READ: Leviticus 16:20-34
The Day of Atonement Pt. 3
Now we read the instructions that concern the two ‘kid goats’ that were selected to be used as a sin offering (vs. 5), one became the ‘scapegoat’. This is truly an amazing offering ritual. The scapegoat isn’t a normal offering; the only time it is practiced is during this Day of Atonement.
The High Priest, after sprinkling the blood of the sin offering behind the veil in the presence of God, was to come out and complete the atonement of the people by laying both his hands on the head of the live goat and confessing the sins of all the people. As the passage said, he was putting all the sins and failures of the people on the head of the goat. And then the goat is sent far away into the wilderness. This whole process is symbolic of the principles of Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
There is a great passage in I John 3:5, ‘And you know that He was manifest to take away our sins…’ The role that Jesus has played on the cross is to fulfill, in part, the role played by the scapegoat. Jesus has borne our sins upon His shoulders and He has removed them from sight forever.
The ‘taking away’ of such sins on a once for all basis means that with that removal our conscinece has been cleansed; there is no longer a reason for guilt. There is no longer a need to feel guilt because the wrong has been removed as far as the east is from the west. Sometimes there is a natural consequence depending on the seriousness and impact of our wrongs, a consequence that seems to contain a continual reminder of certain sins. In such a case there needs to be a difference between the guilt that motivated our repentance and reminds us not to walk such a track again and a guilt that makes us feel like we are judged by God – when our sins have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus our guilt before God no longer exists. Praise God!!!