On the Day of Atonement, the one goat's blood cleansed the altar of all the sins, while the azazel took them away. Jesus Christ fulfilled both these roles.
The first goat is a blood sacrifice to cleanse the altar. The second goat—the 'azazel' or 'complete removal'—is led away and freed (not bound by a chain).
On the Day of Atonement, the live goat bears the sins of the nation. Many think this represents Satan as the source of sin, yet Scripture reveals the truth.
In Israel, sins were symbolically placed on the altar throughout the year. On Yom Kippur, one goat's blood cleansed the altar; the second took away the sins.
Some say the scapegoat (azazel) prefigures the Devil, others say it has been fulfilled by Jesus. Tradition teaches one thing; Scripture reveals another.
While the church of God has long taught that the azazel goat of Leviticus 16 represents Satan, this traditional view has no biblical support.
The Day of Atonement is not about Satan, but about the complete cleansing from sins through Christ. The Passover is not a sin offering, but a peace offering.
The goat for azazel (complete removal) bore the sins of the nation out of sight. Jesus Christ likewise had our iniquities laid on Him, and He bore them.
Though Satan influences, the choices an individual make are totally his own, even for those without God's Spirit. We sin when we are drawn away by our own desires.
The Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53, plus the testimony of Peter and the author of Hebrews, show that Jesus fulfilled the azazel goat's role by bearing sin.
Hebrews 10:9 does not say that God's law or the Old Covenant has been done away, but that the system of animal sacrifices has been set aside for now.
The cleansing of Joshua's filthy robes in Zechariah 3 is a future application of the cleansing in Leviticus 16, when Jesus Christ cleanses Israel in the future.
Goats are aggressive, sneaky and disobedient; they are loners, uncooperative, and stingy. The sheep enter God's Kingdom because they show compassion to others.
Receive Biblical truth in your inbox—spam-free! This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving.