WHO is the One who takes away our sin?
Day of Atonement special
The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is upon us (10th day of Tishri, Oct 12, 2016). One of the prominent events of this day when sacrifices were offered before Christ came, was the story of the two kid goats. Leviticus 16:5 actually says that the two goats together were to be seen as one sin offering. They represented different aspects of the redemptive process. One goat was offered and killed as a sin offering and its blood sprinkled in the Holy of holies and elsewhere. Everyone agrees on that one.
But also on the Day of Atonement, all the sins of the nation were declared and placed on to the head of the kid goat that was selected to be the azazel goat. Then a fit man led this little young goat – which had not really done anything wrong – out into an uninhabited part of the wilderness. You can read the whole story in Leviticus 16. Really, how much wrong can a young kid goat do? Many have tied this azazel goat (translated “scapegoat” in many Bibles) to Satan being bound, mentioned in Revelation 20:1-2. And note that the kid goat was not bound but led out of the camp as it walked out, tied to a rope held by the man leading it out.
But now the point of this blog. For decades I believed what I was taught – that the azazel goat represented Satan! The story went like this: that when it’s all said and done, Satan is bound (like Revelation 20:1-2 says) and that all our sins are put on Satan’s head where it belongs. So Ellen G. White and the Seventh-Day Adventists began teaching that the day of Atonement with God actually features Satan in some of its aspects. Then leaders from Radio Church of God, later renamed Worldwide Church of God, also began to accept Ellen G. White’s original theory and to teach it.
Many of you will wonder why this is even a question. But if you are part of, or have come out of, any of the Church of God groups that were associated in the past with Herbert Armstrong or even the Seventh Day Adventists, you probably have heard that one of the two goats represents Satan. I do hope you’ll hear my full sermon on this topic.
But does Scripture say Satan has anything to do with this day?
Click here on “Continue reading” to see what Scripture says.
Actually I have a full-fledged recent sermon about the azazel goat. I’d recommend you read and listen to that and then tell me if I’m all wrong. But don’t tell me I’m wrong unless you can show me scriptures. And I’ll record a full-fledged sermon about the meaning of the Day of Atonement in all its fullness – including the Jubilees, the fasting, the various sacrifices, the azazel goat, who worked on the Day of Atonement and was expected to work and why, and much more. Be sure to hear and study it.
OK – let’s get down to scripture. WHO does azazel (the so-called “scapegoat”) represent, according to Scripture? And remember, this day is about ATONEMENT with God. Being cleared of our sins. Being reconciled with God.
Scripture is clear that our sins are laid on Christ –not Satan. NOWHERE does it say they’re laid on Satan. Jesus Christ had no sin. IN him is no sin (1 John 3: 5). ONLY someone without any sin, whose life is worth more than other lives, could have been the recipient of all the world’s sins. Christ was the Creator of us all, the very son of God. He was and is God. He spoke the universe into existence. OF course his one life is worth more than all of ours put together. That certainly could NOT be said about Satan and I’m just sorry it took me so long to get this all together. Read Isaiah 53 carefully – another Messianic prophecy.
Isaiah 53:6 -- “…..and the LORD has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all.”
Isa 53:11, 12 -- “….HE shall bear their iniquities; ….HE bore the sin of many….”
Hebrews 9:28 “…so CHRIST was offered once TO BEAR THE SINS of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
Not one single scripture says all our sins are placed on Satan. Not a single one. But there will be dozens of sermons on the Day of Atonement in those particular groups that will say azazel is Satan and all sins are placed on Satan to bear. Heaven be merciful. That’s not what scripture says. Not at all.
So scripture says sins are placed on the Messiah.
Scripture is also clear WHO TAKES AWAY our sins. It is Yeshua the Messiah – or Jesus the Christ – who takes away our sins. And again, that’s absolutely not Satan’s role. In fact, one of the biggest reasons Christ CAME the first time was to remove our sins from us, for us.
1 John 3:5 -- “And ye know that HE (Christ) was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
OK, that verse does not say Satan was manifested to take away our sins. It’s clear, isn’t it? Here’s one more.
John 1:29– “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY the sin of the world!”
Any ambiguity with that one? None whatsoever. NOT ONE SINGLE SCRIPTURE says Satan takes away our sins.
