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“The Scapegoat”

Leviticus 16:8


The scapegoat beautifully portrays our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As the slain goat portrays him as the Lamb sacrificed for our sins, the scapegoat portrays him as the sacrifice accepted. The scapegoat is a picture of the complete removal of our sins by Christ. The first goat, the Lord’s goat, the slain victim, gave us a picture of the atonement. The second goat, the scapegoat, gives us a picture of the result of the atonement.


A Fit Man

With all the sins of Israel made his, the scapegoat was taken away by a fit man. That fit man is the Judge of all the earth who must do right, the very justice of God. The scapegoat is borne beyond the camp—beyond all sight—beyond the track of man—to the far borders of an uninhabited land. Released, it disappears in rocks and thickets of an uninhabited desert. Unseen, unknown, forgotten, it departs from mortal view. It is now buried in oblivion's land.


Full Pardon

There is no brighter picture of the full pardon of all sin in Christ. Christ bore the accursed load of all my sin and guilt away, as far away as the east is from the west; and God's all-seeing eye cannot find it.

Oh, precious tidings! Oh, heart-cheering truth! Oh, wondrous grace! God the Spirit, by the testimony of the gospel, proclaims this good news and confirms it in the soul by the gift of life and faith in Christ. God has cast our sins, all our sins, behind his back and into the depth of the sea of infinite forgetfulness! As we watch that fit Man and the Scapegoat, Christ Jesus, the horizon recedes. Infinite separation has infinitely separated our transgressions from us! Christ, our Scapegoat, has borne our iniquities away (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19).

Can we recover what the ocean buries? No line can reach to the unmeasured depths. It has sunk downward, never to arise. Deep waters hide it; and it must be hidden. Such is the grave of sin. Our Scapegoat drowned it in a fathomless abyss. The word is sure. "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea!"

Can that be seen to which the eye of omniscience is blind? Are objects visible which are behind your back? Our Scapegoat has cast our sins behind God’s back! He has blotted out, as a thick cloud, our transgressions (Isaiah 44:22), and can never find them (Jeremiah 50:20).


Not Remembered

That which Christ has taken away, blotted out, and removed by his precious, sin-atoning blood, God cannot and will not remember. He promised, "I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). Do you need comfort? Drink deeply from this stream of joy. Lay down in this green pasture of delight. Your sins, so many, vile, and hateful, your Scapegoat has taken away. All your blemishes, defects, iniquities, transgressions, and sins are forever gone! And God your Savior. God, who cannot lie, says to you, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (Song of Solomon 4:7).







Don Fortner








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