February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017

LEVITICUS 16-18

Focus Verse: “Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the Lord and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the Lord. The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the Lord. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the Lord.”

Leviticus 16:7-10

“When Aaron has finished purifying the Most Holy Place and the Tabernacle and the altar, he must present the live goat. He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.”

Leviticus 16:20-22

 

All sacrifices in the Old Testament are mini prophecies to the coming of Jesus Christ, but the scapegoat is my favorite. There is so much symbolism in both of these sacrifices (as a former English teacher, I’m all about that!) and we can see such a full picture of what Christ did for us through these two goats.

 

First, the goat whose lot falls to the Lord is sacrificed. How fitting of Jesus. His lot fell to the Lord so that ours wouldn’t have to. He took on death as a permanent sacrifice, laid His life on the altar and poured out His blood so that we could be set free. The goat whose lot fell to the Lord bought life for the other goat. Jesus Christ bought life for us.

 

But before we get too attached to this other goat, hit verses 20-21. All the sins of the people are laid on this goat. We know sin can’t stay in the presence of God, so the goat has to be sent packing. So once it’s loaded up with all the sins of the people, the goat is sent into isolation in the desert. Sound familiar? Jesus cried out on the cross when God had to turn His face from His Son because of the sins of the world laid on Christ’s shoulders. Jesus took on separation from His Father, a punishment far more painful than what He suffered on the cross, so that we would never have to be separated from Him.

 

And that’s the best part of the scapegoat sacrifice: Jesus is both goats. I guess you could say Jesus is the true G.O.A.T. (sorry, that was bad). Not only did Christ lay down His life as the ultimate sacrifice to take the punishment that belonged to us away, but He was also cast out of His Father’s presence, a punishment far worse than a one time death. Just like He did with Abram in Genesis 15, God fulfilled both ends of His covenant, Jesus took on both roles of these goats and bought us a perfect and complete freedom that can never be taken away.

 

What a Savior!

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