What does the blood of a goat, water, scarlet wool and a branch of hyssop have to do with each other?
These items were used by the priest in ancient Israel in a religious ceremony that cleansed the people. This ceremony took place in the tabernacle divided by a veil. The veil divided the tabernacle in half with the front portion being used daily by the priest to serve God. The back portion, called the Holiest or Holy of Holies, was entered by the priest only once a year on the Day of Atonement when he ritually cleansed the people.
All these rituals and practices focused the people on the importance of being cleansed by the priest. The living goat provided a vicarious sacrifice, the hyssop reminded the people of when the destroying angel passed over their homes because they had followed Moses’ counsel and painted the blood of their sacrificial animal on the doorposts. You can read about the wool here.
Then in 34 AD Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest, lived on Earth and passed through the veil of death into Heaven. He didn’t just die like a mere mortal. He was a divine being who lived a sinless life and offered his own blood as a symbol of his willingness to bear the just consequences of all the sins and infirmities of the people. In this way he paid the price justice demands and he offers mercy to us on his own terms. (He is a mediator) He shows us how to approach God and makes it possible for us to actually cross the veil and enter the Holiest places of Heaven.
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