May 29, 2021
And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel… And he shall… send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness… and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:21-22 ESV
While all other animals were sacrificed for the sins of individuals, on the Day of Atonement the high priest would confess Israel’s sins with both hands resting on the goat’s head. Then “a man who is in readiness” would lead the goat into the wilderness. Two hands symbolized numerous sins and the remote location ensured that their sins would not return to them.
Parallels to Christ’s atonement are striking. Multiple hands were laid on Jesus, and he was led outside the camp (city) by a man who is in readiness (Simon of Cyrene). Finally, our Great High Priest’s confession (Father, forgive them…) ensures that the penalty for our sins will not return to us.
It is finished. Christ is our Day of Atonement sacrifice. Let us be men and women who are in readiness to proclaim the good news.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling