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Leviticus 16:5-10; 20-22


Intro: Ill. There is a precious song that we sing here from time to time called, “He Hideth My Soul”. The second stanza of that verse goes like this:

A wonderful Savior

is Jesus my Lord,

He taketh my

burden away,

He holdeth me up, and

I shall not be moved,

He giveth me

strength as my day.

     The phrase in the stanza that says “He taketh my burden away” refers to the burden of sin that we all bear. Jesus came to lift that burden and to carry it away from His people forever. These verses have something to say about that.

     In this passage, we are given the guidelines for carrying out the annual Day of Atonement. This was the highest and holiest day on the Jewish religious calender. It was on this day that the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people. Another vital part of the rituals of the day was the sending away of the scapegoat. This symbolized the taking away of the sin of the people.

     It is this aspect of the Day of Atonement that I want on focus on this morning and by doing so, I want us to see that Jesus Christ has done in perfection what this Old Testament ritual could only do in symbol. My desire is to show us this morning that Jesus is our Scapegoat.

     We are familiar with scapegoats in our culture. We see them all the time, especially in politics. Someone will make a mistake, and another person will step forward to carry the blame. Sometimes, criminals claim that they are nothing more than a scapegoat. They want us to believe that they are innocent and that people have just transferred the blame to them because they were handy. The idea of a scapegoat is not a new one. In fact, the idea originated with God. Let's look into the Scriptures today and get a glimpse of Jesus in this ancient Israelite ritual. I want to preach for a few minutes on this thought: “He Taketh Our Burden Way”.


A. Their Source - "Of the congregation" These goats were ordinary goats. They were not held to the same requirements as other offerings. They did not stand out as being special. Ill. Jesus - Isa. 53:2; Matt. 13:54-55.

B. Their Sanctification - The goats were presented to the Lord and were deemed holy. Ill. Jesus, He was pure, sinless and holy - 1 Pet. 2:22; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5.

C. Their Selection - Ill. The casting of lots. Not gambling, God overrode the process. There were two goats, they served two different purposes:

1. The Lord's Goat - Was to serve as an atoning sacrifice. (Ill. Christ's death on the cross atoned for all the sin of the world, even the lost man's! 1 John 2:2; Heb. 9:24-28.)

2. The Living Goat - Was to serve as a substitute for the people. It symbolized the removal of their sins. (Ill. Christ's blood paid for all sin, but He only becomes the substitute for those who receive Him by faith!) (Ill. Salvation in the OT was the same as today!) (Ill. Acts 16:31; Heb. 9:28; Heb. 2:9; Isa. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24.) (Ill. What a shame to miss out on God's gift!) (Ill. Hold On Bwana, I belong on that cross!)


A. The Pain - (Ill. The brutality of the process!) (Ill. Calvary and the brutality of the offering of the Son of God - The altar was upright, the result was the same.) Ill. Isa. 52:14! Ill. Psa. 22:6-7; 15, 17!

B. The Purpose - To atone for sin! It takes blood to deal with sin - Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:22. Thank God for the shed blood of the Lord Jesus - Rev. 1:5! (Ill. The modern desire for a bloodless, sanitized religion!)

C. The Picture - Every single goat that was killed throughout the history of Israel pointed ahead in time to that glorious day when Jesus our Savior was crucified for the sins of the world. The question for you is this, Have you received His death as the payment for your sins?


(Ill. It took 2 goats to adequately portray what Jesus was able to do all alone!)

(Note: The first goat speaks of Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross to propitiate God and pay man’s sin debt. The second goat speaks of the results of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, i.e. the removal of all the sins of those who trust Jesus by faith!)

A. V.21a Sin Transferred - (Ill. The context!) (Ill. What was confessed was:

1. Iniquity - This word means “bent or crooked”, and refers to the bent in human nature toward sin. This word reminds us that we are guilt sinners by birth, Rom. 3:10-12, 23.

2. Transgression - This word means “rebellion, or to step over a boundary”. This word deal with our violations of God’s holy Law and commandments, Ill. James 2:10.

3. Sin - This word means “to miss, or to fall short”. It describes our inability to ever fully measure up to God. We will never be good enough to please Him and of ourselves, because we are all sinners, Rom. 3:23!)

All these were confessed, all were taken away! Jesus came to deal with every form of evil! (Ill. 2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 27:45-46 - Somewhere during those dark hours on the cross, God the Father placed every sin of every human on the person of His Son, and Jesus became the very embodiment of sin itself. At that moment, God judged Jesus in the place of every sinner.)

B. V.21b-22 Sin Taken Away - (Ill. The true work of the scapegoat was purely symbolic, no sin was actually removed. It was faith that saved the sinner. Faith in a ritual that could never save in itself.) Jesus has the power to remove sin forever! After all, that’s why He came, Isa. 53:4! (Ill. John 1:29; Psa. 103:12; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7) When the sinner comes to Jesus by faith, his sins are not only paid for, they are taken away forever!


(Note: Because sin is gone, we can be called God’s children. We can have fellowship with Him. We can have the hope ans assurance of Heaven. We can enjoy fellowship and communion with God. We can enter His presence in prayer. We are no longer under condemnation!)


(Note: The Jewish set up stations at certain intervals along the ay to the wilderness. As the “Fit Man” and the scapegoat passed the stations, the man was given refreshments and the occupants of that station went with him to the next station. When the goat finally arrived at the wilderness, the “Fit Man” finished the job of leading the goat away by himself. However, those at the last station would hold up a red flag to notify the next station that the job had been accomplished. Each station would then signal back until the word arrived at the camp of Israel that their sins had been taken away. At the time, the people would begin to worship the Lord and to praise Him openly with songs and with shouts. Up until this time, they had been subdued and quite in the worship. Now, they feel free to explode in praise to the Lord! It is a cause for deep joy to know that sin is gone! Ill. It Is Well With My Soul!)


C. Ill. The "Fit Man" - (Ill. Fit = able, ready, timely) He had some characteristics that are worthy of notice. He was to be:

           1. One who knew the way to the wilderness.

           2. One who was able to endure to the end. 

3. One who was able to withstand the ordeal - Loneliness, fatigue, thirst, isolation.

           4. One would not stop short of the goal.

           5. One who could find his way back again.

           6. Jesus fits the bill! He is the fit man! He is fit to be your Savior!            Is He?

Conc: Have your sins been transferred to Heaven's scapegoat? Ill. The load of sin - Psa. 38:4. You say, “But, I thought became sin one the cross and that He has already paid for my sins.” That is true for you only if you come to Him for salvation! Jesus came to remove your load of sin. And, He will if you will come to Him for salvation! Will you allow Him to do that today? He waits for you right now. All you need to do is come and receive Him. Thank God, there is a way out of sin and into salvation for everyone who will put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 



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