Looking for Jesus in Leviticus: “the scapegoat”

The Word for today:
Leviticus 17

mark this: Leviticus 16:21-22
Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

Many of us who know the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world should get to know the goat of God, who takes those sins so far away—as far as the east is from the west—that no one, including God himself, can find them anymore.

In Leviticus 16, it takes two goats to completely represent what Jesus has done for us. One goat is sacrificed, because the wages of sin is death. But the other goat, symbolically bearing all the sins of Israel, was led away into the wilderness.

Thus the people not only saw the price that was paid, but they saw the total forgiveness that was purchased.

The scapegoat is an illustration of God’s declaration that he has chosen to erase from his memory the sins we confess:
No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

When this understanding finds its way into our hearts, it is exhilarating and liberating because many of us still worry that God is keeping score. He is not. He’s already settled the score with Jesus.

Most believers know this intellectually and doctrinally, but their understanding hasn’t made it all the way to the deepest part of their souls. They sometimes think that the Totally Good News is too good to be true, and that God is disappointed in them because of what happened a decade ago, or months ago, or yesterday.

In Psalm 103, God says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your transgressions from you.” In Isaiah 38:17, God says, “I have cast your sins behind My back.” Isaiah 44:22 tells us he has blotted out our sins; Job 14:17 says that he puts our sins in a bag and sews it up; Micah 7:19 says that he casts all our sins into the depths of the sea.

What the scapegoat pictured symbolically and temporarily, the Lamb of God achieved in reality and for eternity.

Every now and then, when we want to honor and commemorate the complete work of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf, we should put our crosses away and wear a necklace with a goat instead. That probably sounds like blasphemy, but that’s what God has done.

Just in case a goat necklace is beyond your budget, or clashes with your fashion sense, Stand in the Rain has gathered the verses from this article and dropped them to the bottom of this printable page,  just like God gathered your sins and dropped them into the middle of the deep blue sea.

God’s forgiveness of sin

Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.

The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21-22)

1. God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
2. God completely cleanses us from the stain of our sins. (Isaiah 1:18)
3. God throws our sins behind His back. (Isaiah 38:17)
4. God remembers our sins no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)
5. God treads our sins underfoot.  (Micah 7:19)
6. God casts our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)

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About Stand in the Rain Blogger

Trying to be who God made me, I am wary of my influences. I avoid the culture that surrounds me, for the most part. I soaked up that crap for 40 years. I am trying to replace the word of the world with the unvarnished Word of God.** I like people, but I like solitude just as much. Go figure.** I adore Jesus Christ. I am flipped-out, flamingly and fervently in love with Him. I count it a privilege to draw breath in His universe. All my springs are in Him.** I am crazy about my wife, Shelley. She outshines the sun. I can't help it if I'm lucky.** My heroes are my kids--Caitlin, Gwenlyn, Frankie, & Eddy. I aspire to be like them when I grow up.
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