REVELATION 4Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 4:1-114:1 A DOOR OPEN IN HEAVENTHE DAY OF ATONEMENTTHE SCAPEGOATA DAY OF JUDGMENT4:2-4 BEFORE THE THRONE4:5 TWO KINDS OF JUDGMENT4:5 SEVEN LAMPS, SEVEN SPIRITS4:6-8 FOUR LIVING CREATURESTHE FOUR TRIBES4:9-11 PRAISE TO THE CREATOR


THE SCAPEGOAT

Two goats were offered on the Day of Atonement. “He [Aaron, the High Priest] shall take two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord…he shall bring the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities[1] (Leviticus 16:7-10, 20-22).

The “Lord’s goat” symbolized Christ, who took upon Himself the penalty for our sins. In the judgment He is our representative, taking the place of each sinner who has continued to repent and have faith in Him. Their sins have been transferred from their soul to His, He has died for those sins, and the sinner is judged to be perfect as if he had never sinned.

The scapegoat, on the other hand, represents Satan[2], who, as the instigator of rebellion and sin, bears the responsibility for the death of the impenitent. Satan is the “representative” of those who have not continued in faith in the sense that these unrepentant people are under his authority and will suffer the same fate as he does.

In one sense Satan will even bear the sins of the righteous. Of course, only Jesus can bear our sins in a way that provides salvation: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows… the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:3-6). But Satan will still suffer the consequences of all the sins he has caused to be committed. He will spend 1000 years chained in the “bottomless pit” (Revelation 20:1-2) and will ultimately be burned in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, Ezekiel 28:18,19).

Continue to next section: A DAY OF JUDGMENT



[1] The leading of the scapegoat into the wilderness represents the chaining of Satan to the uninhabited earth during the Millennium (Revelation 20: 1,2).

[2] The modern meaning of the term “scapegoat”, someone who has been unjustly accused for the sins of others, makes it an unfortunate translation which does not really represent the meaning of the obscure Hebrew word azazel. The Greek Septuagint word is apopompaio—the one who has to leave. The scapegoat could not represent Christ because: 1) Lots were cast, “one lot for the Lord…” implying that the other “lot for the scapegoat” was not for the Lord (Leviticus 16:8). 2) The blood of the scapegoat was not shed, the goat was sent alive into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:21,22)—and “all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22). So the scapegoat has nothing to do with our purification or the remission of our sins. 3) The sins placed on the scapegoat have already been atoned for by sacrifice (Leviticus 4). 4) The sins are place on him after those in the sanctuary have been atoned for by the “Lord’s goat” (Leviticus 16:15-19).