The Scapegoat of Yom Kippur

The Scapegoat of Yom Kippur 

According to the Talmud, forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple, God ceased to accept the Temple sacrifices for the sins of the nation. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, so this change occurred around 30 AD, about the same time that Jesus died for the sins of the nation. It is written in Yoma 39b: “During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white.” 

The “crimson-colored strap” is a red string of thread which was tied to the head of the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. The scapegoat was sent out into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement carrying the sins of the nation. Every year the crimson-colored strap on the head of the scapegoat would become white. This was a sign that God had accepted the Temple sacrifices and forgiven the nation their sins. 

The crimson-colored strap ceased to become white because God was no longer forgiving our sins through the Temple sacrifices. God is now forgiving our sins through Jesus, the promised Messiah, who died in order to atone for the sins of the nation. The evidence found in the Talmud corresponds to what we know from the prophecy in Daniel chapter 9, that the Messiah Jesus came at the appointed time to die for our sins. 

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