Leviticus 16 - The Scapegoat
1And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. 5And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. 11And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: 12And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: 13And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 14And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. 15Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 19And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. 20And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. 23And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: 24And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. 25And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. 26And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 27And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. 28And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp. 29And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses
Today's Scripture Meaning
The great day of atonement. (1-14) The sacrifices on it, The scape-goat. (15-34) Verses 1-14: Without entering into particulars of the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, we may notice that it was to be a statute for ever, till that dispensation be at an end. As long as we are continually sinning, we continually need the atonement. The law of afflicting our souls for sin, is a statue which will continue in force till we arrive where all tears, even those of repentance, will be wiped from our eyes. The apostle observes it as a proof that the sacrifices could not take away sin, and cleanse the conscience from it, that in them there was a remembrance made of sin every year, upon the day of atonement, (Heb 10:1,3). The repeating the sacrifices, showed there was in them but a feeble effort toward making atonement; this could be done only by offering up the body of Christ once for all; and that sacrifice needed not to be repeated. Verses 15-34: Here are typified the two great gospel privileges, of the remission of sin, and access to God, both of which we owe to our Lord Jesus. See the expiation of guilt. Christ is both the Maker and the Matter of the atonement; for he is the Priest, the High Priest, that makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. And as Christ is the High Priest, so he is the Sacrifice with which atonement is made; for he is all in all in our reconciliation to God. Thus he was figured by the two goats. The slain goat was a type of Christ dying for our sins; the scape-goat a type of Christ rising again for our justification. The atonement is said to be completed by putting the sins of Israel upon the head of the goat, which was sent away into a wilderness, a land not inhabited; and the sending away of the goat represented the free and full remission of their sins. He shall bear upon him all their iniquities. Thus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world, by taking it upon himself, (Joh 1:29). The entrance into heaven, which Christ made for us, was typified by the high priest's entrance into the most holy place. See (Heb 9:7). The high priest was to come out again; but our Lord Jesus ever lives, making intercession, and always appears in the presence of God for us. Here are typified the two great gospel duties of faith and repentance. By faith we put our hands upon the head of the offering; relying on Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, pleading his satisfaction, as that which alone is able to atone for our sins, and procure us a pardon. By repentance we afflict our souls; not only fasting for a time from the delights of the body, but inwardly sorrowing for sin, and living a life of self-denial, assuring ourselves, that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By the atonement we obtain rest for our souls, and all the glorious liberties of the children of God. Sinner, get the blood of Christ effectually applied to thy soul, or else thou canst never look God in the face with any comfort or acceptance. Take this blood of Christ, apply it by faith, and see how it atones with God.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 16 and in today's text we see the day of Atonement for sin. This was the greatest day of the year for Israel. On this day the Israelite's paid for their sins as a nation. The word atone means to cover and the blood of the sacrifice covered the sins of the nation for a year satisfying the wrath of God until Christ paid for all mans sin once and for all on the Cross of Calvary. In this chapter we are introduced to the scapegoat which was one of goats that was released into the wilderness which represents the removing of mans guilt while the other is goat was sacrificed representing the removal mans sin. In making application we see that when God removes your sin - He removes your guilt. The enemy though wants you to be paralyzed by your guilt so you will be ineffective in your service to the Lord. Your sin is forgiven and God sees it no more. No longer do you need to walk around with the baggage of guilt from your sins once they have been confessed to the Lord and He forgives them. How about you? Do you see when you are forgiven that your guilt is forgiven too? Let us learn from today's text embracing the scapegoat and the truth that when God forgives he forgets and restores us whole.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.