Let me tell you a true story forever etched in my memory. I was driving in our car with the windows down on a warm summer day when suddenly a bee flew in the car window. My son, in the backseat, was terrified that the Bee would sting him. I quickly reached out, grabbed the Bee, and squeezed it in my hand. I opened my hand the Bee dropped to the car floor in front of my son. My 6-year-old son was frantic. I pulled off the road, stopped, and showed him the palm of my hand. There stuck in my skin, was the stinger of the Bee. “Do you see this? Son, you don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve taken the sting for you.” My son stopped his panic, and I heard him say, I love you, Daddy.”
On this day of Yom Kippur, we no longer need to fear death. Jesus the Messiah has died and risen again. He has taken the sting of death. He is our atonement. The central focus is found in Leviticus 16:7-10: “Then he must bring the two male goats and present them to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be sacrificed to the LORD and which one will be the scapegoat. The goat chosen to be sacrificed to the LORD will be presented by Aaron as a sin offering. The goat chosen to be the scapegoat will be presented to the LORD alive. When it is sent away into the wilderness, it will make atonement for the people.”
Sin was removed from the people by placing hands on the remaining goat that received the sins of the people. This is a picture of the One who has come as our great High Priest, Jesus the Messiah, now our High Priest. The High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on behalf of the people of Israel as Jesus entered the Holy of Holies on our behalf at the cross. Do you see this? My hands have the holes from the nails that held Jesus to the cross. We do not need to be afraid; Jesus took the sting of death for us!
Hebrews 10:12-14 says, “Our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled as a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering, he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy.”
The redeeming message to us believers is that when we met Jesus and confessed our sin, we were born from above, born again, remade, and now we aren’t who we were. We are now a new creation. Our old self is gone, and the new self has come. Jesus, the ultimate scapegoat, took all our sins and nailed them to the cross so that we would be free and live free. We can celebrate the fact that we have atonement and the gift of eternal life because of the Grace of God! We love you, Daddy!
G’mar chatima tova (gih-MAR chah-tee-MAH toe-VAH). Be inscribed in the Book of Life for good.