Jesus As Scapegoat

The origin of the word “scapegoat” (or azazel) comes from a ceremony performed with two goats on the Hebrew Day of Atonement (known today as Yom Kippur). The high priest would sacrifice one goat and symbolically place the sins of the people on the head of the other via the scapegoat before it was sent into the wilderness carrying away the blame of the sin (Leviticus 16:7-10).

However, when Jesus came, He became our scapegoat. He offered Himself up “once for all” as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of “the whole world” (Hebrews 7:27; 1 John 2:2).

That first goat had been sacrificed as a sin offering for God’s people and was symbolic of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The other goat was a representation of the completely innocent Jesus, accepting and removing our sin and guilt (2 Corinthians 5:21).

None of us is without sin (Romans 3:23) — but the Father laid on the sinless Jesus “the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

As followers of His Son, God considers us blameless because Jesus took the penalty for sin that we should have taken.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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