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THE SCAPEGOAT

From The Heart

Publish date: 04/12/2009

“And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”
Leviticus 16:5-10 KJV

“And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”
Leviticus 16:20-22 KJV

The Lord instituted the Day of Atonement, and commanded Aaron and every High Priest after him to follow specific rituals for the cleansing of sin for him and his household and for all of Israel and anyone else that chose to participate. It was a day when Israel was to humble themselves before the Lord and to put all their faith and trust in Him for their sins to be atoned for by blood. As part of the proceedngs, the High Priest was to take two live goats and cast lots over them. One of them would be sacrificed and the one would be released into the wilderness. The first goat was sacrificed for a sin offering, typifying the death of Christ, who became sin for us though He knew no sin. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV) After fully reconciling the most holy place, the holy place, and the brazen altar with the blood of the sacrificed animal, the High Priest brought in the live goat and laid both his hands on its head, confessed over it all the sins of himself, his house, and all Israel, and handed it over to a man, who was chosen and ready for this, who would carry it away and chase it out into the wilderness.

The scapegoat was the one who bore away the blame on the behalf of the people; he was not killed, but released into the wilderness. He did not die to atone for sins; he completed the atonement in that he bore sins away and was cut off; separated from human habitation; typifying the removal of them by the
resurrection of Christ. The two goats represented one atonement for sin – blood was shed and sins and transgressions washed away and removed as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12). This is certainly what Jesus did for us. He took all our sin and shame, bore all the punishment we deserved; died and carried it away. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4 KJV)

The two goats represented the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25 KJV) His atoning work was not in vain, for it was the resurrection that made it effective! He rose in victory – forever establishing our freedom from sin and righteousness before God. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24 KJV)

What Jesus did for us was more than monumental! It is the difference between death and hell – being
eternally cut off from the presence of God - and eternal life, forever in the very presence of God! This was no light and easy thing Jesus did. It was a huge feat and He did it out of His intense love for us. It was not just three days of hell that He went through for you and me, but it was His life lived yielded to the Father, in complete obedience. In 33 years, He never once committed sin, for no sin was found in Him. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
(Hebrews 4:15 KJV)

Because He was sinless, death could not hold Him. Yes, He carried our sins upon Him to the grave and buried it there, but death could not keep him there. He rose in victory to bestow this same resurrection life upon all those who will call upon His wonderful Name. We gave Him our sin and unrighteousness and He gave us His life and His righteousness. What an honor that our sin should have been laid on Him, that His blood should have been shed for us and that His resurrection power should resurrect us from the dead and give us a brand new heart and life!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:3 KJV

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