Jesus the Scapegoat
Reading: Leviticus 16: 5-10, 20-22
Additional readings: John 1:29-42, Isaiah 53: 1-12
Blanks: goats, scapegoat, lay, confess
(3) Have you heard about the term scapegoat?
Let’s think about this word because it explains about the life of Jesus.
Many, many years ago in Israel, people had an annual ceremony.
(3) It is called the Day of Atonement.
We may call it the day of reconciliation, because in this day, they were supposed to be reconciled to God.
(3) On this day, as a nation they came to God and said:
“God, we are sorry for our sins.
We apologize for the way we treat each other.”
(3) Then they offered some animals to God, because they have sinned against God.
If they have not sinned, they wouldn’t need to offer these animals to God.
But, because they have sinned, some animals were killed instead of them.
(1) For example, on this day, a goat was chosen as the scapegoat.
Then the high priest, the religious leader, presented the goat before God.
(3) Then the high priest laid both hands on the head of the goat.
Then the priest confessed all the wickedness and rebellion of their nation, all their sins, and put them on the goat’s head.
In this way they thought that somehow the sins of the community was transferred to the goat.
(3) Then this goat was sent into the wilderness as a scapegoat.
This goat once belonged to the community: the human community.
But because of the sin of the community, it was sent to the desert.
Because of the faults of the community, this goat was excommunicated and separated.
Then the goat carried all their sins and wandered in the desert.
The goat took suffered alone.
(3) Then the people thought the human community was amended to move forward.
They thought that they were forgiven and became friends with God again.
(3) This is how the Bible explained about the ministry of Jesus.
Jesus was the scapegoat.
(3) The world has committed sins.
All the families, organizations, and nations committed sin.
So, because they didn’t love each other as they should, they needed a scapegoat.
The world needed the scapegoat.
God also wanted to amend their lives and help them move forward.
(2) So, Jesus took all their sin, guilt, blame, anxiety and dysfunction.
(3) Then he went to the desert: to his tomb.
If people didn’t sin, he didn’t need to go there and excommunicated like that.
But to remove all their sins, Jesus became their perfect scapegoat.
Jesus is our scapegoat, too.
So, we don’t need to offer any other goats to God, because Jesus solved our problem of sin once for all.
(3) Now then when Jesus calls us to follow him, what does that mean?
Jesus was the Scapegoat who takes away the sins of the world.
When this Jesus calls us to follow him, what does that mean?
Maybe Jesus is saying something like this:
(3) “This world is sinful.
The world made a lot of mistakes.
Someone needs to do something about their sins.
Someone needs to carry their burden of sins.
Someone needs to remove their sins.
Someone needs to serve them.
So, I was their scapegoat.
But now, I want you to be a scapegoat like me, too.
So, come and die with me.
Give your life to God.
Be a servant of all.
Then the world can move forward according to God’s plan.”
(3) Maybe that is why Jesus says that you are the salt of the world.
The salt is to be useful.
The salt preserves foods.
The salt makes your food tasty.
Jesus empowers you to be the salt of the world.
So, you can make the world tasty.
You can preserve the world.
(3) Maybe that is why Jesus says that you are the light of the world.
(3) And Jesus empowers you to shine God’s light.
The world needs God’s light so that they can see in darkness.
Then they may realize their faults and repent.
Then they may change for the better.
But this may not be an easy job.
But somebody needs to do those.
(3) That is why Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can not only move forward but also change the world.
So, Jesus gives us God’s power to make the world purer.
So, when we focus on Jesus, when we think about Jesus, we can make the world purer and make it move forward.
So, let’s live our life thinking of Jesus today.
Jesus, help us to follow you.
Help us to make the world purer and move forward according to your good plan.
In your name, we pray.