Jesus and Goats?
What is the Book of Leviticus All About Anyway? Part III
When you think of a goat, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
For some people, goats conjure up images of curry and feasting. Others may think of farms and sacrifice; or stubbornness and gluttony may come to mind. If you are familiar with the deep-seated things of Satan, then ‘riding the goat’ may bring back fond fraternal feelings. If you’re the type of person who associates goats with the words of Jesus, then you certainly want to be named among the sheep and NOT the goats. But are we ever biblically justified to associate Jesus Himself with goats?
In the 16th chapter of Leviticus, Moses writes about how Aaron the priest is to enter the holy place with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Aaron had to offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and for his house. But Aaron was also commanded to take two goats. The first goat was to be killed for the people and he had to sprinkle its blood over the mercy seat – this was to make atonement for the people. Aaron had to lay both hands on the second goat and confess all the iniquities, transgressions and sins of the people. The goat was sent into the wilderness. The Bible declared, “The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area.”
Again, lets not get lost in the minutia of the rituals. Remember that in many ways, the book of Leviticus points to Jesus. We can biblically justify associating Jesus with these goats in Leviticus. Both goats point to Him. Like the first goat, He died on the cross for our sins and the prophet Isaiah said that He bore our grief and He was crushed for our iniquities. His blood was applied to the mercy seat of God and we have been set free from the penalty of sin. Like the second goat, He has removed our transgressions far from us. BUT unlike those priests with his natural goats, who had to do this ONCE every year, He did this ONCE AND FOR ALL! Praise God!
Next time you read Leviticus, keep Jesus in the forefront of your mind.
Brian L. Spivey