April 15, 2021 Hicksville Mennonite

Scapegoating

Scapegoating

“20 “When Aaron has finished purifying the Most Holy Place and the Tabernacle and the altar, he must present the live goat. 21 He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. 22 As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.” (Leviticus 16:20-22 NLT)

On the Day of Atonement, the stain and wickedness of the people was identified and cast on the scapegoat in order to purge the people from their sin. It appears that even today, everyone has an implicit understanding of the need for a scapegoat in order to separate oneself from sin. Cancel culture, identity politics, virtue signaling ect. —

aren’t these all about declaring oneself innocent by projecting the stain of sin on someone else and sending them into the wilderness? If you can just get rid of the perceived bearer of sin, the sinstain of the world will be removed. 

As believers we know this is not the answer. We have a divine Scapegoat who takes away the sins of the entire world. He’s done it. We don’t need to transfer those sins on others. We are all guilty and our innocence does not come about by virtue signaling. We are declared innocent only through the blood of Christ. 

And yet how often do we get upset and scapegoat others? We throw all of our collective ire on those we identify as the scapegoat, use language that creates impenetrable barriers between us, and banish them to the wilderness. Somehow, by throwing the sins of the world on these human scapegoats, we smugly count ourselves innocent. We must repent from this sin and turn to the one who TRULY bore the sins of the world!