A common teaching is just to emphasize that Messiah paid the death penalty of our sins, and nothing more. That’s just not true. He did so much more. Here’s a partial list and sometime in the future I’ll flesh it out with more scripture and commentary. But this will serve for now to show our Messiah did much more than just pay the death penalty for us.
** Once all the sins of humanity were placed on him, Yeshua – our Prince of Peace -- incurred the wrath of God in our stead, so we do not have to face the wrath of God for our sins IF we accept Christ as our Savior. But if you do not accept him as your savior, the wrath of God abides on you still (see John 3:36). Once he paid it, and received the wrath in that brutal execution for OUR sins, then once he died the wrath of God was paid in full and there is no more wrath for our sins.
** He became sin personified while on the cross. Yep, that’s what happens when all the horrific sins ever committed since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden are heaped on one who had committed no sin, and in whom is no sin. He became sin. Don’t whitewash it. That’s what scripture says. HE became sin – for us. Let’s read it.
2 Corinthians 5:21 --- “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Our sins were imputed to Him who did nothing to deserve them – and in exchange the righteousness of God himself is given to us when we have faith in our great Savior (Philippians 3:9-11).
** Our sins bring condemnation to us. But when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, there is no more condemnation. Praise you, Master. I pray you read John 3:17-18 reverently on your knees a few times. That’s also why Romans 8:1 is clear that those of us in Christ are no longer under any condemnation. So he took the condemnation we had on us as well. Folks, Satan never did that nor has any part in removing our condemnation. In fact, all Satan does over and over is bring railing accusations against us. He’s the accuser of the brethren, so don’t be a little devil yourself, by the way, by bringing accusations against God’s children.
** He became a CURSE for us. We’re cursed when we sin.
Galatians 3:13 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")…” Of course the curse of the law is death. The wages of sin is death, God’s law says. Are you realizing that what our Redeemer did for us was so much more than just paying for our earned death penalty? So much more.
**He took on –while on the cross – the separation from God Most High (God the Father) that sin causes.
Isaiah 59:1-2 – “Behold, YHVH’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
You surely remember how on the cross, Yeshua cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46) So many Jews don’t realize that Psalm 22 is a detailed prophecy of the crucifixion with so many detailed statements.
I know some like to think God the Father didn’t really separate himself from Christ. But Yeshua would not have lied. His God – God the Father – had temporarily forsaken him. He had to, because once he became sin for us and took our sins on himself, our Father had to separate. Think of all the sins of the entire world on him! On him who knew no sin before that. On him who had never been outside of the fellowship and oneness with His Holy Father. But for the full justice to be rendered, God had to turn his back on his son, who at that moment was carrying all the sins of the world.
And there’s even more. But let me save some of this for when I give a full sermon on it in the future. Also, the book of Hebrews is largely about the High Priest’s role on the day of Atonement. And nowhere in Hebrews is Satan mentioned. Nowhere! Why? Because he has NO PART of this day.
So what is Revelation 20:1-2 all about? Satan is the big troublemaker. “Cast out the scoffer, and contention shall cease” (Proverbs 22:10). So that’s what King Yeshua (Jesus) has to do: Get rid of the Accuser, that Devil. Yes, Satan is BOUND and cast into some kind of impenetrable pit for a thousand years – but not led into a wilderness! And Satan is released after a thousand years, but the kid goat is never brought back in. And nowhere does it say in Revelation 20 that sins are placed on Satan’s head or that HE takes our sins away. No—Yeshua does that! Neither does it say that this event happens on the Day of Atonement. That has been conjecture, and it possibly could happen on Atonement – but it doesn’t state it that way.
But, of all days –on the Day of Atonement – let’s honor our Savior and King. Let’s honor HIM. He’s not sharing his redemptive saving role with anyone else, and certainly not with Satan.
Now please hear my sermon on azazel – and how it ISN’T about Satan and what a glorious work our Savior has done, and how the two goats showed the fullness of his redemptive work: to cover the sin in his own blood (the first goat) and then to graphically show us that our sins are taken far away from us, pictured by the second goat.
Have a deep, contemplative, repentant and reconciling Day of Atonement.
If you’ve found this blog or especially the sermon about azazel enlightening and vital, please tell others about this website and the message of the azazel goat: our sins are taken far away from us by Christ – the Lamb of God – who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).