In Old Testament times, the Day of Atonement came once a year. On this day, the high priest required two goats. One goat was sacrificed, its blood spread in the Holy of Holies for the sins of the people.
The high priest placed his hand on the second goat—called the scapegoat— and conferred all the sins of the people upon the animal. As the people of Israel watched, the goat was led into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
These two goats come together in the work of Christ. Jesus entered the heavenly throne room by His blood, cleansing us of our sins. And then He promised to forgive and “remember [our] sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
Do you see your sins walking off into the wilderness never to be seen again? Some of you have the “yeah, buts” right now.
- Yeah, but what if I commit that awful sin?
- Yeah, but if I can’t stop sinning, eventually He’ll stop forgiving me.
- Yeah, but if there’s no consequence, then what keeps me from increasing my sin?
These questions unintentionally make light of Jesus’ sacrifice. The grace of Jesus’ blood doesn’t lead us into more sin; it gives us an attitude of ever-increasing gratitude.
Yeah, but the Holy Spirit is convicting me of all this sin, Pete.
No, He’s not. Nowhere in Scripture does it say the Holy Spirit convicts believers of their sin. Only convicts are convicted. Instead, Scripture teaches us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world—sinners who still need the blood of Jesus (John 16:8).
So if you’re a believer and you’re feeling convicted about your sin, that’s not the Holy Spirit. That’s the accuser—Satan—accusing you of something that has already been forgiven and forgotten. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … (Romans 8:1).
Jesus, help me to stop living under “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” and instead live by “Thank You, thank You.” Amen.