O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I recently wrote a 5 part blog post (you will have to click on next on the left side of the bottom to see the next part) and I would love to hear your opinions on my assembled thoughts. I basically point out how the fall feast of the Day of Atonement could not have been totally fulfilled at the same time as the spring feast of Passover (the Cross) and that a Preterist sees the Day of Atonement as past. I also bring in the discussion of the "scapegoat". I am new to this site but I didn't see anyone else cover this.
Since no one has commented yet, I do want to explain more about this blog post, it is about because Jews didn't see a fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (because Christians couldn't explain it) Christians decided to explain the fulfillment by making Christ the scapegoat and saying it happened at Passover. If we realize that every type of feast had its anti-type by AD 70 then we realize that Christ wasn't the scapegoat, and that Azazel is a type that needs it's anti-type. Satan is described as being similar to Azazel but as I point out, they aren't the same in any biblical literature. I would love any suggestions on my discussion of greek since I don't read greek, there are a few greek words for you greek readers to call me out on if I am wrong.
Has Preterism changed your view of the Day of Atonement? Or the anti-type of the feasts?
Here is the blog
Honestly, I have not thought about azazel for a while. But it is a worthy investment in one's time to consider what it really meant, and what it may mean for today's believers.
That said, I would urge you to consider that you have made an assumption that isn't necessarily true. Namely that the idea of satan as an invisible spiritual enemy that somehow has superpowers and has to have sins of the people placed upon him (instead of the people who commit them).
Repeatedly throughout the bible God tells us that the one who sins shall die, and he shall die in his sins. To think that an azazel goat is somehow substitutionary for the sins of the people makes the goat almost Christlike in its power to somehow "transfer" sins from those who commit them to another creature. But this is not what the bible teaches. The bible teaches that God alone (who is not a creature) is able to bear sins and take them away.
Christ DOES have this authority, since He alone created all mankind and His life is worth more than all created lives put together. But even still, the creature has to profess faith in this atonement for it to be efficacious for the creature. That was not a requirement on the day of atonement for the sins of the people to be put on the azazel goat.
Additionally, keep in mind that Christ was a lamb, not a goat. Goats are often representative of people. Goats have attitudes of indendent mindedness, whereas sheep are willing to be led. Yet, goats have many similarities to sheep, and are sometimes hard to distinguish from sheep.
So I am coming to believe that the day of ateonement, kept each year, when the sins were placed on the goat, was actually representative of the collective sins of the PEOPLE, and not a superpower hidden spiritual being. The sins of the people were put upon a goat that represented the collective body of the children of Israel. The OTHER goat represented a "sinless" goat, but it remained in the camp and was killed. God was showing Israel that although the sins were sent away, something had to die to satisfy the penalty for them. God was showing the people that, in effect, the live goat had to die because without Christ, we will all (like that goat) likewise perish. God was showing that sin can indeed be taken away, but that no person can bear his own sins and must die in his sins unless they are somehow taken away forever.
It would take the lamb of God to do this, not a goat. I think the people saw this clearly each year, and knew that it would only be a matter time (the next year) before they would all be collectively and individually guilty and in need of their sins being put away. They were reminded yearly that sin could never be put away permanently, and that death was always the penalty for their sins.
Yes Doug, I find the final part about Jesus being the first goat to be the part I dislike the most. I kept it as part of the analysis provided by Dr. Samuel. I think I will scrap it especially after looking at what Englishman has written. Looking at the book of Hebrews and remembering that Jesus is our high priest I know that the bull would not be needed as a sacrifice and the goat also would not be necessary. So I am thinking of changing it to just use Christ as the high priest and the Azazel goat as those deceived and led astray dying in their sins at AD 70.
About the Azazel goat being substitutionary...I didn't mean to imply it was so I need to adjust what I wrote. I think that if one calls the Azazel goat the "scapegoat" and then says that Jesus was the "scapegoat" then one would be using the goat as substitutionary, I guess I was approaching this from the aspect of limited atonement (my one concession from Arminianism). So that's why the Azazel goat would help us understand how those who belonged to satan were destroyed in their sins.
