Home » Advanced Search » Leviticus 16:21

Leviticus 16:21

Leviticus 16:21
View Download and Print Options


Leviticus 16:21, “And Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat,  and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat…” (Also, Is.53:4-6).

Short Thoughts:

Christ is the final “scapegoat,” and if we are trusting Him, the hands in this picture are ours…

Hallowed be the name of the Father, made known in the passion of the Son!


Long Thoughts:

As soon as I read these verses in Leviticus last week, I knew the picture that I wanted to draw. It struck me as so weighty—and biblically faithful—to consider that, at the cross, all the hands of all the saints of all ages were metaphorically laid on the head of the crucified Christ……Our Lord stooped to become this “scapegoat,” humbled Himself to bear our iniquity, transgression and sin in His own body (Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Peter 2:24), carried it on His back into the consuming fires of divine wrath, and rose beyond all hope into the morning of New Creation.

Something else to note here are the three different descriptors for sin, “iniquity…transgression…sins.” Why is this significant? Well, first off, the multiplication of titles is a way to emphasize that every sort of sin was to be laid on the scapegoat (and, ultimately, on Christ). But secondly, this tripartite description of sin echoes the self declaration of YHWH on mount Sinai in exodus 34:6-7. There the Covenant Lord declares Himself to be:

“…forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”

Central to the Name (character, identity, glory) of the One True God is that He forgives every kind of sin (all while not clearing the guilty)…and here in the “scapegoat” ritual we get a far off glimpse of how He does this (ie, how He communicates the beauty of his name through the forgiveness of His peoples’ sin). But the true picture doesn’t come until the Covenant Lord—in the person of the Son—takes on flesh and dwells in our midst…..Then we see.

Then we see who YHWH is, then we see the excellence of his character, then we see the infinite breadth and depth and length and height of His steadfast love, then we see what it truly means to have a God who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…

And, I’ll mention this as well…as I was drawing this picture tonight, I was struggling back and forth in my head with angry, uncharitable thoughts…..I knew they were sinful, I knew they were wrong, but I was having a hard time silencing them…..and then, I thought about what I was drawing……I thought about the hands I was sketching, hands on the head of my Lord….and it struck me, “God, those are my hands…..those are my hands. And my uncharitable thoughts—the ones in my head right now—are part of the filth that washed over my Lord…….” And, really, if we are trusting Jesus, those are all of our hands…..

May this picture be a means that the Christ-exalting Spirit of God uses to help us consider afresh the beauty of our Savior and the wonder of our salvation (Heb.2:1, 3:1, 12:3), and may that remembrance fuel our war against sin and our pursuit of blood-bought purity of heart by which we will every increasingly see and savor our God (Matt.5:8).