A FIT MAN
Leviticus 16:5 ¶ And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
Leviticus 16:20 ¶ And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
There is a character within our context about whom I never remember hearing preached. And honestly, I don’t remember reading about him before. But there he is – “a fit man!” He is not said to be a priest. There are no qualifications listed as how one is to be selected as “a fit man.” And due to the Deceiver causing us to think that the scriptures are only about morality and religion we have not been allowed to see the importance of this “fit man.” But recalling how our Master clearly taught us, that every scripture, from every prophet, and every psalmist is exclusively about him, we must seek to find the Lord in this man. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
First of all we find that this Hebrew word, here translated, “fit” is the word translated in Leviticus 26:4 as, “in due season.” Therefore he is a faithful minister who faithfully appears at the proper time, and for the proper purpose. That is so much like God. For He provided our redemption “in due time,” and as a Lamb! Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
But we must not lose sight of there being two goats. One was for the sin offering and was sacrificed; his blood being brought within the vail to make atonement for the holy place. Leviticus 16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
And the very next verse informs us that there can be “no man in the tabernacle of the congregation” at that time. Therefore the Lord Jesus informed both the Jews and his disciples that no one could go with him to make the atonement! John 7:34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
This is clearly seen in the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham on Mount Moriah, which is Jerusalem in the New Testament. Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
And of this event, the Lord Jesus stated that Abraham did “see my day.” John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. For the Holy Spirit revealed to him in the offering of his son Isaac that very day, on that very mount, of God offering Christ as the Lamb of God to make atonement. But as here in our Leviticus account there could be no man in the tabernacle, so Abraham instructed the young men to stay with the mule while he and Isaac went and worshipped. Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. (Take careful note that even though the doctrine of the resurrection was not, at that time hardly known, Abraham believed that although he was to offer Isaac, they would then “come again unto you.” Therefore he “saw” not only the sacrifice of the Son, but also his resurrection!)
And as then the father and son went together, we are given a glimpse as who this “fit man” represents. Genesis 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And the Lord God did provide himself as the sacrifice: not just that ram caught by his horns in the thicket, but in Christ upon the cross of Calvary. 2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
This brings us to the second goat; the scapegoat. The High Priest was to lay both his hands upon this goat’s head, and then send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And here we have the part of the atonement which “no man” is allowed to see! For here we leave the tabernacle and its altar, and the priesthood and all that is therein. Now only this “fit man” can solely be involved in leading the scapegoat out into a wilderness, “unto a land not inhabited.” And then, even he shall let go the goat into the wilderness.”
And is not this the work of the Father? Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Jeremiah 50:20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
“Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they be red as crimson,
They shall be as wool;
He’ll forgive your transgressions,
And remember them no more;
He’ll forgive your transgressions,
And remember them no more;
“Look unto Me, ye people,”
Saith the Lord your God!”
By Fanny Crosby 1820-1915
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Is not this spiritually a “land not inhabited?” Is it not a far distant reasoning that there is anything the Lord God can’t remember? That is why this “fit man” is just seen in this passage of scripture. He is to reflect the mysterious work of God the Father, pictured by Abraham, going alone with the son to the same mountain upon which God the Father went with the Lamb of God in the crucifixion at Calvary. There in the work of the scapegoat he disposed of all our sins in such a manner that even He cannot remember them ever again! Blessed be God!
And what of this man after this? Do we have word of him again? There is just one other verse concerning him. Leviticus 16:26 And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. He is pictured as changing his appearance from his duty as leading the scapegoat. He returns to the presence of the camp after adorning freshly washed clothing!
And after the accomplished atonement the Father, in being the only one to see the atonement, gains a satisfaction that he has heretofore not had! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
And now Eternal God has so recovered his chosen ones that he can dwell among them. Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
He is made to be like us, and we shall be made to be like us! Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And all this was ordained from before the foundation of the world, to be accomplished in Christ Jesus! Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Christ is seen in both the sacrificed goat for the sin offering, and in the scapegoat. Both are dealt with by God the Father. The sacrificed goat shows Christ delivered up by the Father. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
And he is seen in the scapegoat, as God the Father, pictured by “a fit man” leads the one laden with all the sins of all the redeemed out into oblivion, never even to be remembered by God Himself! Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
The returning son spoke of his sins, but the Father makes no mention of them. The elder brother brings them up to the Father again, but the Father just deals in the reason for joy to be experienced in the younger son’s return. Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
We should ever rejoice in such a salvation, provided by such a glorious Saviour, that even the Lord God cannot now remember our sins!
Pastor Gene Breed
February 16, 2022