The Removal of Sin
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 16:21 – 22
The book of Leviticus is not one of those books of the Bible that we turn to for inspiration very often. We sometimes see it only as a teaching manual for the priests of the Old Testament. It focuses on sacrifice and sanctification, which allowed God’s chosen people to have a relationship with Him, the Holy God of Israel. The book, however, is full of pictures, ceremonies and procedures that point us to Jesus Christ. One such picture—the live goat—from today’s scripture does just that.
The scapegoat, as he is often called, is a picture of God’s mercy, or God removing our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). The goat is a physical reminder of what God does with our sin. Sin has consequences, including condemnation and guilt. Jesus, however, at thirty-three years of age, became the perfect, sinless and once-and-for-all sacrifice that cleanses us from our sin. Like the scapegoat, our sin—past, present and future—was placed upon Jesus. He was taken outside of Jerusalem and crucified like the scapegoat being led out into the desert to die. His Son, Jesus, voluntarily laid aside His glory to come to earth (Philippians 2:7 – 8). Three days later, He arose, triumphing over sin and death.
Jesus carried our sin so we don’t have to, and because of that, we can live with Him eternally if we ask Him to come into our life. Do you ever feel you don’t deserve God’s forgiveness? We all do. Let’s not let that be an excuse for not being in right relationship with Him. Have you asked Jesus to come into your life and take your sin upon Him? If not, why not? If so, what can you do to bring glory to Him for what He has done for you?
Today’s Prayer: Father, I thank You for wanting to be in relationship with me and providing, through Jesus, the way for that to happen. Thank You for forgiving my sin. Help me to be holy as You are holy. Show me how I can bring glory to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.