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)
It is understood that when the High Priest placed his hands on the head of the goat and confessed the sins of the people, he was symbolically transferring those sins upon this goat. Moreover, the Bible uses three different words to express just what is being transferred to that scapegoat — “all their iniquities, transgressions and sins.” The Hebrew word translated as “iniquities” is more literally “crookedness,” which is to say, a willful departure from right path. The word translated as “transgressions” is better rendered “rebellion,” which is willful opposition to God and, then of course, sin – breaking His law.
The point is that, on Yom Kippur, the goat designated for Azazel removed from the community ALL of their sins. There is no other ceremony in the Sanctuary that accomplished this. The actual removal occurred when the scapegoat — now bearing the sins of the people — was led away by a man, presumably another priest, appointed for that specific task. In fact, the Hebrew word translated as “suitable or appointed” is derived from the Hebrew word that means “time,” as if to say, this man had was appointed for such a time as this. Of course, there is only one who could remove ALL of our sins and that is the Messiah. Therefore, not only was He typified by the goat that was slain for the sin offering but was also the scapegoat — the one who bore all of our sins upon Himself.
And just as the scapegoat carried the sins of the people into the barren wilderness, never to be seen again, the Messiah has removed the guilt and remembrance of our sins from our lives. Thus the prophet says, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). Personally, I am very glad to know that the sins of my past are, not only forgiven, but are forgotten. No doubt all of us can appreciate that fact, so then, let us give thanks that Messiah was willing to be the scapegoat for our sake. Furthermore, let us express that gratitude by serving Him willingly, humbly and faithfully even as He served the Father on our behalf.
Blessings and Shalom,