“Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:21-22).
“For by a one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.’ Then He adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:14-18).
On the Day of Atonement, the second of the sacrificial goats was not killed. The High Priest laid his hands on the live goat and announced the sins of the people to be placed upon the goat. This goat was known as the scapegoat. The goat was then sent away to the wilderness to symbolize their sins being taken away.
“Taken away” are such beautiful words. And they are words that describe what Christ has done for us as our scapegoat. “Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
Unlike the Old Testament prototype, Jesus, our scapegoat, took away our sins once and for all.
Our sins were “taken away”, having been nailed to the cross, because Christ bore our sins in His own body. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (I Peter 2:24). Jesus is our scapegoat!
Jesus is the scapegoat, because Jesus was there from the beginning!