Posted under Relevant Biblical verses.
Mankind has Long believed that Sins require an Atonement, even unto the Sacrifice of a Life. Many offerings were Decimated, for instance Burnt, to show that it was Totally Offered to the Divine. This was done to Grains, Oil, and even to Livestock, etc.
Ancient religions have had the practice of sacrificing Living Creatures and Animals like Chickens, Goats and many others. This can be noted in the Chhota Nagpur belt in Central India, home to one of India’s Original dwellers. But it is prevalent all over the country, albeit on a lesser scale.
Leviticus 16:20-22 says thus: “Aaron …shall place his hands on the Goat’s head and confess over it all the sins …of the people of Israel, and so transfer them to the Goat’s head. Then the Goat is to be driven off into the desert.”
The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, 1854
Here is the poor fellow, nicely decorated with a red band across his horns, Thank You, but… He seems to be bogged down in a bit of salty Marsh, and is bleating – Piteously, No? This might be considered an artistic touch by the Artist, but not impossible to imagine.
But the Main thing is that now the Goat is not just at the mercy of the Elements, but also an Easy Prey to the Wild animals as he is without his shepherd to watch over him.
And that was the Whole Idea, Abandoning him. This Sacrifice of that animal is supposed to be the Expiation for the sins of the people.
And Christ became that Sacrifice. For the Whole of Mankind. For All Time. There is a Lot of Anthropomorphism in Religion. A few references below:
- A Lamb that had been Sacrificed. (Revelation 5:6)
- Worthy is the Lamb to Receive Honour and Glory. (Revelation 5:12) Christ had been a Willing and Voluntary Sacrifice, after all.
- Through His Wounds we are Healed. (Isaiah 53:5, etc)
- Even after Christ had given up His Spirit, he was pierced with a Spear. Fulfilling the prophesy: They shall look on Him Whom they pierced. (John 19:37, Zechariah 12:10)
That is Why Jesus is called “The Lamb of God, Who takes away the Sins of the World.”