Chapter 16 of Leviticus is the account of the Day of Atonement. Once each year, the nation of Israel will deal with the sins of their past year. The Priest will take two goats, one will be sacrificed and the other will be brought before the Lord alive. The Priest will press his hands down upon the head of the goat and confess the sins of the people to the Lord. Vs 21 says, “In this way he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat.” This live goat will be sprinkled with the blood of the sacrificed goat and then sent away. 16:8 says, “The goat will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel.” Azazel has been identified as another name for Satan. The Contemporary English Version translates this passage with “the demon Azazel.” 16:10 says, “When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will┬ábe purified and made right with the Lord.”

As a picture of our Savior, Isaiah tells us that God laid upon him the iniquity (sins) of us all. He was abandoned by man and God upon the cross as He bore the sins of the whole world. The Apostle’s Creed says, “He descended into hell.” Like the Scapegoat, he carried our sins back to their source! But, unlike the scapegoat, the Apostle’s creed goes on, “and rose from the dead on the third day.”

Our substitute, the Lord Jesus, has “purified us and made us right with God.” Romans 8:1, “there is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”