Scripture crumbs from Leviticus 16:21-22
Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the Israelites’ wrongdoings and rebellious acts—all their sins. He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness by the man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on it all their wrongdoings into a desolate land, and he will release it there.
In this corporate act of worship once a year, the High Priest makes atonement in the Most Holy Place, where the presence of God dwells above the mercy seat. In addition to the sacrifices made, on the Day of Atonement the High Priest confesses all of the people’s sins while laying his hands on a live goat. This symbolizes the transference of those sins. The goat is then released into the wilderness, carrying the people’s sins away.
In the same manner, our sins were placed upon Jesus and He bore that burden on the cross. Scripture says that when we repent, God separates our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. Our sin is banished into the wilderness, never to return. What freedom is ours for the taking if we would just humble ourselves and stretch our hands and hearts toward Jesus!
Atonement and peace can only be found through repentance.
R – recognize your sin.
Sometimes we know we are in the wrong and other times it has to be brought to our attention. Either way, we must face our sin and recognize it as such.
E – examine your life and heart.
Take an honest look at where you are. Ask God for discernment and help to see what we need to give over to Him.
P – pray and confess.
Talk with God and confess your sin. Don’t try to cover it up or be generic. Get real with God. Ask for His forgiveness.
E – embrace God’s forgiveness.
Accept God’s gift. Bask in the sweetness of His forgiveness and grace. Believe that God is bigger than your sin and take Him at His Word that you are forgiven.
N – never return to the sin.
Repentance is turning away from your sin and to Jesus. A line in the sand has been drawn – you’ve been given a fresh start. Just as the Israelites wouldn’t have formed a search party to find the goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement, we must not pine after or pursue sin from which we have been cleansed.
T – trust and follow God.
Now that you have been given freedom, walk in it. Passionately follow after the One who set you free.
Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord
– Acts 3:19
Jesus, thank you for bearing my sins. I am so grateful that you so generously forgive me, and separate me from that sin. Please help me to live fully in the freedom you have given me, and never take for granted your presence and care.