Good News About A Guilty Goat
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, October 9, 2015
“And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.” (Deuteronomy 19:18–19).
We are continuing our survey of the judgment of God’s people to which we should be inviting those who don’t know Him. Today, we are briefly discussing point three of four from a few days ago where we said, “By the time the symbol of sins were carried out of the camp, they had already been atoned for.”
You are innocent until Jesus is proven guilty! Did that get your attention? That’s right; whenever the record of our lives is compared against the perfection of God’s law, if we are submitted to God and covered in the righteousness of Christ, we are innocent. That is to say that all who continue to live in a faith relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, are seen as if we have never sinned. Why? Because Jesus never sinned, and it is in His sinlessness that we stand when we confess and forsake our sins. This is great news considering the fact that the devil and those who sympathize with him are always looking for someone to accuse. Always remember that the Bible says he is cast down (defeated).
We already highlighted the symbolic path confessed sins took in the Old Testament system of sacrifices, all terminating with faith filled people being cleansed. Now, I would like to briefly discuss a mysterious feature from Leviticus 16 to illustrate an incredible truth. Here’s the text: “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there:” (Leviticus 16:21–23).
Stay with me here. Don’t get lost in the details. There’s a prize awaiting if you press through this.
At the end of the special Day of Atonement we talked about several days ago, after all sacrifices were made, there was one animal set aside, which never had any part in the sanctuary services that was left standing. The people who entered into this process by faith, accepting all that the Lord would do for them to cleanse their life records from all sin, waited with bated breath. Once the symbols of Jesus Christ had already been employed to facilitate this cleansing, the final goat was used to symbolize the final removal of the sin record from the camp.
In our theme text was referenced what would happen to false accusers in the Jewish economy. Whatever punishment was to be levied against the accused, if the accuser was found to be a liar, would then be levied against the liar. This means that if you were accused of murder, and the punishment was death by stoning, then the accuser had better be telling the truth. If not, the liar would be given the penalty for his accusation—death by stoning. I think that limited false reports.
Think about our symbols now. If all of the sins of God’s people, including all who have accepted the invitation into the fellowship of true believers, have been forgiven, and the cleansing is in process, is there any record of their sins? The answer is no! This means that if the accuser of the brethren, Satan, says that you should receive eternal death because you have sinned, he is seen in the courts of heaven as a false accuser, and is given the punishment he intended for you. God does not charge forgiven people for their sins, and when the cleansing is complete, the record is fully expunged. It is cast into the sea of eternal forgetfulness. So when the scapegoat seen in Leviticus 16 is carried away from the camp, it is a symbol of what actually happens to Satan where the Bible says, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:1–3).
When Jesus returns not long after the first phase of judgment is complete, those who have continued to live faith in Him will have been forgiven and cleansed eternally. The devil’s accusation’s will have been proven false, because we now stand in the perfection of Jesus’ sinless life, and after a time of wandering in this worldly wilderness with nobody to tempt, he must face the punishment he had hoped we would receive. He is the (false) accuser of the brethren. He is cast down (defeated). He will be destroyed for his rebellion.
I am so happy that God has made a way for us to be delivered from the enemy’s onslaught.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, thank you for giving us your righteousness. Please help us to continue to accept it. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.