Leviticus 16 helps us understand the Day of Atonement and atonement sacrifices.  Once a year the chief priest (Aaron) cleansed himself, put on holy garments, and killed a bull as an offering.  The blood sacrifice was a sine offering for himself and his house.  Then Aaron chose tow goats to bear symbolically the sins of the people.  He offered one as a blood sacrifice for atonement.  Aaron then laid both his hands on the head of the second goat, confessing all their sins.  He put their sins upon the head of the goat and sent the goat into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:21).  The goat vicariously carried the sins away, freeing the people from their guilt and shame.  Hence the name scapegoat.

Response:  Explain whether your church rituals (and which rituals) are helping you feel freed of guilt and shame. 


5 thoughts on “Scapegoat

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