If you go back to Leviticus 10 you will see that it is here where we see the story of the death of the two sons of Aaron. This entire chapter is dedicated to the day of atonement which continues to be a central feature of the Jewish religion. It is from this act of atonement where one one goat is slaugthered and the other is set out into the wilderness with the sin of all the people, that we get the term scapegoat. It is the goat which “escapes” into the wilderness which is carrying the sins of all the people. On a yearly basis the priest had to slaughter one and the other he laid his hands upon it and by doing this he laid the sins of the people upon it. No, the goat did nothing wrong, but he still carried their sins.
Does that sound familiar? Who else do we know who had the sins of humanity laid upon him, even though he did nothing wrong? This is why Jesus is called the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This entire concept of atonement originates in these chapters and carries forward into our understanding of Jesus’ salvific work upon the cross. Praise be to God for what God has done for us through His son Jesus Christ.