In the Garden, when Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord made coverings of animal skins for them. This demonstrated the principle that the result of sin was the shedding of blood.
The principle of laying on hands is found throughout the Bible. Jacob laid his hands in blessing on the sons of Joseph. (Genesis 48:17) Parents brought their children to the Lord Jesus for Him to lay His hands on them and bless them. (Matthew 19:13) The Children of Israel were told to lay their hands on the sacrifice so that the sacrifice would make atonement form them. (Leviticus 1:2-4) In this case, by the laying on of hands, they were transferring their sin to the sacrifice.
The Levites were the tribe, or family, that the Lord chose to serve Him in the Tabernacle and to perform the many duties required. The Lord instructed Moses to bring the Levites before the Children of Israel. The Israelites were to lay their hands on the Levites. The Levites were to be an offering of service to the Lord. Also, by laying their hands on the Levites, the Israelites were transferring their sin to the Levites.
The Levites were to then lay hands on two young bulls which were to be sacrificed. In this way, the sins of the Levites (and the Israelites) were transferred to the sacrificial animals. By this process, the requirement of the shedding of blood because of the sins of the Israelites was satisfied. (Numbers 8:5-15)
Each year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would lay his hands on two sacrificial goats. In this way, each year the sins of the people were atoned for. Their sins were transferred to the sacrifice. (Leviticus 16:7-10)
When Noah and his family departed the Ark, the Lord emphasized the importance of blood to life. The Lord stated that whoever took the life of another, his life would be required in payment. This is because man is in the image of God. (Genesis 9:6) By the way, this explains why the Devil hates mankind, because we remind him of God. The Devil hates God and wishes to usurp Him. (Isaiah 14:13-14)
The Law of the Cities of Refuge combined the principal of life for a life, and the transferring of sin to the priests. (Numbers 35:6-32) The law required someone who intentionally killed another to be executed. A life for a life.
If someone accidentally caused the death of another, he could flee to one of six cities of refuge. There he must remain until he died, or the High Priest died. The sins of the people had been transferred to the priests, and ultimately the High Priest. So, when either the person who caused the death or the High Priest died, the requirement of a life for a life had been fulfilled.
All of this points to the Lord Jesus. He is our City of Refuge and our High Priest. When Jesus died, even the sin of murder was atoned for. Jesus was the Lamb of God, the spotless sacrifice. Our sins are transferred to Him. But the death of Jesus was one step better than the Old Testament sacrifices. Jesus died, but He was resurrected. This not only covers our sin, but gives us the promise of Resurrection and Eternal Life. (Philippians 3:20-21)
This is just one more example of the saying, “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” Praise the Lord for His plan of salvation which was in place before the world was created! (Ephesians 1:4)