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Brian Mann | Richlands, North Carolina
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https://catherinelakebaptist.com
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Catherine Lake Baptist Church
2064 Catherine Lake Road
Richlands, North Carolina 28574
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Sent Into the Wilderness to Conquer
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2021
Posted by: Catherine Lake Baptist Church | more..
520+ views | 90+ clicks
By Brian Mann

Leviticus 16:6–10 describes the scapegoat, our Lord Jesus Christ who in the words of the apostle Paul,

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

God’s forgiven people are set free two fold in the atonement. First, they are set free by the bearing of the wrath of God through the Son. Second, they are set free by the full taking away of sin by the Son. The work of the Lord Jesus Christ dealt totally for the sin of God’s people!

Moreover, what is most striking to me at this point of studying this great portion of Scripture is that this is not a propitiation of evil, but a conquering of it. Often there is much speculation around the terms “that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.” Azazel possibly the name of a place or demon, traditionally a scapegoat (ESV footnote). I think we need to understand in the whole of theology that this work on behalf of sinners is not to appease the devil, but to conquer him. This is keeping with the whole of Scripture which teaches such things. For example,

“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,” (John 14:30).

“concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:11).

Satan is the head of sinners and the world’s sinful structures, but God rules over him (Reformation Study Bible note). But the death of Christ, deprives Satan of grounds to accuse and conquer God’s children (Ibid). And the Cross of Jesus Christ, His Work, has now given believers the faith to conquer Satan and his sinful world structures. As it is written,

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”(1 John 5:4–5)

Thus, the coastlands now wait for God’s law (Isaiah 42:4). The children of God are taught to teach their children of God’s mighty acts “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7). Christ’s work on the cross is definitive. He conquers the nations with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:15).

The “wilderness” in the Jewish mind was all where they had failed. It was a result of the foremost failure in the Fall of mankind. All that Israel knew of the wilderness was failure to conquer by faith. But through the work of Jesus Christ, the wilderness is conquered. The goat that is set free into the wilderness did not go out merely to die, but to rise, ascend, and conquer. When Leviticus speaks of sending the one goat out “for Azazel” (some representation of evil and Satan), it is not sending the goat out for him to be devoured, but to willingly die and rise again. It was in the wilderness that Christ conquered the devil with the Word of God rightly used! (Cf. Matthew 4)

It is in the wilderness that he split the rocks (Psalm 78:15). His voice shakes the wilderness (Psalm 29:8). And as his people have gone outside the camp into the wilderness of this world as strangers and pilgrims, they suffer and die, but they will follow in their Savior’s victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil! And all of this for the glory of Christ.

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