Leviticus 15 was rather tough to read. Some of the examples were graphic. I have to admit I skimmed through the verses pretty fast, moving on to Leviticus 16, and hoping for something better. I wasn’t disappointed. Today’s reading in Leviticus 16 gave us the beautiful image of the Day of Atonement. The Hebrew translation of the word atonement is kaphar, which means: “to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation.”*
Once a year the Israelites had a day in which they celebrated the fact that their sins were forgiven. On this day a goat was taken, called the scapegoat. This goat was symbolically released into the wilderness, serving as a symbol for the people. This goat didn’t deserve the penalty placed on him. But I believe through him, God was showing the people that sins never go unpunished. Someone or something had to pay the price.
Until Jesus came into the world, that price was meant over and over by animals. God knew that these animals would never be enough to forgive his people of their sins, once and for all. Instead, he gave his own son up as the ultimate scapegoat. Jesus, like the goat, was undeserving. His life was unblemished and pure. Yet, he gave up everything for you and for me. That day in which he died on the cross was our “Day of Atonement.” On that day he covered all of our sins so that we could be reconciled with our perfect God.
I’m so thankful for the price Jesus paid for you and for me.
I’m so thankful that he was the scapegoat so that I could fellowship with my God.
What about you?
*Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for kaphar (Strong's 3722)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2009. 15 Oct 2009. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?