Yom Kippur–The Scapegoat (Second Sunday in Lent)

Wandering JewIllustration:  “Wandering Jew” by Marc Chagall, ink on paper, 1914.

“And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness” (Leviticus 16:21).

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? Perhaps as a child, your older brother or sister made you the scapegoat for them. How did it feel? Often, there was nothing you could do to defend yourself. No matter what you would have said, it wouldn’t have made any difference.

Notice that the scapegoat does not take the blame for another’s actions. When the high priest confessed the sins of the people on the head of the goat, he was not saying that the goat did the deed. No, the scapegoat only pays the price for the deed.

We make others our scapegoat all the time in an effort to shift responsibility for our action or inaction. As we walk along the path, only we can take the responsibility for our decisions. No one else can play the scapegoat–save one. Jesus is our scapegoat.  Through the prophet Isaiah, God said, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities” (Isiah 53:11).  Jesus was righteous, and bore all of our iniquities, or sins.  He paid the price for them.  And He did nothing to defend Himself.

Jesus was led to a mountain to die on a cross, but He rose from the dead three days later.  He has victory over death!  Because He is our Scapegoat, we also have victory through His death on the cross.

Prayer:  Lord God, forgive me for my sins against you and others. Give me strength to accept responsibility for my actions, and thank you for sending your Son to be my scapegoat. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  Have you ever blamed someone else for your mistakes?  This is a good time to accept responsibility, knowing that the debt for your sin has already been paid.

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