Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. It wasn't really that Charlie Brown was such a big loser. Why is everybody always picking on Charlie Brown?
The reason that they're picking on Charlie Brown is because Charlie Brown agrees with them. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Moses, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It'll be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
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That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? On the Day of Atonement, there were two goats. That's the first part of the good news. And the second part is, you're no Charlie Brown.
I will explain. We're in Leviticus chapter 16. This is as we're drawing near to the end of a long journey with Moses. And I hope that you have, as I have, seen Jesus on every page of the story of Moses and the amazing narrative of the exodus of God's people out of slavery and into freedom.
We're finding ourselves in this story and finding the shadows of Christ and the gospel. And now we've moved into some of the ritual law that is given through Moses to the people. And today we're going to look specifically at one of the most important days in Israel, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and see what was supposed to happen on the Day of Atonement in the middle of the fall feasts of Israel. This is Leviticus chapter 16 verse 5. The Lord is speaking to Moses about what Aaron, the high priest, is to do. Verse 5, And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel. Let me pause here and say scholars aren't really sure the meaning of Azazel. It could be just referring to the wilderness. Some have speculated that it was a name of a wilderness demon.
We're not totally sure, but I think it will all become clear as the whole impact of what's happening with that goat. Then at verse 15, 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. Let's pause here just to say the mercy seat is the lid of the ark of the covenant. And the ark of the covenant, the holiest of objects in Israel was positioned behind the veil in the tabernacle.
Their tent of meeting was a portable tabernacle. And there was a veil. And so there was a holy place. And then behind this veil the holy of holies. And there resided the ark of the covenant. And on the cover of this was a lid.
And it had these golden cherubim that were facing one another. And so what was happening here is on the Day of Atonement for one of these goats, Aaron is to take some of the blood and go back and sprinkle it there on the mercy seat on that lid of the cover as a sacrifice on behalf of the sins of the people. And then we jump to verse 20 to find out about this other goat. And when he had made an end of atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote place and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.
I want to talk to you about escape for the scapegoat. Hello in there. Those are the words of Charlie Brown echoing into the empty mailbox at Christmas time. Rats, nobody sent me a Christmas card today. I almost wish there weren't a holiday season, Charlie Brown says.
I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it? Charlie Brown says to Linus, I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. I just don't understand Christmas, I guess, Charlie Brown says. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy.
I always end up feeling depressed. And Linus responds, Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest.
But Lucy has a solution for Charlie Brown's depression. She asks him to be the director of the Children's Christmas Nativity Play. Attention everyone, the director will be here any minute. That's Lucy shouting. Director?
What director? says Violet. Charlie Brown, said Lucy.
And Violet moaned. Oh no, we're doomed. This will be the worst play ever. When Charlie Brown finally is given an assignment to go and get a tree, at least he could go pick out a nice tree for their big play. And he comes back with a little spindly little pathetic little tree and puts it onto the piano. They all shrieked, what kind of tree is that? You're supposed to get a good tree. Can't you tell a good tree from a poor tree? You're hopeless Charlie Brown.
Completely hopeless. And everyone laughs at Charlie Brown and his tiny little tree. One of the themes of Charlie Brown over the years was Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that Lucy was holding. And every single year she'd scoop up the ball and he'd try to kick and he'd go flying up to the air and fall on his rump. And every year just going, maybe this year will be the year he gets to kick that ball. In fact, as he was drawing towards the close for the last comic strip, everybody was asking Charles Schultz, is Charlie Brown going to be allowed to kick that football? And he said, oh no, that'd be a terrible disservice to let him kick the football now.
But as he was signing his last comic strip, Charles Schultz said, poor kid, never did get to kick that football. Why does Charlie Brown keep on trying to kick the football even though it keeps getting scooped away from him and he gets humiliated again? It's because Charlie Brown summed up his life by saying, I'm not a poor loser. I'm a good loser. I'm so good at it.
I lose all the time. And the irony of all this is that if you're a lover of peanuts like I am, what you realize is that Charlie Brown is not the dumbest kid on the block. In fact, he's got a kind of a little bit of intelligence and giftedness to him that others don't have.
He is got a special sensitivity. And in some ways you realize that Charlie Brown was the only one who really got it when he got that little tree instead of the big commercial deal. So it wasn't really that Charlie Brown was such a big loser. Why is everybody always picking on Charlie Brown?
