Simon and the Scapegoat

It’s Good Friday {and it’s only “Good” because I know what happened Three Days Later so long ago}. I woke this Good Friday morning with a longing in my heart – something I believe is important – something I believe God wants to remind us of.

As I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, there were images and quotes reminding me of what today signifies. Today is the day we remember and recognize Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. I’ll spend the rest of the day reflecting on that day’s events thinking forward to Resurrection Day.

But, there is usually something missing from the retelling of the events of the Crucifixion day – something that is not posted on Facebook or tweeted on Twitter – something that caught my eye several weeks ago – something that is usually only seen in the movies that tell the story of this day.

It’s something that I never quite understood why – since Jesus is God – why Simon had to help Jesus carry His cross to Calvary. That is until I read about the Scapegoat. It was then that I truly understood why Jesus had to die.

I am a firm believer that the Old Testament is a true foreshadowing of the New Testament – can’t have one without the other. There are many images and prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled. Then there’s the Scapegoat one. Yes, Jesus is the Scapegoat, but to fulfill it – He had to have Simon the Cyrenian.

We find Simon’s story written in all but one Gospel {Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26} but we have to turn to the Old Testament to understand the true meaning of why Simon had to help Jesus {Yes, Jesus had to have help carrying His cross because He was beaten and weak – however, there is a deeper meaning as well}.

We’ve probably all read the passage in Leviticus 16 where it talks about the scapegoat and how Aaron was to sacrifice one goat and the let the other goat go in the wilderness:

Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the 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, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.(Leviticus 16:6-10 NKJV -Biblegateway.com)

However, reading this several weeks ago this passage stuck with me:

And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of 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 to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:20-22 NKJV – Biblegateway.com)

Did you see it – the reason why Simon had to help Jesus – the reason why Jesus had to die?

Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of 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. (Leviticus 16:21 NKJV – Biblegateway.com

Powerful I know – struck me deep.

Simon had to help Jesus because Jesus was the LIVE goat – the Scapegoat – that would carry away my [our] iniquities, transgressions, and sins. Simon had to send away the Scapegoat. Simon was the suitable man.

And, there’s something else – a couple of verses later we read this in verse 26:

“And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.”

After the man release the scapegoat, he was to wash his clothes and bathe his body – making himself clean so he may reenter the camp.

Because of Jesus’ death {and resurrection} we – sinners – are able to repent and be baptized thereby making ourselves clean. It’s because of Jesus’ death that we can be forgiven. We become Welcomed into His Kingdom {camp}.

Don’t let this day pass you by – ask for Forgiveness, become clean, and celebrate Resurrection Day with me on Sunday.

Like Simon, it will be a day you’ll never forget.

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About Follow 2 Serve {Lorna}

I am a follower of Christ and I love to serve Him. I am married with two sons. I received my Liberal Arts Associate Degree in May of 2012. My hobbies are reading, crocheting, quilting, knitting, nature photography, and being with my sons.
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2 Responses to Simon and the Scapegoat

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Good to hear from you again…and this was a wonderful message for this special day.

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