Parenting Children Resources

Bible Story Review

May 26 | A Tale of Two Goats (Leviticus 16)

Bible Story Video

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Family Talking Points

Big Truth

God forgives and forgets our sins.

Key Passage

We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.   Hebrews 10:10

Bible Story

In the book of Leviticus God gave his people laws about sacrifices. Some of the sacrifices were offered as thanksgivings to God; other sacrifices were offered to pay for sins against God. One day a year the holiest person in Israel (the high priest) would put on his holy clothes (called garments) and go into the Holy Place of the holy tent to stand before our holy God and make a sacrifice for God’s unholy people.

This special day—called the Day of Atonement—was a holy day, kind of like the holidays of Christmas, Easter, and, especially, Good Friday. The priest’s job that day was to offer a special sacrifice for sin. Now, here’s where the two goats come in. Let’s call one of them Forgive and the other Forget. God is perfect. Absolutely good. Holy. People, even God’s people, are not. We are not! Israel was not! We all sin. There is a big separation between a holy God and unholy people.

So how does a loving God fill that big gap? A sin substitute! That’s how. A substitute teacher is a teacher who takes the place of the regular teacher. A sin substitute is someone or something that takes the penalty our sins deserve. But what or who would be that sin substitute? On the Day of Atonement, the high priest took two goats. He confessed to God the sins of his people and then offered one goat on the altar as a sacrifice for those sins. This means that the goat took the punishment for the people’s sins. That’s Forgive. He died for sins so the people didn’t have to. Forget, the other goat, was taken outside the camp into the wilderness and set free.

He was so far away from Israel’s camp that he would never return there. This goat was a symbol to the people that their sins were forgotten. It was a reminder of just how serious our sin is. Forgive and Forget are just the kind of sin substitute we need because our sin is a big deal. And we should understand that what happened to Forgive and Forget serve as symbols of our own salvation.

Next Week's Lesson

Big People, Little Faith (Numbers 13-14)

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