The Scriptures Teach About Laying Of Hands and Atonement

Use the day of the Atonement not to pray for the dead but to act for the living, to rescue those about to die. 

– Howard Zinn.

The book of Leviticus has all the information about the sacrifices, offerings and feasts that the Israelites are observing. Moreover, the meaning and symbolism of these activities are stipulated in the scriptures. Among these practices is the laying of hands on the animal to be sacrificed in the temple.

Bible Reading

Today’s devotional reading is from the Book of Leviticus 1:4. Please, read our recent devotional from the Gospel according to Matthew 6:25: Anxiety Blinds You From What Is Important

Laying hands on the offering

The first chapter of Leviticus talks about the burnt offering requirements. A burnt offering is a voluntary sacrifice made by the Israelites. In verse 4, we read, He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Furthermore, the sacrificed animal serves as the recipient of the consequences of our sins. However, these animal sacrifices only cover our sins. 

The author of Hebrews writes, indeed, under the law, almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Further, the laying of hands symbolizes the transfer of the offerers’ sins to the animal.

The atonement of our sins by Jesus Christ

Isaiah prophesied how Jesus will atone for our sake. He wrote, He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7). And Jesus was indeed the perfect spotless sacrifice that washed away all the sins of the world (John 1:29). 

The atonement of Christ was the ultimate offering to save believing from the wrath of God. When He uttered ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), the need for animal sacrifices ceased. Therefore, all those who believe in Him receive not the wrath of God but eternal life with the Father in Heaven. So what is hindering you to have faith in Jesus? Accept Jesus Now.


This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV.
  1. What are your thoughts about animal sacrifices in ancient times?
  2. What do you think is necessary to lay hands on the offered animal?
  3. How do you understand Jesus’ sacrificial offering of Himself for our sake?
  4. Why do you think Jesus has to die for us?
  5. How do you share the sacrificial love of Jesus with others?
  6. Read more about Jesus’ sacrificial love for you.


Almighty Father, we praise your holy name. We reverently as for your forgiveness of our sins (mention your sins). O Lord, Jesus Christ, thank you that you bore our punishment and provided an opportunity for us to be united with the Father. Thank you that you have sent the Holy Spirit to guide us as we wait for the day that you will come to judge both the living and the dead. May we never be far from you and continue to guide us in our walk with you.

We pray in Your mighty name. Amen.

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