Our pastor's message this past Sunday offered a new angle from which we can view the cross.
He started in Leviticus 16 with the instructions for the priests. In case you don't have that part of the Bible memorized, here's what it says:
"Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats - one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. ... He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins - and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away ... and release it in the desert." (Lev 16:7-10, 21-22)
We learned that when the goat was sent away, all the people would shout "Take him away! Take him away!"
Isaiah 53 predicts the ministry that Christ would have as the Servant of the LORD who suffers in our place. It says, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows ... We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ... By oppression and judgment he was taken away ... my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities."
And when Jesus stood before Pilate the crowds shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!" (John 19:15-17)
On that day he bore our sins. He carried them away, outside the city. Once and for all.
Hebrews 10:14 - "by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
Our goat is gone. Thank you, Jesus!