In my daily Bible reading I have been reading in Leviticus about the various sacrifices for fellowship offerings, guilt offerings, and wave offerings. Today, I read about the Day of Atonement in the 16th chapter:
‘”Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.” Leviticus 16:9-10
“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
OK, so, in the process of making atonement for the nation of Israel the priest takes two goats one is sacrificed and the blood of this goat is used to make atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar. Then, he takes the live goat and lays both hands on it’s head and confesses over it all the wickedness and rebellion and sins of the Israelites. In doing this, the Bible says all the sin is put on the goat. Then the goat is released into the desert.
Of the two goats, the one that takes on the sins is the live goat. Both goats are necessary. The goat that is sacrificed makes it all possible by providing a way into the presence of God in the Most Holy place. But, it is the living goat that bears the sins.
To fulfill God’s plan for our redemption Jesus had to die to bridge the gap between God and man. His death allows us to enter the Most Holy Place and be in the presence of God. But, it is his resurrection that allows Him to bear the burden of sin for a world sinners. We have a relationship with God through Jesus’ death. We have freedom from sin through his life.
Before I finish this post let’s consider this passage:
“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
1 Corinthians 15:12-17
In that last verse Paul says, “…if Christ has not been raised, your faith if futile; you are still in your sins.” Jesus had to rise again, like the goat that was allowed to live (the scapegoat); He had to be alive to bear our sins.
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Blessings in Jesus.
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