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Thu Jan 14 01:15:01 EST 2010
Today is Jan 14, 2010.
One of the most striking parts of the Day of Atonement is that of the scapegoat. The high priest placed both his hands on the head of a goat and confessed all the sins of the nation. Then the goat carrying the sins of the people is sent off into the wilderness. But it is not just a piece of history! There is in the modern world a quest for scapegoats though with one enormous difference. Whenever there is an accident or a tragedy, there is a search for someone to blame. Often all the modern means of communication join in; accusations, resignations, demands for compensation and the rest. If a guilty person is found, then an orgy of condemnation and vilification. Rarely a sense of, there but for the grace of God go I. Instead of dealing gently with one another's failure because of our own vulnerability to criticism, there is the presumption that we are in a fit condition to judge and to condemn. The enormous difference? The original scapegoat followed a confession of the sins of the people. There was no blaming of someone else, but an admission of guilt and a quest for the forgiveness of God. The goat wasn't hated, but was a dramatic picture of the carrying away sins. It was the very opposite of a selfrighteous victimisation of someone else. Ever since 200 A.D., Christians have seen the scapegoat as a picture of Jesus. As it was led out to die in the wilderness bearing the sins of the people, so he was crucified outside Jerusalem for our sins. We are to be both forgiven and forgiving people.
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