When I think about the word scapegoat, my mind wonders in the direction of an individual taking the fall-the blame for someone else. Maybe it was a business deal that wasn’t profitable, a politician that carried the blame of a political agenda, or a parent weighted down with the burden of a wayward child.
Whatever definition we derive from the word scapegoat or picture we paint in our minds, could it be as simple as an individual absorbing the consequences of another person’s actions?
I recall images of people who are refereed to as a scapegoats in media,in print, and in our daily lives.
That strange word summons stereotypes as being weak, easily taken advantage of, and maybe even gullible.
Darkness preys on individuals that can take the blame, or individuals it can sacrifice to further a dark agenda. Not seeking out a scapegoat to offer its personal shortcomings-sins to be cleansed but one that it can place those misconceptions-wrong doings upon to keep its own throat from being cut. It is the motive of dark thoughts that are wrong. Not that a scapegoat exists but that it is used as a pawn to advance another’s personal agenda.
But then there are others, that do not seek out a scapegoat, someone to take the fall, or carry their grievances, or even go to bat for them, but long to escape their troubled mind. They are lost, not even looking for a way they can remove blemishes-impurities. They need help. A scapegoat, a way out is provided.
Isn’t this the God we serve? Wasn’t He our way out of the wages of sin? Weak is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Jesus. Definitely not gullible or one easily dragged under. Instead, I am overwhelmed by His power, His strength, His endurance, and the meekness He embodied. Throughout His life on earth and especially His cross bearing, He is the picture of mercy, grace, forgiveness, hope.
Jesus was and continues to be a scapegoat.
I am guilty of sin and shame and He continues to take on my sin so that I can live a life of victory, of joy, and of immeasurable grace and mercy.
If we as Christians, are disciples…followers of Christ example, is it far-fetched to believe that in some instances He requires us to be scapegoats? Not for the atonement of sin, He is the only sacrificial lamb. But by guarding our tongue, even our hurts, most definitely our offenses, offering forgiveness, extending a hand, even carrying the responsibility-the brunt of someone else’s choices or mistakes.
We, as Christians, stand with our heads held high, at the firing line, waiting for the bullets when it is our actions under scrutiny, but what about someone else’s actions or lack of actions that are coming under fire? Under attack? How often do we become their scapegoat?
A coach takes the brunt of a terrible play or loss, not condemning his athlete to a life of shame, “I take full responsibility, I should have been a better coach.”
A manager takes responsibility for her team when they come up short of a goal, not condemning the team-labeling them failures, “I should have been a stronger leader and invested more.”
We all know that it is a team effort, but in the face of turmoil, loss, defeat, sin…one takes the blame.
Today, I am that coach, that manager. I am a strong scapegoat, taking one for the team.
I am humbled, holding my shield, and believing for victory in someone else’s life. I can assure you, this is no easy task. One must die to self, die to desire, die to being right, die to ambition, die to pride, die to self-preservation and resurrect the complete opposite: selflessness, humility, service, grace, laying aside ownership, seeking the best for others, and taking on the burden of someone else.
Join me. No. Join Christ. Be strong, powerful, and meek as a scapegoat, so that someone else may live new life, have purpose, and grow in Christ.
Scapegoat: a person or group that is made to bear blame for others.
Made, created to bear the blame. Wow. Jesus was born to die, to bear the blame for you and for me so that we may LIVE.
How much more are we to be LIFE to others?