I agree that looking at the day of atonement that we see how it was only good for a year but with Christ it was permanent. So while I still don't see that the crucifixion was both Passover and the Day of Atonement I am starting to believe that there might not need to be a "fulfillment" of the type of Yom Kippur. That with Christ's sacrifice (passover lamb) and his being our high priest, we don't need an anti-type of the Yahweh goat or the bull for the high priest. Christ brings us so close to God with what he did on the cross that we don't need a physical Jerusalem to get close to God the Father. So maybe I should just leave it as focusing on the Azazel goat and Christ the high priest.
Thank you Doug for taking the time to read and offer comments, I need the feedback to improve.
I have been thinking about your point Doug, as it is pretty evident that a lamb is not a goat. I have been listening to the podcasts at Orthorev.net and he makes a similar point. It has actually made me rethink the whole Penal Substitutionary Atonement thing and I think that we can leave the day of atonement out of the cross. I think the cross is about Passover which is why Christ is said to redeem us which is exactly how God rescuing his people out of Egypt is described. God redeemed his people out of egypt, and he did it around the time of the passover lamb.
I like his podcasts 47 & 48 on this. Paul's description of these podcasts are-
"This lecture is the first of two proposed lectures critiquing the sixteenth claim of the Atonement School’s 17-point model of atonement, which states: As the perfect unblemished offering, Christ satisfies God’s wrath against sin once and for all, thereby obviating any further need for blood sacrifice. ... Even respected thinkers within Eastern Orthodoxy espouse this claim. The exponents of this theology fail to reckon with the falsity of the two presuppositions atop which it rests. The first of these false ideas states that all of the Old Testament sacrifices prefigure Christ. In point of fact, only the Passover lamb prefigures Christ. The sacrifices instituted after Israel’s apostasy with the Golden Calf have no bearing on Christ and the New Testament Church whatsoever, given that this “second legislation” was purely ad hoc and punitive. The second of the presuppositions wrongly assumes that Christ, as the Paschal Lamb, represents the fulfilment of the young goat slain as a sin offering on the Day of Atonement. The obvious problem is that a lamb is a young SHEEP; a young goat is a KID. Christ is the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29), not the “Kid of God!”
Thanks for the followup. You sound like a lover of scripture, and I appreciate that in a person. One thing you said that I am not sure I agree with is that "only the passover lamb prefigures Christ" Literally speaking, yes, there is a direct metaphorical connection between the lamb and Christ. That is obvious. Yet, Christ honored and spoke of the feasts and how they pointed to Him. For example, immediately after the resurrection, Jesus had to ascend to heaven and be offerred as a wave offering. He said He could not be touched until that happened, just as the High Priest in the OT could not be touched and had to be "pure" when he waved the two sheafs. Also, Jesus made the point on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:37) "37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"…"
That feast day was a time of feasting, and was a prefigured day of Christ ruling forever. Jesus said that HE was the fulfillment of that day.
Not to mention that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit, which is the mind of Christ, on Pentecost. He appeared and showed His disciples who He really was on that day.
So I do believe that every day of the OT feasts were indicative of Christ, and some were even direct parallels and symbols of Christ, as in the Passover.
The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world! And I am glad He was!
Yes Doug, scripture is a comfort and a joy to me. I guess I didn't define what I was talking about very well, what I meant was that the passover lamb prefigures Christ, not the goats. I agree with you regarding the feasts, they all give us insight into Christ's mission.
I gleaned a lot from your referenced analysis of the Day of Atonement.
What I see in the Day of Atonement is a judicial proceeding.
At the heart of this proceeding is a very significant "laying on of hands". And it was well known in those days that laying on of hands was a necessary and vital element in a judicial proceeding under Mosaic law. This suggests the need to review this particular laying on of hands in order to ascertain its potential significance for the Day of Atonement ceremony.
