You may even have felt that you were one –
This is where someone who is innocent is punished for something someone else did. I know I have often heard this term used when a big corporation is sued for something they did and they fire a person with a relatively minor role in the situation who was just doing what their bosses told them to do. The corporation does this so it looks like they took action to remedy the issue. This minor player is a scapegoat – taking the blame for everyone else who had a hand in the bad decision.
Did you know that this term comes from the Bible? Thousands of years ago the Israelites actually had a scapegoat. God started this ritual in order to temporarily deal with the sins of the Israelites. He told the head priest to lay both of his hands on the head of a goat and ‘confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat.’ Leviticus 16:21
Then the scapegoat was driven into the wilderness, carrying all the people’s sins with it.
Until the next time they sinned.
You can see how temporary this was. I think God used this process to help make the people aware of all of their sins and to visually show them their sins had to be paid for and taken away.
This is a very clear message about how much you and I need a Savior. Something had to be done about our sins. You and I can’t rebel and disobey over and over again while having a personal relationship with a Holy God. Someone had to paid the price and provide a way for us.
And his name is Jesus.
He is the Way.
And the Way is open for everyone.
Jesus paid the price for our sins – once and for all. We are saved from the penalty and condemnation of our sin by recognizing our Savior and putting our faith in him.
You and I don’t need a scapegoat anymore.
We are saved through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross – erasing our past, present and future sins from God’s sight.
Thank you, Jesus.