good to be here. The walls were so high! The temple was so beautiful! Last night Dad had explained to Joshua and Sarah why they were here. He called it Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Nobody could work or eat on that day. Sarah and Joshua didnÕt understand everything, but they could tell from the adultsÕ faces that it was an important day. The mood of the crowd was serious and silent. Some were praying, others were singing Psalms. An old woman was crying.

Dad said it was about sprinkling blood and confessing sins. Zadok, the high priest, would go into the Holy of holies two times. Joshua saw the goat which had been picked for the sacrifice. The goats were at the temple gate. Lots were cast to see which one would be sacrificed and which one would be let go. The high priest first sacrificed a bull cow. He took the blood and put it in a bowl. Then he put coals in a censer (dish made of gold) and he put incense on the coals. When he entered the temple the perfume of the incense filled it with a pleasant smell. Then the priest went into the Holy of holies. There was the ark of the covenant, a golden box with two golden cherubim (angels) spreading their wings on top. It contained the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments had been written by God. The priest sprinkled the bullsÕ blood on the ark seven times, while he prayed for God to have mercy on the people.

When he finished and came out, the crowd was joyful. The old womanÕs face lightened up. ÒGive thanks to God, His mercy endures forever,Ó a man cried! God is good! The crowd left. The priest had blessed them with GodÕs peace.

Children, were you there too, watching, praying, listening, waiting? Thank God you werenÕt, because we know something Joshua, Sarah and their parents didnÕt know as well as we do. Jesus became the sacrifice instead of the bull and goat. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins. He also became the High Priest to intercede before the Father in heaven. He became the guilty criminal, so people could be declared innocent. No more sacrifices for sin are needed now.

Remember how the people waited for the high priest to come out of the Holy of holies? Are you waiting for Jesus to return? Have you seen that only JesusÕ blood and sacrifice takes away your debt of sin? Christ will return to bring full salvation to all who in faith look to Him. That is what Ascension Day is about: to remind us to keep looking and waiting for Him, to bow down before Him and worship Him. This is what the Bible says: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28).

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