Scapegoat

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 53:2-8

TO CHEW ON: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6

It was the most important day of the year, the Day of Atonement. Everyone came to the holy gathering bathed and in clean clothes. Men, women, girls and boys had watched the High Priest make the offerings. Now it was time for the last event.

A hush came over the crowd as one of the priests led a goat to the High Priest. The High Priest laid his hands on the goat’s head. Then he confessed the peoples’ sins: “We have been selfish. We have been proud. We have not honored our parents. We have been jealous. We have lied. We have stolen...” On and and on he went. As he named the sins, his hands on the goat's head were a picture of laying all those sins on the goat. This goat was called a scapegoat.

When the priest was finally finished, he gave the goat to a servant. The servant took it to the desert and there released it to die. After the goat was gone, there was a party. Everyone felt happy. Their sins had been paid for for another year

When Isaiah said, in today’s reading, “...the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” he was thinking about that scapegoat. Only this time the “him” was not a goat but a person. This part of Isaiah was another prediction about what would happen in the future. He was telling about a time a person would bear all our sins just like that goat did. Did it come true? Yes. Jesus was the scapegoat Isaiah was talking about.

The wonderful thing is that Jesus took the sins not only of the people living at His time. He carried the sins of everyone, past, present and future. When He died on the cross, He was carrying my sins, and yours too!

There is only one thing we must do now to have our sins forgiven and to be a friend of God’s. We must accept that what Jesus did was for us! Have you done this? If you haven’t you can, right now. If you have, then why not celebrate, like the Israelites did at the end of the Day of Atonement?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for taking all my sins on You. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: Taking your place

Has anyone else ever taken a punishment or penalty you deserved?

Who was it?

What had you done?

How did this make you feel?

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