The scapegoat

I love history. While my interests lean more toward the history of mathematics than language, I love finding the origins of phrases and cliché’s and passing them on. For example, when I’m teaching about sine waves and music, we discuss old records and I bring up the phrase about sounding like a broken record. To my students, records are like ancient history!

I am also passionate about the history of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament for there is so much to learn about God and his truths in the pages. Today I came across a word still used today but I wonder if people realize its origin goes all the way back to Leviticus 16… over 3000 years ago.

God told Aaron how to make atonement for his sins before entering the Most Holy Place of the Temple then he went on tell him how to make atonement for the people. Two goats were to be brought to the entrance. Lots were to be cast (like the idea of rolling dice to make a decision). The goat the lot fell to would be sacrificed as a sin offering. The other goat would be the scapegoat and released into the desert. Upon these 2 goats, the sins of the people were laid… one lost his life and other lived. The idea of a scapegoat is similar today for it is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a person who is unfairly blamed for something others have done.”

As I think about the path my Jesus walked, I see where he played the role of the goats. All of my sins… the sins of the whole world were laid upon him as he hung on that old cross bleeding out for you and me so that our sins would be removed and we could be made clean. Then Jesus of his own power took up his life again so he also played the role of the second goat for he was set free of death by his own accord.

Neither goat in ancient times sinned yet the sins of the people were placed on them. Jesus never sinned but he took on the burden of our sin. He became the scapegoat… the person unfairly blamed for something others had done.

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for being holy & pure! Thank you for willingly taking my sin upon you years before I ever came to be because you looked ahead and saw what I would need to be reconciled to God the Father. I’m not deserving of such sacrifice! Though I would love to be without sin, I am yet a sinner… a sinner saved by the grace Jesus offers. Becoming a Christian… a Jesus follower… has not made me perfect but it has made me clean. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for being the ultimate sacrifice and scapegoat so that I may be free! Amen!clean

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