The reason that they're picking on Charlie Brown is because Charlie Brown agrees with them. Could have been anybody. Could have been any kid in the neighborhood. Could have been anyone that became the scapegoat.
Webster defines it simply as a person who is unfairly blamed for something that others have done. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything?
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Neil Burton, a psychiatrist, has a longer explanation saying the ego defense of displacement plays a role in scapegoating in which uncomfortable feelings such as anger and guilt are displaced and projected onto another, often more vulnerable person or group. The scapegoated person is then persecuted, providing the person doing the scapegoating not only with a conduit for his uncomfortable feelings, but also with the pleasurable feelings of piety and self-righteous indignation. The creation of a villain necessarily implies that of a hero even if both are purely fictional.
So psychologists, counselors, others have recognized that in our homes, in our schools, and in our societies, we tend to have this phenomenon of scapegoating. But its origin is much, much older than any of our modern awareness. It goes back to Leviticus 16. There were on the Day of Atonement two goats. The entire narrative of Moses revolves around the exit of the people out of Egypt and into freedom. It is a story of a people who were slaves and could not free themselves except for God to intervene.
And the way that God intervened ultimately was through the Passover in which there was the blood of an innocent lamb posted over the doorpost of the Hebrew homes so that when the destroyer moved through and saw the blood, there would be no destruction that would come to that household. And so it was that the people who were slaves are made free because the blood of an innocent lamb. And this sweeping narrative is not only the key to the Old Testament but it is the key pre-figuring of the gospel itself. That Christ comes as our Passover lamb and is by His blood that we're not set free from a literal slavery but a figurative or a spiritual slavery, our bondage to our sin, our selfishness, our fear of death. And we are set free because of the forgiving cleansing act that comes to the sacrifice of Jesus.
So that narrative is familiar to most Christians because it is the story of Christianity. But there was also on the Day of Atonement this other goat who was kept alive and they laid their hands upon this scapegoat and sent it out into the wilderness not for it to be dead but for it to be a living carrier of their shame. And the people of God when they had agreed to all the law that God gave through Moses and they said we'll do everything that you have told us to do.
They couldn't keep the law for more than a few days and in fact when Moses goes up to the mountaintop to meet with God and he's gone longer than they like they are making soon a golden calf to worship. And so God seeing that the people could not keep the law He gave them an amazing gift. It was a gift of a ritual system at the tabernacle of making sacrifices as temporary payment and temporary covering of their sin. And yet God also on this Day of Atonement gave them this other amazing gift and that was this scapegoat that would carry out their shame into the wilderness. So in other words on the Day of Atonement God is in bold face is highlighting His answer for the two biggest human problems guilt and shame. Let me see if I can just make this as clear as I possibly can of what was going on in Israel and how this prefigures the gospel for us.
God brought these people out gave them law but the people were disobedient and couldn't keep the law. And so as part of His gift to them the Lord gave them seven feasts throughout the year which would cause them to remember and celebrate God and what He'd done for them. So in the spring you'd have Passover and unleavened bread and firstfruits all clumped together and then 50 days later you'd have the Feast of Weeks which we would know as Pentecost which comes from the word 50, 50 days after the Passover feast. And then in the fall there'd be another series of three feasts that are together at harvest time and after this Feast of Trumpets and before they would have the Feast of Booths where they would live in these little leafy huts. In the midst of that the fall festivals was this Day of Atonement.
It was regarded as the holiest day of the year in Israel. And so on this day there would be these two goats that would be the answer for the two biggest problems that they had and that is guilt and shame. Let me see if I can explain the difference between guilt and shame. If I had committed a heinous deed and I was guilty of this I would also be ashamed of this. It's like saying if I had committed some terrible deed I would recognize that I was guilty and worthy of punishment. I was on the wrong side of justice and I deserve to be punished.
But I'd also be haunted by the awareness that I'm the kind of person that could do such a thing. So guilt says I made a horrible mistake but shame says I am a horrible mistake. Guilt asks how can the charges against me be removed?
But shame asks how can I measure up so that I will be accepted? Imagine I stole a minor amount of money, a thousand dollars, and I peered before a judge and the judge said if you will pay it back with 10% interest then the charges will be dropped. Well what I would do is I would quickly pay back the thousand dollars plus the hundred dollars interest so that the charges would be dropped. And if I made that payment to the court and the judge put down the gavel and said all charges are hereby dropped you are free to go then I would be in a I was guilty but then I was declared not guilty because the debt had been paid. But if I walked out of that courtroom came home and walked into my family and I saw the look in their eyes and I knew how much I disappointed them and how my children had never thought of me as a thief and I thought about facing the church and telling everybody that I'd stolen a thousand dollars all of that even though I was no longer guilty in the eyes of the court would still be haunting my soul wouldn't it? I'd feel something even worse probably than the guilt and that would be the shame.
