Spirit led depth in this morning's study! No way I can duplicate the many levels of conversation, missing on so many enjoyable & good points. But, the following summary will give you all the idea of the awesomeness that Jesus, The Word, is!!
John 1:29-36: Continuing our discussion of what would it mean to the Israelites when John the Baptist says that Jesus is The Lamb of God who takes away (removes/lifts up) the sin of the world: A. PERFECT, SPOTLESS, UNBLEMISHED - A well versed Jew, solid in the Hebrew scripture, would know that the lamb had to be perfect and would know prophecy, so to pound it home we looked at these passages.. (Exodus 12:5, Leviticus 1:1-5, Leviticus 22:19-21, Deuteronomy 15:19-21, Deuteronomy 17:1, and Malachi 1:14). - Since the onlookers would know that The Lamb must be spotless, it makes sense that The Father would have previously proclaimed, in the hearing of John the Baptist, that Jesus was an acceptable sacrifice: Matthew 3:16-17, mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, and Jesus reiterated it in Matthew 12:15-18 - God's audible proclamation at the baptism of Jesus could have been His verification to JB that "the lamb" is acceptable OR that the sacrifice is pleasing because it is required to be spotless & unblemished. It definitely appeared that God was acknowledging His approval in front of John the Baptist. Scripture4all.org gives the original Greek sentence structure, and it adds to the thought that God is confirming Jesus as the perfect acceptable sacrifice. It provides the wording, “The Son, The beloved, in Whom I delight” B. We turned our attention back to JB again: ** As we learned in past weeks, the baptism of Jesus occurred immediately before Jesus was sent into the wilderness by The Holy Spirit. But, this proclamation by John the Baptist (John 1:29) occurred after the wilderness. Remember, in John 1:32-33, John the Baptist is recalling the baptism event to his disciples. It's not in real time, but in the past. THIS CHRONOLOGY IS SOOOOOOO IMPORTANT!!!: ** It's important because John the Baptist has experienced events that lead to his Absolute Certainty that Jesus is "The Lamb of God who will lift the sin of the world". JB's Experiences in review: - JB has witnessed the baptism of Jesus, because he did the baptizing. - He heard The Father's audible approval of Jesus as a pleasing & acceptable "Lamb of God". - JB also witnessed Jesus being immediately led (or carried) into the wilderness (Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1), and then returning (more on that later). This last experience is truly the icing on the cake and led us to such an amazing discovery of The AWESOMENESS of God's Word and how, in His love for us, The Lord did not leave out anything!! ****OK, it all starts with Leviticus 16:3-22: Background: The entire book of Leviticus up to chapter 16, speaks of uncleanliness, sacrificial laws and offerings, up to the Day of Atonement. THIS DAY OF ATONEMENT IS A MIGHTY FORESHADOW OF JESUS, leaving no doubt that Jesus is The Lamb of God who will remove & atone for sin!
SIMILARITIES: 1. Leviticus 16:4- Aaron's role in this verse has similarities to John the Baptizer, as a Levite priest. But, we could also see it as Jesus, being washed (baptized) before presenting Himself to The Father. - In addition, there might be a great similarity in the linen clothes. Linen cloths referenced for this study discussion are Matthew 27:59, Mark 15:46 and John 20:5-9. 2. Leviticus 16:5- just as the two goats were selected from the congregation of Israel, Jesus was selected from the people of Israel. These passages don't outright state this (except for Luke ), but they give the idea of Jesus coming forth from out of the people. (Matthew 3:13-15, Mark 1:9, John 1:45-46, John 6:42, Matthew 13:55-57, Luke 3:23-38). 3. Leviticus 16:7-10: It gets real right here!!! Jesus is both goats! Stay with us....more on that in a bit....... Leviticus 16:8 tells us lots are cast to choose which goat is for a sin offering and which goat will take all the sins upon it as the scapegoat. **TWO GOATS, BOTH JESUS: Goat 1- blood paid Goat 2- sin laid Goat 1: This is the lot that fell for The Lord so goat 1 becomes the blood sin offering. What happens to goat 1? See Leviticus 16:15-19. Goat 1's blood will be shed as a sin offering for all the people so that what is Holy can dwell amongst unclean. "Just like Christ In us". Goat 2: This is the lot that fell for Azazel. What happens to goat 2? See Leviticus 16:20-22. Goat 2 took on all the sin of the people and was sent into the wilderness to remove the sins far off. Goat 1- blood paid Goat 2- Sin laid ***But, notice the order of the atonement sacrifice in Leviticus 16. First came the goat that was The Lord's. That goat paid for the sin. Then goat 2 removes the sin to a remote place, demonstrating the result of the first goat's shed blood. In other words, forgiveness through the blood led to removal of sin. -This recollection of Leviticus 16 could be the biggest reason John the Baptist could proclaim that He is "The Lamb of God who will remove the sin of the world". God does not miss any detail in His Amazing Word!!!
