Saturday, November 7, 2009

THE SCAPEGOAT

If you had a scapegoat to call on every time you were accused of some wrongdoing, you would have a blame-free life, a quiet conscience, and peace of mind. For the scapegoat would bear your blame for you.

We see a scapegoat in action regarding the people of God in Old Testament times. The LORD gave Moses’ brother Aaron, who was a priest, a very important job to perform once a year. “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:21&22.

The scapegoat was one of two goats for which lots were cast. The other was to be sacrificed to the LORD as a sin-offering for the people. The two goats were intended to clearly picture the promised Saviour. Thus both goats symbolize Jesus Christ and the work He was to do. The usual practice is to focus on the sacrificed goat as it clearly speaks of Christ’s substitutionary sacrificial death on the cross. But what about the scapegoat?

John the Baptiser was baptising in the wilderness. “Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptised by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.” Mark 1:5. When Jesus arrived John said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29b. Thus the people were confessing their sins when Jesus arrived to take away the sin of the world.

Water Baptism pictures our being cleansed of our sins from heaven above by the poured out Spirit who applies to us the poured out blood of Christ. (Titus 3:5b&6; Heb. 10:22; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5) The sin-muddied waters of those who had confessed their sins were applied by the hands of John the Baptiser to the head of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. For, “When all the people were baptised, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptised, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.’” Luke 3:21&22. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be [a sin-offering] for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1. Thus Christ fulfils the Old Testament role of scapegoat.

In the wilderness the ‘tempter’ wanted the Scapegoat to bypass His other role as the sacrificial Lamb. He tried to tempt Jesus by reminding Him that Jesus could even change stones into bread if He wanted, and that the angels were under Christ’s command. Therefore why go to through the agony of the cross? Satan even offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, should He fall down and worship the devil rather than go to the cross for them. But, unlike the first Adam who sided with the devil, the replacement Adam, the last Adam resisted the devil to the praise of His glory.

Satan accuses, but the Holy Spirit convicts. Dear reader, if you feel convicted of your sins, call on Christ the Scapegoat today. For, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Excerpted from my ebook
: Disembark the Ark & Other Contemplations - http://www.amazon.com/DISEMBARK-OTHER-CONTEMPLATIONS-Cullan-McKinlay-ebook/dp/B006WTDLRC/ref=la_B006NTVAWY_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391328036&sr=1-2

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