“What Did I Ever Do to Deserve THIS?”: Life and Death of a Scapegoat

Happy Easter! Our Bible story today looks at Easter from an Old Testament perspective. As we’ve seen before, God had a plan to save us from our sins from the very beginning, and today’s story is like an Easter object lesson that he gave to his people when they were wandering in the wilderness.

How it works:

  • Listen to the story, then think about the questions.
  • Finally, hear what Sophie and Timley have to say about it!

Click on the picture to hear a reading from Leviticus 16:7-10, 15, 20-22; Hebrews 9:28.

  1. Did anything in this story surprise you or remind you of anything?
  2. Why was one goat killed and the other goat sent out into the wilderness? What do you think happened to it?
  3. It is clear from the stories about the Israelites’ rebellion and sin (think about Week 6 and the Golden Bull Calf story) that God thinks of sin as a matter of life and death. Why do you think it is such a serious issue to God?
  4. Do you take sin (anything that goes against God’s will) seriously? Why or why not? Why would Jesus say that it matters?

Now let’s hear from Sophie Topfeather and Timley Mouse. What have they got to say about it?

Timley Mouse (shuddering): I feel sorry for that goat sent out into the wilderness. Remember how hot and dry it was? There wasn’t a seed or crumb for me to eat in miles and miles! That goat doesn’t have a chance.

Sophie Topfeather: I know. You practically starved to death! I wonder who or what Azazel was. One goat was sent into the wilderness “to Azazel.” Do you know, Timley?

Timley: I’ve read two ideas about that. One is that “Azazel” means “sent completely away,” so the people’s sins were sent as far away as possible. The other idea is that he was a fallen angel–someone who led the people into great wickedness.

Sophie: A FALLEN angel?! I thought all angels were good and powerful and could sing beautiful songs to the Lord, like the angels Shep’s ancestors heard sing in Bethlehem!

Timley: I guess not all of them were good. I don’t know very much about it. I think that the idea is the same, though–the idea that God wants to take the things we say and do and think that are wrong as far away from us as possible! So we can have our best chance.

Sophie: Our best chance?

Timley: Remember how we learned that Jesus was also called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us”? Well, God wants to give his people their best chance to be with him forever, because despite all the bad things we do, he really loves us! The Israelites didn’t have Jesus yet, so God gave them other ways to take their sin far, far away.

Sophie (looking wistful): I want to be in heaven surrounded by the good angels, forever! We’re so lucky that Jesus took our sins to the cross with him, for us. He was the perfect “scapegoat,” and he didn’t do anything to deserve his death, either.

Christ is Risen! Happy Easter, everyone!

Bored Kids? If you’re looking for a fun activity during this time of social isolation, dress up like Sophie (a Great Horned Owl) and Timley (a mouse) and record these dialogues! Post it to social media and tag me (@SonjaMarie9 on Twitter), and I’ll add you to a special Pinterest page! Make up your own skits, too, if you like!

Author’s Note: Sophie and Timley are characters from a novel for kids ages 8-12, Sophie’s Quest, by Sonja Anderson. Watch for a brand new, illustrated edition, to be released by Brimstone Fiction! Follow the blog so you don’t miss the release!


About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Bible Stories, Faith, Holidays, Sophie Topfeather, Sophie's Quest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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