Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.
(Leviticus 16:20-22 (NIV))

Have you ever heard of the term “scapegoat?”

The definition that we think of when we hear this word is something or someone that bears the blame for others.

It is interesting that this term has its roots in how God atoned for the sins of the Israelites while they were in the desert. They literally placed hands upon the goat and transferred all of their sins unto it. The goat was then led away into the desert and released. The desert was the place that the sin was to go so that it would be removed from the people.

Take a look at Jesus.

He went into the desert to prepare Himself to take our sins upon Himself.

Hands were laid upon Him and the thorns of our sins were placed upon His head.

He carried our sins to that solitary place called Golgotha.

He bore our sins so that we could be free.

We don’t think of Jesus as a scapegoat. We like to think of Him as the sacrificial Lamb, but He was and is our scapegoat. He bore our sins and carried them far away from us so that we could have salvation.

The next time that you hear the word “scapegoat,” think about what it means and who truly did carry our sins away from us.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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