By J. C. Corcoran
Back in Old Testament times they celebrated what was called the Day of Atonement. Atonement had to be made for all the people once a year. On that day, the priest would take the animals the people brought to him; usually a lamb or a goat, and he would slaughter all but one goat.
The blood from the slaughtered animals would then be poured out over the altar. Then he took the live goat, placed both hands on its head and confessed all the wickedness and sins of the people. Finally he sent the goat into the desert. The “scapegoat” carried their sins away.
Leviticus 16:20-22 tells us: “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.
All of this was a picture of Jesus Christ, who was called “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John the Baptist made that declaration in John 1:29. Then we are told that John the Baptist baptized Jesus. All four Gospels tell us different parts of the story. But, when you put them all together, it looks like this:
I see John rest his hands on Jesus as He goes down into the water; just as the priest placed his hands on the head of the animal on the Day of Atonement. When Jesus came up from the water, Luke 1:12 tells us He headed out into the desert; just like the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement.
I believe at this point, Jesus took on the sins of the world; just like the scapegoat. But there is one big important difference. The priest slaughtered those animals and poured their blood out on the altar. The religious leaders of the New Testament had Jesus slaughtered. His flesh was torn apart by that terrible flogging.
The cross they hung Him on became the altar of sacrifice. His arms were outstretched; His hands were nailed to the cross; the blood from his arms and hands reached the corners of the cross. The thorns on His head caused His head to bleed, so the blood touched the top of the cross. His feet were nailed together so His blood covered the foot of the cross.
His entire body was a mass of blood so the entire cross (the altar) was covered; saturated; with the blood of the Lamb. The sacrificial Lamb had taken on all the sins of the world and carried them, Himself as the High Priest, to the altar.
Just before Jesus released His last breath of life, we are told in John 19:30 that Jesus said… “It is finished.”
The writer of the Book of Hebrews says in 9:22… “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
And he says in verse 25 that Jesus did not enter heaven again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
And one final note:
The tabernacle in the Old Testament was furnished with a lampstand, table, and the altar (Exodus 25-40). There was no chair for the priest to sit down and rest. He didn’t have time to sit; he was always busy.
But Jesus, our High Priest, said, “It is finished.” Then God raised Him from the dead and He ascended into heaven where He “sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)
Jesus said “It is finished.” And all you have to do is “confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). And when Peter was asked, “What must we do?” He answered, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
Salvation is a free gift of God and the bible says “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21
I did, many years ago; and I have never regretted it. Neither will you if you haven’t already.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen
If you have a question or a comment on this or any of my posts, you can email me at: Yazzi6234@gmail.com
I promise to answer every one a.s.a.p. – if not sooner.