Anglican Morning Devotion, 2 October 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. * 9And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. * 10But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”
(Leviticus 16:7-10; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:20-26)
When a toddler, my mother used to sing a hymn entitled “What can Wash Away my Sins.” At such an early age, I could not comprehend the meaning of the hymn. When I asked my mother, she told me how Jesus died on the cross at Calvary so that I could be saved. I still did not know the meaning, but believed that account since my mother believed it. Later I came to know more fully the meaning of His substitutionary death on the cross for such a one as me. He literally took my place on the cross as surely as he took the place of the murderer, Barabbas.
We find in Leviticus an early foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in the scape-goat along, but both the scape-goat as well as the sin-bearer goat. How so, you may ask. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The sin-bearer goat was burdened by the sins of the people and sacrificed therefor. It is quite simple to see the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross with this sin-bearer goat as He bore the sins of us all on the cross at Calvary. “And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
So, in what manner does the scape-goat bear the likeness of our Lord’s work of redemption and atonement? “But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” I believe this scape-goat represents the risen Savior. He rose from the grave, and ascended to the Father into the misty Eternity into which we have no vision.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One in all time and eternity who is worthy to redeem us of sin because He was sinless. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Jesus Christ redeemed us through the demands of the Law and justice. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:23-25)
There is nothing the lost sinner can do to save himself. He is condemned already ere the draw of the Holy Ghost forces him to the Throne of Grace and Mercy. His only claim of merit is by virtue of the imputed grace and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Our Lord knew you before the worlds were made, and you were foremost in His Mind on the cross for your name was graven into the palms of His hands: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. * 16Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)