Judas And The Scapegoat

Q. Thank you for all you do to help us understand scripture more fully. I have a question about Judas. Is there any correlation between the scapegoat in the Old testament and Judas in the NT? Of course, Judas was not innocent like the scapegoat, but the way in which Judas died (Acts 1:18) is so similar in manner to the scapegoat’s death from being pushed off a cliff that it made me ask. Many Christians blame Judas for Jesus death, and although his actions played a part in the final outcome, it was Jesus himself who laid down his life for us. Each of us is responsible for the death of Jesus because of our sin, but human nature just naturally seeks out someone else to blame. Is there any significance in the similarities?

A. The symbolism of the two goats sacrificed on Yom Kippur is revealed in the Lord’s death, not in the death of Judas. As you know, two goats were brought before the High Priest. One was chosen by lot to bear the sins of the people into the wilderness, and the other was presented to the Lord as a sin offering. The Lord was our scapegoat in that although innocent, the sins of mankind were transferred to Him (2 Cor. 5:21). And He was also our sin offering because His death reconciled us to God (Colossians 1:19-20).

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