Leviticus 16:8 “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.”
Leviticus 16:9 “And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him [for] a sin offering.”
Leviticus 16:10 “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.”
Matthew 27:17 “Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?”
Matthew 27:21 “The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.”
Matthew 27:26 “Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered [him] to be crucified.”
The word scapegoat means something entirely opposite from what it meant at the writing of our King James Bible. The word is used most often, I would suppose, in sports media today. It is used when a particular player or coach is being blamed for a team’s poor performance in a game or season. The person receiving the brunt of the blame game is called the scapegoat. The rest of the team is free from blame and the scapegoat is blamed as the reason for a lack of success. In these verses found in Leviticus, however we see that this word scapegoat, ?????, means to avert or to escape. This,?????, scapegoat is only found in the law of the day of atonement. On this day Aaron the High Priest would cast lots upon two goats. One lot would be for the Lord, and the other lot would be for the scapegoat. The goat that the Lord’s lot fell upon would be sacrificed for a sin offering. This goat would die on the Day of Atonement as a type of Jesus who before the foundation of the world accepted this lot and willingly became our sin offering. The Day of Atonement, before the sacrifice for our sins once and for all by Jesus, was repeated yearly. This was known as the great day or just THE day which shows the importance it carried. Following the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf, everyday is the day of atonement. No yearly ritual needs to be followed or even a monthly or weekly ritual needs to be followed. These would actually be repugnant to God because He offered His only begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice. He died once and he doesn’t die afresh every week. He died once and for all, He died for everyone and He died for all of everyone’s sin. It cannot be overstated or said clearly enough, He died one time never to die again. He died one time requiring nothing from us to aid in our forgiveness or our salvation. He is the perfect sacrifice and we can do nothing to earn salvation or forgiveness for even one sin. Any attempt to add to His sacrifice on the cross with our own puny works is repugnant to God. On the cross Jesus cried, “tetelistai”, which meant paid in full. He paid our debt of sin in FULL. There is nothing left to pay by us or by Him. He does not die repeatedly every service, He died once and for all and the debt for sin was paid in full by His death on the cross.
So here on the Day of Atonement we have two goats, similar in appearance. One would go free, the other would be sacrificed for the sins of the people. In the goat that the Lord’s lot fell upon we see a type of Christ, the perfect Lamb of God. Looking further through history into the time of Christ we see a parrellel of these two types. We see another type of the scapegoat and we see the very Lord of Glory, the spotless Lamb, Jesus. Following the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and the subsequent arrest of Jesus, He was put on trial. He was led to Annas, Caiaphas, and Pilate. It was customary for one prisoner to be released during the Passover and Pilate reminded the crowd that Jesus could be released. The chief priests and elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas, a murderer and robber to be released. Today we still choose many evil things over good and we choose many evil things over Christ Himself. The Lord’s lot had fallen on Jesus much earlier than this though. Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus is
the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
This was a lot that Jesus had chosen. He had decided even before sin entered the human race that He would be the sacrifice for sin and that He would be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. On the Day of Atonement we also have a type of the second goat, the goat that received the lot of the scapegoat. The person we see typifying the scapegoat is Barabbas. On this day Barabbas was the scapegoat, but he is also the type of the scapegoat, because like Barabbas I too am a scapegoat. Therefore Barabbas is a type of me. I was released with Barabbas that day. My charges were dropped that day also by the One who the Lord’s lot fell upon. I was a murderer and robber also like Barabbas. If you hate someone you have committed murder in your heart. It doesn’t take long for the original sin nature to take hold of a life. Hold the smallest, sweetest, cuddliest, baby’s arms down against his will and he will become so angry that he would kill you if he had the strength. We are all this way because of original sin that goes back to the garden. We are all flawed by bad genes that come from being part of Adam’s race. In what have come to be know as the Ten Commandments, God says in the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet”, meaning don’t even think about doing the other nine commandments. It is safe to say that we have fallen short of His glory. We have all thought of doing or have done at least something to violate one of these commandments. In Christ there is life because He allowed the Lord’s lot to fall on Himself. There is hope for us because of the scapegoat, because like Barabbas, we can go free. Those chains and shackels can be loosened because Jesus took the punishment for us and He took our sins upon Him. He didn’t become sinful, but He took our sin upon Himself and was crucified on a cruel tree that we like the scapegoat, that we like Barrabas could go free. Come to the Cross where Jesus died and put your trust in Him today and the sacrifice that He made on your behalf. You too, like the scapegoat, Barrabas, and me can be free of the result of sin. The wages of sin are death, but you can be free from this payment as Barabbas was. Barabbas is a type of all who have been pardoned by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for the sin of the world. Is Barabbas a type of you?
The Lord’s lot, the scapegoat, Barabbas, and me.