Wondering whether I'd really be accepted in the same way ever again. So the answer to my first problem my guilt would be answered by paying the debt but the answer to the second problem my shame would not be answered by paying the debt. No amount of paying the debt would take away my shame would it?
There's only one way that the shame would be taken away and that would be by my family accepting me and loving me anyway. So in other words guilt can be taken care of if someone were to pay the appropriate debt and the penalty were paid but shame only is healed when there is a radical acceptance that takes place and the soul becomes convinced that despite the fact that I've made these terrible mistakes committed these crimes that I am ultimately loved. But let's imagine that I stole not a thousand dollars but I had been gotten involved in some kind of huge embezzlement scheme and defrauded people out of their money and so I'd stole 500 million dollars in this scam and I was caught. If the judge said if you pay back the 500 million dollars plus 50 million dollars in interest then the charges will be dropped. I'd be in a real predicament because I'd already let's imagine lost the 500 million dollars in my poor financial scheme and I didn't have the 50 million dollars to be able to pay the interest anyway and so there I am in a huge predicament that there's been an offer made that would declare the charges dropped and yet the debt was too big there's no way that I could pay it. On the one hand I'd have a glimmer of hope that maybe there's a way out of this status of being so guilty if somebody could pay this debt but on the other hand I'd be greatly saddened and totally desperate and a little bit hopeless because I know that I didn't know somebody that could pay the 550 million. That would be a guilt that I didn't have an answer for because the debt was too big and the shame that would accompany the magnitude of that would be so great that it would be hard to ever imagine being fully accepted by others. So then I'd have two insurmountable problems a debt that was too big to pay and so my guilt could not be resolved and a sense of shame that I couldn't be at peace with myself for doing such a horrible thing and hurting so many people.
This is in the natural what our situation is in the spiritual. We are in a huge debt because of our sin. This is offensive to the modern mindset because it seems that religion has always talked about sin and people going to hell and people in the world in the world are just tired of hearing all of that. They look at religious people that aren't any more righteous than they are and so so many people have given up on church because of this.
It's offensive also to people because the offense they say that we've committed isn't that bad. Why should we be have such a huge sense of debt over our sin? I'm not that bad of a person and so let me see if I could give you in case you've ever had this thought process or you're talking to someone else who has this thought process. Let me just give you an explanation that flows like this. Why do we have spiritually speaking a debt?
It's because we live in a world that's based on justice. Alan Wright and today's teaching escape for the scapegoat. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book The Power to Bless which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales but this month Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries.
Call us at 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 or come to our website PastorAlan.org. Alan I don't know about you but uh some other folks may be listening right now and saying okay run that by me again escape for the scapegoat and they're working that out in their brain right now this is a good message this is a good takeaway uh even right here if we place this bookmark. There were two goats on the day of atonement and one is the blood sacrifice we understand about the the blood of the lamb but the scapegoat is the one who was designed to carry the shame of the people and they lay hands and confess all their wickedness over the scapegoat and send it out in the wilderness to just bear their shame and what we're learning about is that there is something that we have to deal with called guilt and the blood of Jesus pays for that but we also have shame and that's where we're going to go with this message is God's given us a gift to deal with our shame and so what Jesus has done for us is both for our guilt and for our shame both for the actual debt that we owed that has been paid but also what to do with those feelings of not measuring up those feelings of being unclean those feelings of being isolated and the things that cause us to lose our boundaries and all of that well we're we're learning about that it's a it's a message about the lifting of our shame. Those who have read our free yourself for yourself materials or been part of that or been in one of our conferences at some point you're going to hear me talk about boundaries about healthy boundaries about not being a scapegoat and right here in the middle of the incredible story of Moses we learn about the scapegoat on the day of atonement and it's really important Daniel to identify in the first place is somebody making a scapegoat out of you but also the question is are you prone to try to scapegoat others and we're going to find out the answer in the gospel of Christ who ultimately is both the lamb whose blood was shed but also the scapegoat who takes away our shame powerful stuff today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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