- “Do you know one of the major causes of depression, stress and frustration? Do you know what causes a critical spirit, cynicism and a spirit of comparing ourselves with others? It is when we get fuzzy about our mission in life; when we forget “why” we’re doing what we do.” _Doug Murren, Leader Shift
Leviticus 16:21 (NKJV) Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
The term “scapegoat” is a familiar term in our culture; what is less known is that it comes from the Bible. When we speak of someone being a scapegoat today we are speaking of a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.
In the Bible there was an actual live goat, matter of fact there were two goats (Leviticus 16:7-8). One was sacrificed to God on behalf of the people and the other was released into the wilderness symbolically carrying away the sins of the people.
These two goats, one dying and the other living, is a beautify picture of Jesus Christ. Jesus both died to atone for our sins and is also alive and has carried our sins and reproach away to be remembered no more.
Why don’t you take a moment to worship our Lord and Savior for being both our sacrifice and our scapegoat? (If you have the worship chorus, “Here I Am to Worship” available I’d recommend listening to it right now.)
However, there is a Sabbath principle taught here also. Sabbath is about finishing things.
Genesis 1:31-2:3 (NKJV)
31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Do you know one of the reasons we can have trouble living a Sabbath life? One of the major reasons is that we have trouble forgiving ourselves and we have trouble accepting ourselves. I wonder if you are one of those persons. You know the type, always striving to be accepted and to be somebody. They’re never really at peace. They are tormented by regrets, stuck in a past of mishaps, mistakes, and messes.
There are others that live with the pain of betrayal, abuse and being mishandled by people they trusted. They can’t let it go. The specters of a dark past haunt them and are reflected in their restlessness and ceaseless worry.
My dear friend, Sabbath was given to you so that those sorts of things could be finished, over, and done with. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, is the scapegoat that carried away forever your sins, failures, and inadequacies. Jesus, the scapegoat, offers to carry away the pain of betrayal. Finding permanent rest is a possibility. You can be delivered from the need to proof yourself. You can be delivered from the ceaseless pain and torment that haunts you and robs you of your peace. Jesus is offering you a Sabbath rest that can release you from the chains of bondage and set you free.
Accept it my dear friend and find peace and rest.
Resting in Him,