Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners and need a Savior. All the money in the world will not pay the price of sin.
In the Old Testament, the sacrificial system was practiced. Hebrews 9:22 states, “without shedding of blood there is no remission.” But why was blood necessary? We cannot live without blood. Blood had to be shed for forgiveness. We needed a replacement to die in our stead. He came to take away the sins of the world because there was no other way to deal with sin. Jesus was that perfect, unblemished sacrifice. He gave himself so others could live.
The Jews practiced sacrifices regularly until Herod’s temple was destroyed. These sacrifices had to be repeated year after year since they did not provide purification for sin.
Leviticus 16 speaks about both an animal used as a sacrifice and an animal used as a scapegoat. One goat was sacrificed. Aaron would put his hands on the head of the other goat, called the scapegoat, and confess the sins of the nation on it. A suitable man would then take the scapegoat away and lead it outside of the camp and drive it away. To be a real scapegoat, you have to be innocent.
Jesus embodied all of this sacrifice – He took on Himself the sins of the world and died in our stead. Isa. 53 says that the Lord laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. God placed all our sins and all our brokenness and griefs on Jesus. In this way, Jesus is our scapegoat. We are healed by His wounds.
Jesus is here. He is always here when two or three are gathered in His name, but even more, He has promised to be here especially when we break the bread and drink the juice. We are made alive because of His suffering.