Thursday, June 16, 2011


Three Hebrew words are found to be translated 'pardon' or 'forgive' in the KJV of of the Old Testament. Those words are 'kipper,' [which means to cover] 'nasa,' [which means to lift up or to take away] and 'salach.' [Which means to let go.]  These three words all have reference in some fashion to the mercy seat of the Tabernacle and to the idea of the atonement. 

They are all three a metaphorical reference to the removal of sin. Sin is seen to be 'covered' [mercy seat] so that there is no longer a barrier to sinful man approaching and relating to holy God. Then it is seen to be 'carried away' [The Scape-Goat] so that there is no hindering offense that separates the offender from the offended One. Finally, it is 'forgiven' [The Lord's goat] so that there is no longer any wrath and death awaiting sinful man.  All of these together create a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work in picture form in the Old Testament as declared in Hebrews 9. What a picture it is.
Leviticus 16:7-10 is where the scape goat and the Lord's goat show vividly that picture just referenced. Aaron was to take a bullock and kill it to sprinkle blood for his and his sons purification. That was a personal thing for Aaron. But then there was the taking of two goats and a lot was cast making one the scape goat, to carry away the sins of the people, and the other was the Lord's goat, to die for the people. It is good to remember, however, that both were to be seen as ONE offering. 

This is important to understand as some have tried to identify the scape goat as Satan and the sacrificed goat as the Lord. It is true the Lord's goat was slain and it's blood sprinkled on the mercy seat for the sins of the people and then the scape goat had hands laid on it as the sins of the people were confessed and the animal was released in the wilderness. But the scape goat pictures our Lord as our sins were IMPUTED to Him and were "carried away" from us as He bore them on our behalf. Our sin has been lifted from us and carried away to be remembered against us no more.
Remember that the first goat had already been killed and it's blood had been taken and sprinkled upon the mercy seat for the sins of the people. Thus the penalty was paid. After all, the wages of sin IS death. God cannot simply send our sins away without a just consequence being seen. Death. 

It is a double picture then as the scape goat reveals that the Lord Jesus carried our sin away but the Lord's goat pictures the Lord Jesus dying on our behalf. Sin IS removed from us but it is at a high cost to Someone and we know who that Someone is don't we!!

 So the blood, having been sprinkled on the mercy seat enabled sinful man to approach holy God because their sins have been covered, [kipper] and the scape goat shows that any barrier those sins might have created had been taken away. [nasa]  On top of all that their failure was not remembered against them any more.  [salach]  That is to be REALLY forgiven.
Paul B. 


Aussie John said...


Great article reminding us that God meant what He inspired Paul to write, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”.

How sad that so many have been led to believe that we have to perform in prescribed ways to gain acceptance with God, either for salvation or sanctification. There is a flow on effect which causes us to expect similar performance from others before we accept them, with devastating results!

You remind us again that the performance-based Christianity, which is so common today will drain, those who fall for it,their joy in God's saving grace in Christ.

Thanks again for a top article

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I know you know this, but your statement here..."There is a flow on effect which causes us to expect similar performance from others before we accept them, with devastating results!" the basis for most of the terrible relational problems I've found people facing during the past fifty years of personal counseling I've done as a pastor.