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Sermon #2330 Miscellaneous Sermons

 

Title:                           The Scapegoat

 

Text:                            Leviticus 16:1-34

Subject:                     Sin Put Away by Christ

Date:                          Sunday Evening — April 30, 2017

Readings:     Merle Hart and Lindsay Campbell

Introduction:

 

Understanding Types

 

Tonight, I want us to look at one of my favorite Old Testament types. While you are turning to Leviticus 16, let me say something about the proper understanding and use of biblical types and metaphors.

Š      Types are like our Lord’s parables. They are intended to show us one, specific thing, not many things, just one thing.

Š      Types usually stand on just two legs — Their natural, historic meaning and their spiritual, allegorical meaning. They are bipeds, not centipedes with a hundred pairs of legs.

Š      Adam was a type Christ our Covenant Head and Representative (Romans 5:12-21). That doesn’t mean that there was some hidden, mystical, spiritual significance to the size of his feet or the shape of his toes.

Š      Sarah and Hagar and their sons, Isaac and Ishmael, were an allegory about law and grace (Galatians 4). But that does not mean that everything they said, did, and experienced were typical.

Š      David slaying Goliath was a clear, instructive type of Christ’s conquering sin and Satan in the accomplishment of our salvation. But it is a mistake to try to find something spiritually significant in the sling he used, or the five smooth stones he carried in his hand.

Š      If you try to find more in the type than is intended by the Spirit of God in giving it, you make a mess of confusion.

 

Two weeks ago, I brought you a message from Leviticus 16 on The Day of Atonement. Tonight, I want to talk to you about The Scapegoat.

 

(Leviticus 16:3-8) “Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. (4) He 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. (5) And 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. (6) And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. (7) And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. (8) And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.”

 

1st, Aaron sacrificed the bullock and made atonement for himself.

2nd, he sacrificed the Lord’s goat to make atonement for Israel.

3rd, God’s priest was required to symbolically impute the sins of Israel to the scapegoat (vv. 20-22).

 

(Leviticus 16:20-22) “And 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: (21) And 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: (22) And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”

 

This scapegoat beautifully portrays our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As the slain goat portrays him as the Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins, the scapegoat portrays him as the sacrifice accepted.

 

Proposition: The scapegoat is a picture of the complete removal of our sins by Christ.

Š      The first goat, the Lord’s goat, the slain victim gave us a picture of the atonement.

Š      The second goat, the scapegoat gives us a picture of the result of the atonement.

 

Divisions: Let me call our attention to three things, and I will be done.

1.     The Lost Scapegoat

2.     The People’s Response

3.     The Act of Faith

 

1.    The Lost Scapegoat (vv. 20-22).

 

(Leviticus 16:20-22) “And 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: (21) And 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: (22) And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”

 

First, we see the transfer and imputation of our sins to Christ (v. 21).

 

(Leviticus 16:21) “And 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:”

 

(Isaiah 53:4-6) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

Next, this scapegoat portrays the removal of our sins by Christ (v. 22).

 

(Leviticus 16:22) “And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”

 

  • The guilt of sin is gone (Hebrews 10:14).
  • The punishment of sin is gone (Romans 8:1).
  • The memory of sin (in so far as God’s holy law and justice is concerned) is gone (Jeremiah 50:20).

 

(Jeremiah 50:20) “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”

 

(Psalms 32:1-2) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

 

(Romans 4:8) “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

 

(Psalms 103:12) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

 

(Micah 7:18-20) “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) he will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”

 

(1 Peter 4:1-2) “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

 

A Fit Man

 

With all the sins of Israel made his, the scapegoat was taken away by a fit man. That fit man is Christ, too, God our Savior, 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!

Š      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.

Š      God has cast our sins, all our sins, behind his back and into the depth of the sea of infinite forgetfulness!

Š      Infinite separation has infinitely separated our transgressions from us!

Š      Christ, our Scapegoat, has borne our iniquities away (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19).

 

(Isaiah 38:17) “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”

 

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).

 

I have to hurry and bring this message to its conclusion, so next take notice of…

 

2.    The People’s Response.

 

At the close of the day, when the work of atonement was finished, Aaron took off his linen garments and put on his glorious, gorgeous garments again. Then, on the basis of atonement made, he lifted up his hands and blessed the people (Numbers 6:24-26).

 

(Numbers 6:24-27) “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: (25) The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (26) And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”

 

When the people saw what God had done for them, they had a threefold response.

 

1st, They repented“Ye shall afflict your souls” (v. 29).

Š      Psalm 51:1-5

 

2nd, They rested“Ye shall do no work at all” (v. 29).

 

Illustration: The Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9-10).

 

3rd, They rejoiced (Leviticus 25:9-10).

 

(Leviticus 25:9-10) “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. (10) And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”

 

Jubilee proclaims

Š      Liberty!

Š      The Clearing of All Debt!

Š      Complete Restoration!

 

Now, let us each perform…

 

3.    The Act of Faith symbolized in verses 21 and 22.

 

(Leviticus 16:21-22) “And 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: (22) And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” (Leviticus 16:21-22)

 

I call upon each of you to join me in the act of faith symbolized on the Day of Atonement. — Lay your hands upon Christ the Scapegoat’s head, confess your sins. Now, watch them go away!

 

“Not all the blood of beasts

On Jewish altars slain,

Could give the guilty conscience peace,

Or wash away the stain.

 

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,

Takes all our sins away;

A sacrifice of nobler name,

And richer blood than they.

 

My faith would lay her hand

On that dear head of Thine,

While like a penitent I stand,

And there confess my sin.

 

My soul looks back to see

The burdens Thou didst bear,

When hanging on the cursed tree,

And hopes her guilt was there.

 

Believing, we rejoice

To see the curse remove;

We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,

And sing His bleeding love.”

 

Illustration: Charlotte Elliot — “Just As I Am

 

Charlotte Elliott (Brighton, England) was a bitter, unwed woman. Her health was completely broken at 30. And her disabilities had hardened her. Her parents were believers; but she was full of bitterness.

 

On one occasion the famous Swiss preacher and hymn writer, Cesar Malan, was a guest in her parents’ home. As her father and Malan spoke to one another about the goodness, mercy, grace, and love of God in Christ, Charlotte erupted in a violent outburst, terribly embarrassing her family before their honored guest. — “If God loved me, he would not have treated me this way!” — Her parents just left the room in embarrassment. The preacher stayed behind.

 

“Charlotte,” he said, “you are tired of yourself; and you are holding to your hate and anger because you have nothing else to hold to.” —— She replied, “What, then, is your cure?” —— He answered, “The very Christ you despise.” —— Charlotte softened a bit. “What shall I do?” she asked. —— “Come to Christ. Come to the Savior, with all your fear, and shame, and pride. Ask him to have mercy on you and give grace.” —— She replied, “Just come to Jesus Christ as I am?” —— “Yes,” he said.

 

Charlotte did just that. She came to Christ, just as she was. Fourteen years later, she wrote her spiritual biography in a one of the most well-known hymns of the English language.

 

“Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, though tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need in Thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, Thy love unknown

Hath broken every barrier down;

Now, to be Thine, yea Thine alone,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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