Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

The Scapegoat

“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.   He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites – all their sins – and put them on the goat’s head.”   Leviticus 16:20, 21.

Two goats were taken; one for the Lord and one for the scapegoat. The one for the Lord, representing Jesus and His death to pay the penalty for our sins, had already been slain in verse 15. This scapegoat can not be Jesus. He did not nor does He ever bear sins twice for us. Hebrews is very explicit about that. “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people…” Hebrews 9:28. (Notice: “many”, not all.)


So who does the scapegoat represent? When we go back into Biblical history we see an important principle taking place. Lucifer is always trying to get us to sin by breaking God’s law, and Jesus is trying to get us to resist and turn away from sin by keeping God’s law.


Lucifer is the originator of sin. Sin belongs with him and on him. We only choose whether or not to participate with him in his original sin. We are not the originator of sin, Lucifer is. What Leviticus 16 is trying to symbolize through these two goats is quite simple. Jesus pays the penalty for our sins, if we confess and turn away from them. But He is not going to keep them and bear them forever. Sin and sinner will be destroyed forever says the Bible. It will not be hanging around, either on Jesus, or in an “eternally” burning hell. The Bible tells us that sin will be eternally destroyed; never to rise again.


Since the wicked will receive the reward for their sins, they will be paying the price for their sins. They will have to accept the wages of their sin: death. They will die for their own sins because they refused to accept the sacrifice of Jesus for their sins.


They did this by refusing to turn away from their sins through faith in the power of Christ. They may have believed in Christ historically, but they refused to believe in Him and His teachings to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments for eternal life.


Now that those sins are accounted for, what happens to the sins of the saints that have been confessed, turned away from and taken from the saints through the power of Christ? Christ paid the penalty, but what happens to the sins? That is what the scapegoat is all about. The scapegoat, “will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place…” Leviticus 16:22.


“Azazel, in Jewish legend, demon or evil spirit; symbol of uncleanliness; in ancient rites of Yom Kippur sins of Jewish people were transferred to scapegoat who was sent into the wilderness to the evil spirit and thrown to its death; described in later rabbinic writings as fallen angel.”   Compton’s Encyclopedia


The scapegoat represents the devil, Lucifer, the originator of sin. When the time comes, as we shall see later, all the sins of the righteous people, whom Jesus took away from them and stored up in the heavenly temple, will be placed on the head of Lucifer. He brought them into this world, he can have them back. Not only will he have to pay the penalty for his own wickedness, but also he will have to accept responsibility for all the sins he provoked the righteous to commit.

He will “carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place.” Lev. 16:22. That is exactly what will happen. In the end of time Lucifer will be “seized… that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.”... “But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.” Revelation 20:2, 3, 9, 10.


The universe is now clean. Sin has been destroyed. Sinners and the originator of sins have been destroyed.   All sins have been wiped out. Not one sin will be left in a universe that has a “new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 4.