It gets WAY better....... So, what is the significance of the lot falling to Azazel? The significance is that we see Jesus all through it. Azazel has many traditional and literary meanings that all foreshadow Christ: GEOGRAPHICAL: One way is to view Azazel in geographical terms. In this way Azazel is a remote area with rugged mountain cliffs, also described as a wilderness. So, goat 2 was sent into the wilderness. So many similarities to Jesus here........was great discussion! - When John the Baptist saw Jesus led to the wilderness immediately after baptism, he must've thought of goat 2 in Leviticus 16. LITERALLY: Rabbinic Judaism teaches the Hebrew meaning of Azazel as "for the complete removal". This is where the term scapegoat evolved and KJV/NIV uses scapegoat instead of Azazel. So, goat 2 completely removed the sin by taking it all on himself. Jesus Christ is goat 2, the scapegoat (2 Corinthians 5:21), who completely removed our sin (Psalm 103:12) TRADITIONALLY: Some traditional teaching of all the religions throughout the years teach that Azazel is a fallen angel or demon. Some teach that Azazel was the devil. The book of Enoch refers to Azazel as a fallen angel. So, it could be interpreted that goat 2 (the scapegoat) was led to the wilderness (Azazel) to face Azazel, the fallen angel, or some would say the devil. - Putting all meanings of Azazel together, we see the foreshadow to Jesus again. John the Baptist must've seen it too as he witnesses Jesus, who would become Israel's scapegoat (Azazel ), sent into the wilderness (Azazel), to be tempted by satan (Azazel). **All 3 understandings of Azazel point to Jesus. BUT.......HERE IS THE ULTIMATE GOOSEBUMP TIE IN............: **The Lord synchronized New Testament events perfectly to show The Levite prophet, John the Baptist, that Jesus perfectly fulfilled all The Atonement requirements in Leviticus 16:3-22: 1. At the baptism, Jesus was verified as the sin goat, or goat 1, the blood offering. (Leviticus 16:9). HOW? John the Baptist was told to look for it - Luke 3:1-3 and John 1:33..see summary from July 3 to refresh your memory. 2. Also at the baptism, Jesus was confirmed as an acceptable sacrifice chosen by God (Leviticus 16:8-9). HOW? God said so in Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-22. 3. Luke, divinely inspired by The Holy Spirit, verifies that Jesus was chosen from the congregation of Israel (Leviticus 16:5). HOW? Luke was inspired to write the genealogy, squeezing it in (NOT BY CHANCE) after the baptism and before the wilderness......Luke 3:23-38. 4. The wilderness verifies Jesus as the scapegoat, or goat 2 in Leviticus 16:10. HOW? Jesus was sent into the wilderness in a perfect chronology of events, matching Leviticus 16. See Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-2. ** Look what happens if we expand the passage from Luke!! When we read Luke 3:1, all the way to Luke 4:2, we see the flawless nature of The Word of God!! Luke includes, for the Jewish, every requirement of the atoning sacrifice found in Leviticus 16:3-22. Luke starts with Jesus as Lamb of God, then includes the baptism, then includes the audible voice of God, then concludes with the Genealogy and the wilderness.
***All 4 requirements listed above, are specifically placed in order in Luke's gospel!!! THIS STUFF IS SO GOOD IT HURTS THE BRAIN!!!
APPLICATION - It was added how we, if born again, no longer have shame of any kind. Our sin was paid for and was REMOVED. Therefore we no longer have condemnation or shame. We embrace conviction and Spirit led guilt, but condemnation was crushed by The Cross because sin was removed and the condemner was crushed.
- It was also stated that everyday is a day of Atonement for us. In Leviticus 16, they celebrated Day of Atonement once per year, but we have Atonement every single day! Jesus was THE LAST High Priest...no more goat 1 or goat 2 necessary. Do you live with continual thankfulness and motivation from Atonement??
ONE FINAL GREAT THOUGHT THAT WAS ADDED THIS MORNING: * Jesus was both goats, but so much of a better version!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ** Jesus was the scapegoat, but Jesus returned from Azazel! Luke 4:13-15 and Matthew 4:11. ***Jesus was the sin goat, but Jesus EVEN RETURNED FROM THIS! Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:5-7, and Luke 24:5-8. JESUS WAS THE LAST AND PERFECT SACRIFICE BECAUSE HE WAS BOTH LEVITICUS GOATS. HE TOOK ON ALL OUR SIN AND SHED HIS BLOOD TO MAKE THE LAST PAYMENT EVER NEEDED. THEN HE GOT UP FROM THE GRAVE. No more sin offering and no more Azazel!! NEXT WEEK: John 1:35-40.........HE SPEAKS!!!!! AND WHAT A WHOPPER OF A QUESTION HE ASKS. This will keep us busy a few weeks. We look at Jesus's first recorded words in all 4 gospels, and discuss their relevance....bring them if you can find them. We look at the response of JB's disciples in John 1:40-42. Then we will begin our study of "What are you seeking?" by looking into the Old Testament for some words about seeking God - 1 Chronicles 16:10-11, 28:9, Psalm 14:2-3, Psalm 34:9-11, Psalm 105:3-4 and Psalm 119:1-3