When an Israelite saw someone in the camp committing a capital crime, that Israelite had a duty to do something about it. Justice must be brought to that lawbreaker through a carefully prescribed judicial procedure.
The charges must be brought to the designated tribunal, and the testimony of an actual eyewitness was necessary in order to support a conviction in harmony with the tribunal's mandatory best-evidence rule. Importantly, if the tribunal entered a verdict of guilty, we see that the eyewitness still had something to do in order to finalize the judgment.
This is found in Lev 24:14: "Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him." And in Deut 17:7: "The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you."
I have noticed that this particular laying on of hands is not a "proxy transfer" of one's own sin, but a public declaration of sin committed by someone else.
When death by stoning was the punishment ordered by that tribunal, then the multiple members of that community would honor that official verdict by gladly going to the place of execution and cast their stones. And with an important requirement. It was not just anyone, but only the eyewitness had the duty and privilege to cast the first stone. So this first stone was the green light for the whole community to join in and complete the praiseworthy execution.
The convicted criminal might put forth one last gasp objection to his execution. He might insist at the tribunal that anyone with "dirty hands" (committed a crime) should not be allowed to execute him. The tribunal agrees. But if the witness is someone who has perfectly clean hands (never committed a crime), then all objections are overcome, and judgment may proceed forthwith.
I have noticed that the Day of Atonement ceremony says nothing about laying on of hands with regard to the the goat that was sacrificed. So it is a very significant distinguishing element that those hands were laid only upon the goat that was not sacrificed.
After that first goat was sacrificed, I cannot find any other sacrifice occurring as a part of the Day of Atonement ceremony. And it is expressly stated that said sacrifice had accomplished the "end" of reconciling. (Lev 16:20). So after the sacrifice of that first goat, when all blood sacrifices were thereby already ended, it would be normal for an attendee at that ceremony to say "there is now no more sacrifice for sin". And since the second goat was still alive (after all blood sacrifices were ended) that same attendee might also be heard to say that there was remaining only a "fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries".
So I am inclined to express the lesson of the two goats in the language of that attendee. Thus, in the first goat I see sin offering for the benefit of His people with judgment in their favor. And in the second goat I see a public unmasking and exposure of wrongdoing by the adversaries of His people, coupled with a righteous and deserving judgment not in their favor. And this latter judgment is fully consistent with the judicial procedure of laying on of hands which is at the heart of this ceremony.
So at this time, when I read of that high priest laying his hands upon that designated goat, I see a foreshadowing of the True and Faithful Witness publicly declaring for His people the unconscionable and heinous crimes of their Adversaries, followed by their banishment to jail and exclusion forever.
(How does this compare with your research?)
I really appreciate your comments, I think I will have to research this more. As I pointed out to Doug I make a concession in my Arminian views to a limited atonement, so it's almost as if I see the remnant having their sins forgiven and the fate of unrighteous being the fate of the Azazel goat. I will have to look up the Strongs # H5564 and research that more.
So do you think when Jesus is saying in the gospels that the murder of the prophets is on that generation, that it's almost like he is sentencing them?
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. 33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation. 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
"The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third."
And in Mathew 27:25 we read-And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
I could not have said it any better myself.
And I am considering that the judgment scene involving the two goats on the Day of Atonement is an update to the earlier judgment scene involving two others: Abel and Cain.
An early writer expressly makes this connection. When speaking of the "blood of sprinkling" that was so central to the Day of Atonement ceremony, he expressly contrasts that blood with the blood of Abel (Heb 12:24).
By this, I understand that writer to see the two-goat ceremony on the Day of Atonement as an update to the judicial scene involving Abel and Cain.
BarAbbas and who he represented was the scape goat .
The Day of Atonement was when The High Priest came out of the Holy of Holies in Heaven when the earthly Temple was destroyed.