In the Old Testament, God provided a beautiful way by which the sins of the people can be carried away—literally. Lev. 16:15, “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.” (ESV) On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the high priest would sacrifice a goat as an offering for the sins of the people. He would sprinkle its blood on the altar called the “mercy seat.” That is the first step.
Then he will lay both of his hands on the head of another goat, which is a live goat. He would confess all the people’s sins over that live goat. The goat carried all their sins on itself. Afterward, he must send it away into the wilderness where it could never find its way back (See Lev. 16:15-22). That goat symbolized the guilt and punishment of their sins. It now carried the guilt and punishment of their sins away, where it could never come back again.
Now Christ the Lamb of God carried our sins on Himself on the cross. Heb. 10:11-12, “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (ESV, emphasis added). “Take away” here is from periaireo, literally, “to remove all around, i.e. unveil” (Strong); “to strip off all around” (JFB). The picture here is of a veil that is wrapped or stripped around your body. Periaireo means to remove or unwrap or strip off the veil all around. Thayer defines it as: “to take away altogether or entirely.”
The Bible says that every priest that offers sacrifices in the Old Testament can never strip off or unwrap the guilt of your sin. They can never remove entirely the punishment of your sin.
But Christ not only covers your sin. Christ not only calms the wrath of God against sin. Christ also carries away the guilt of your sin. He unwraps the guilt of your sin that binds you. He strips off the punishment of your sin that ties you up. He removes not just the burden of your sin, but also the guilt and punishment of it, by His death on the cross.
Every sinner must pay for the penalty of breaking the law of God. Yet Christ took our punishment upon Him. As our Substitute, He stood in our place. He carried our sin on the cross. Because He bore our punishment, we no longer bear the penalty.
In Christ alone therefore, we are saved, not just from the penalty of sin, but also from the guilt of it. In Christ alone, we are reconciled to God.
If you have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, and repented of your sins, He will not just cover your sins. He will also calm the wrath of God against your sin. He carries away the guilt of your sin, so that it won’t come back to bother you again!
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