The Scapegoat’s Ability to Send Sin Away


          “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:7).

          At the root of the Greek word translated into English as “forgiveness” is the idea of “sending away”. Jesus’ rightful authority to send away our sins came through His own ghastly experience of being sent away by God.

          To make atonement for sin in the Old Testament, Leviticus 16 instructs that two young goats were presented before the Lord (v. 7). Lots were cast for the two goats to determine which one would be killed to make atonement by its blood as a sin offering (vv. 8-9); the other one would be presented alive before the Lord and make atonement as the scapegoat in the wilderness (v. 10).

          To make atonement for all humanity’s sin, God’s one Lamb did both: First, He spent six hours alive in the wilderness of abandonment as our scapegoat. From the moment He cried out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”/“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) to His cry of triumph—“teleo”/“It is finished” (John 19:30), Jesus was making atonement. Then, when He cried out with a loud voice and said, “Father into Your hands I commit My spirit”, and breathed His last (Luke 23:46), Jesus made atonement as our sin offering.

          Because Jesus was sent away as our scapegoat and then made our sinless sin offering with His blood (2 Corinthians 5:21), He is perfectly qualified to be the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).

          Because He has been sent away for our sins, He can send our sins away from us through His blood.

          What a great Redeemer!

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Author: jchowning

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