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Who's Your Scapegoat?

Thursday, September 27, 2012 (5:49 am)

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together", says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."

The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur in Hebrew, was the single most important day during the time of Yeshua (Jesus) and still holds utmost significance in Israel and among Jews worldwide today.

I mentioned that every year the high priest would sacrifice a goat and sprinkle its blood on the altar for the atonement of the people. But there were actually two goats sacrificed on this day. One’s blood was sprinkled on the altar but the other was led to a cliff in the wilderness, where it would meet its end. This goat was called the "scapegoat" – it represented the "carrying away" of the iniquities of the children of Israel.

It is in connection with this ceremony, that an interesting tradition arose which is mentioned in the Mishna, an ancient Jewish commentary. A crimson colored sash would be placed on the door of the Temple before that second goat was sent into the wilderness. When the goat died, somehow the sash would mysteriously turn to white. And this was a sign to Israel that God had accepted their sacrifice and their sins were forgiven. The Mishna goes on to say, however, that something mysteriously happened in 30 AD, approximately forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple. Despite the continued goat sacrifices each year, the sash never turned to white again.

Hmm. What other very significant thing happened about this very time? Yeshua (Jesus) died.

Two thousand years ago, the final sacrifice was made for the atonement of our sins and for the sins of all who would believe. Yes! Yeshua is the Messiah! He has died and risen again! He rules at the right hand of our Father and He is interceding for us right now! Let's pray for the world's eyes to be opened today! There's so much work to be done!

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