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The Scapegoat

Staff Member
"But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, [and] to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. Leviticus 16:10

Today is Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement or the Fast (Acts 27:9), and it focuses on atonement and repentance (Leviticus 23:26-32). On this day, two goats were selected. One was sacrificed to the Lord. The sins of the people were symbolically placed on the other goat, the scapegoat, which was then chased into the desert (Leviticus 16:1-26).

In modern usage, a scapegoat is a person who’s unfairly blamed for causing a problem. While they may be responsible for some of it, they’re blamed for the entire muddle. If you’ve ever been made a scapegoat for a family misunderstanding or a workplace mess, you know how unfair this can be.

If you’re able to set the record straight, by all means do so. But you don’t always have that opportunity, and even when you do, you’re not always believed. That’s why Paul said, “When we are slandered, we answer kindly” (1 Corinthians 4:13). The Bible tells you the attitude to have then: “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully” (1 Peter 2:19).

Remember that Jesus Himself, though He was utterly innocent, was also falsely accused.
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