The Scapegoat (16:20-22 ESV) Another picture of the seriousness of Sin to a Holy God
TRY TO PICTURE THIS…
· Aaron, who has just finished the sacrifices for his sin, and the sins of the people of God, his hands still warm with the blood of the goat and bull and ram, now lays his hands on this goat and begins to CONFESS the SINS OF THE PEOPLE.
o This could not have been an enjoyable experience for Aaron
· CONFESSION is NEVER enjoyable
· The scapegoat is then taken to an uninhabited place and let go
We have the advantage of being 1,000’s of years removed from these events.
· We have the advantage of prophets who have come after
· We have the advantage of the New Testament that sheds light into the truth that the measures taken on Yom Kippur were TYPES AND SHADOWS OF THINGS TO COME.
· These practices point to something REAL
o The giving of life in the sacrifice of sin—life is represented in the blood of the animal
o The costliness of forgiveness seen upon the horns of the alter—the blood of the dead animal
o The atonement being made for sin
· A picture of what was to come
o A reminder of the sins of the people of Israel
· The high priest would see the blood from the previous years sacrifice on the alter every time he went in to make a sacrifice
o A promise of what God will do with sin (scapegoat)
· Psalm 103:12 ESV
· as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
o East to West—immeasurable distance
One of the reasons we don’t ponder this more seriously is because, sadly, we don’t take sin very seriously.
· God will forgive me
· My sin isn’t that bad
BUT… When you must do what Aaron had to do every single year, regularly, repeatedly, it gives light to the wrath of God and his hatred of sin.
· We learn from this passage the importance for Christians to regularly remind ourselves of the Holiness of God.
When we continuously dismiss the Old Testament revelation and its relevance to us today:
· That’s the law
o We’re not under the law, we’re under grace
· We cut ourselves off from these VIVID illustrations of God’s holiness
o We undermine the truth of Hebrews 7-8—that Christ is the FULFILLMENT of ALL OF THIS
· His priesthood is greater
· He doesn’t have to pass his priesthood off to someone else
· He has entered into the Holy place FOR US!!!
When we have a less than Biblical understanding of the Holiness of God, we are in danger of accepting substitutes for God’s salvation.
· Works Salvation—Mormon missionaries
o Man can, in some way find in their actions things that can have salvific effectiveness before a Holy God.
· HUMAN RELIGION NEVER TAKES SIN AS SERIOUSLY AS GOD’S TRUTH DOES
o It always lessens it
When you take what the Bible says about the Holiness of God seriously:
· God’s complete “otherness”
· The depravity of sin
· The depth of our sin
· Sin is a stench in the nostrils of this Holy God
· You need to have a means of reconciliation between sinners and God that is ABSOLUTELY divine!
· IT HAS TO BE GOD’S WORK! IT HAS TO BE PERFECT
· If anything is to be said about the book of Hebrews, specifically chapters 7-8, it is that it should heighten our awareness of the Holiness of God.