Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jesus Your Scapegoat

Did you know the term we use today – the "scapegoat" – came from the Bible? (Tweet that!)

When God gave Moses the whole plan for substitute stand-in sacrifices for us, one of the ceremonies He gave was for the "Day of Atonement" in Leviticus 16. This ceremony included two goats. One of those goats was the scapegoat. (We'll look at the other goat tomorrow.)

Leviticus 16:21-22 tells us about what the Priest was to do:

"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" (NIV 1984).

This scapegoat was then banished forever from the camp of the people. It was never allowed back inside the camp (or city) where the people lived.

The ceremony of the scapegoat was a prophecy of what Messiah would do when he came. He would become the people's Scapegoat.

All the sins of the people (both Israelites/Jews* and gentiles who are willing to accept this free gift from him) can be put on the head of this Scapegoat and he will carry them on himself. He will take them to a solitary place where those sins will be banished forever, never allowed to return! (Tweet that!)

This is what Jesus, the Messiah, did when he carried our sins away. For whoever will allow him, he will carry their sins away to be banished forever, never to return. (Tweet that!)

Have you said "Yes" to Jesus, your Scapegoat? (Tweet that!)

*In general, the term "Israelite" is used in the Old Testament of the Bible (the time before Jesus) and the term "Jew" is used in the New Testament (the time after Jesus' birth).

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