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Today I am thankful for goats. And forgiveness.

Let me explain.

Earlier this week we were studying the letter G, and “Goat” was our theme for the unit.

The Bible verses for this unit were this:

“When Aaron has finished purifying the Most Holy Place and the Tabernacle and the altar, he must present the live goat. He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.
–Leviticus 16:20-22 (nlt)
(This is part of the description of the rules of sacrifice for the annual
Day of Atonement for the Jewish people in the Old Testament.)
Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow
could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think
how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds
so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit,
Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
— Hebrews 9:13-14 (nlt)
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten
so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep,
have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet
the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
–Isaiah 53:5-6 (nlt)

While reviewing these verses, we had a long talk about the word sin. What it was, why God didn’t like it, and that if people wanted to be with God the sin had to be taken away.

This morning, we were playing a word game, making silly sentences with her flash card words. (Our favorite was “Ann sat in the mud.”) One of the flashcards had the word “sin” on it, and my oldest asked what that word meant. I reminded her of our conversation about the goat that used to be sent in the wilderness carrying the sins of the people far away. I told her that today if we wanted Jesus to take away our sins we needed to say we were sorry and ask for forgiveness, and he would take our sins so far away they can never be found again. She nodded, and we moved on.

This afternoon, when we were getting out of the car back at home from picking up the youngest from preschool, my oldest said to me (in a very, “Oh, by the way” voice): “Mommy, when you went inside and I was waiting in the car? I asked Jesus to take my sins far, far away.”

And she skipped away.

My jaw just dropped. I literally said, “Oh. Okay.”

So today, I am so thankful for goats. And the forgiveness Jesus Christ gives each of us, taking our sins far, far away.

This is my first attempt at a blog challenge, something you might see friends doing on Facebook – “__ days of Giving Thanks.” I thought this was a very fitting challenge to get myself back into a regular habit of blogging again. Feel free to join me, and post your own blog link in the comments below, so we can keep up with each other! Follow others that are participating HERE.

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