Jentezen Franklin - CrossFit
Leviticus 16:8, "Then Aaron shall cast lots for two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat". I'll stop there for the sake of time and then go over to Verse 21. "And Aaron shall lay hands on the head of the live goat". Everybody say "live goat". "And confess over it the inequities of the children of Israel, and all the transgressions concerning their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man". The King James says, "a fit man", or the translation I was reading says, "suitable". I like the wording of the King James, "a fit man".
The fitness industry is a 27 billion dollar industry. I shared this little information during the fast, but I want to now apply it to a message, so lean in for a moment, but 80% of those who join at the beginning of the new year, a fitness center, will quit. By the second week of February, they'll drop out. Fitness centers sell memberships on the expectation... this is pretty remarkable, that only 18% will continue to use them beyond February. And, if everybody showed up who has memberships, they would not be able to contain the people, but they know, they just know statistically, people get excited about the idea of being fit, but it just doesn't last. Only 1% last a year in a fitness center. Only 1 in 5 will go longer than a month. So you buy it, and you sign up, and you're in, and you're excited for a max of about 3 to 4 weeks. Only 18% will use that fitness membership more than a couple of months, and then they just fall away. It's a good idea, we think to be a fit man, but we lack the discipline.
In this Scripture, something amazing is taking place. There is a search going on for a fit or suitable man for a certain task that is critically, critically important. It means blessing or curse. It means life or death. It means incredible good things happening to families, or bad, bad things happening to families under the old covenant. It's the Day of Atonement. Atonement means to appease, to forgive, to pardon, to purge, to cancel out. "At-one-ment" is how atonement is spelled, that somehow there's something that's gonna be done on this day that will make people who are far from God "at-one-ment" with God again, get God back to man.
So God designed an Old Testament system that is a shadow of something great to come that we celebrate this morning. He said, you are to take two goats. The high priest is to take two goats on the Day of Atonement, and offer as a sin offering. It took two goats. One was not sufficient. It was one offering, but it required two goats, and I'm gonna tell you why. The first goat was called the Lord's goat. Everybody say, "the Lord's goat". The reason it was called the Lord's goat is it was offered as a sacrifice for sin. It had to meet the price of the justice of God, and God had said the soul that sins must die.
Secondly, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin, so the first goat had to die. It had to die. Its blood had to be shed, and so they would kill it, and it represented taking an offering, sin offering, and forgiveness of sin for every sin that was committed. Then there was the second goat, that was called the scapegoat, S-C-A-P-E. We would call it the E-scape, the escape goat, and this is an interesting scene, and I want you to picture it in your mind. The high priest would get with every family, and it would take sometimes weeks and weeks and months leading up to the big Day of Atonement, when the animal, one would die and one would be set free. And what he would do with the living goat is the families would come, one by one, and present themself to the high priest, and they would confess out loud every sin they had committed over the past 12 months - the children, the parents, the grandparents.
You can imagine this confession service, where all of the people were standing around. It produced a certain amount of anxiety and I'm sure embarrassment among the people. Imagine how husbands were looking at wives. You did what? And wives were looking at husbands, and takin' wedding bands off, and children were looking at their parents. You did what? What kind of parents are you? And then, children were confessing out loud while that was happening. Why was that necessary? Let's say this is the goat, the escape goat. The high priest would lay his hands on the head of that goat, transferring everything they were confessing out of their mouth, through his hands, into that goat. That goat was taking every sin that family had committed, and they would stand there until they had completely confessed to him every sin they could think of.
And I'm sure that there were tears, and I'm sure that there were sorrows, and I'm sure that there was weeping. The priest would lay his hands on that goat, transferring the sins into that goat, and then the goat would be taken by a fit man - not just any man, he had to be a fit man, because of the task. The task was very, very... not any man would do. Not any man could handle it. Not any man could just survive the wilderness experience, 'cause he had to take it so far away that it could never find its way back. It would bring a tremendous curse on the people if the goat that all of the sins of the camp had been transferred onto somehow came back. It would be the tragedy of tragedies.
So, catch it. The first goat had to shed its blood and die, and it was used for forgiveness of sin, but the second goat was used for the removal of sin, freedom from sin, the release from sin, separation from sin. It was taken away. Now, I just need to preach that it's not enough to come to Jesus and get your sins forgiven. This is why the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is so powerful, because it took two animals - one had to die, and one had to live. You had to have the blood of the sacrificer and you had to have the life of the liberator to take the sin away. And look at my Jesus. He dies as the sacrificer, but three days later He rises back to life as the liberator and says, I can take you. I can take this out of your life! You don't have to be bound to sin. I'm glad you got forgiveness of sin, but you can be free from addiction, free from condemnation, free from shame and guilt, free from alcoholism!
Somebody's watching me by television, and you've almost wanted to put a gun to your brain because the enemy's told you you can never be free! But, Jesus cannot only forgive your sin, he whom the Son sets free is free indeed! He can liberate you from sin! Somebody give God praise if you believe it's the truth! Let me give you an illustration of what I'm talkin' about. See, I could back up in the parking lot and I could hit your car and mess your car up, and you could say to me, if you were a nice person, Pastor, it's okay. I forgive you. I have a bad dent in my fender, but I forgive you. You don't have to pay for it. You are forgiven. That's what the first goat did. But, the dent is still there. But if there was some way that I could not only be forgiven of it, but somehow the dent could be taken out and taken away, how awesome would that be? This is what Jesus did for you when He died and rose from the grave.
When you get to heaven, they'll open the books and there will be no proof, nothing there but the blood of Jesus that has cleansed you from all your sins, and the proof is gone! The dent is gone! The first goat was to forgive you for it. The second goat was to separate you from it! I'm glad you gave your heart to the Lord, but if you went right back to what you were doin', livin' like you were livin', you have not experienced the Savior in His fullness. When you really get saved, there is separation. There are things that leave your life. If you didn't lose nothin', you didn't get nothin'. If you didn't leave nothin', you didn't get nothin'. You don't get saved to stay in the filth that you were rescued out of. Separation matters!
And so, there's a search, trying to find a fit man who can escort the goat so far into the wilderness, a fit man who nobody... we're never told the name of a fit man, even though this ceremony happened once a year. So, you have to decide if you're gonna be fit or famous. Sometimes you can't be famous and popular and be a fit man. Sometimes you can't be a fit father and be famous with your kids. 'Cause sometimes, you know a higher good and because you know a higher good that their youth and inexperience doesn't know, you have to be willing to be perceived as a bad father, but really you're bein' a good father, because you know the higher good.
And sometimes God is perceived as being a bad God, but He who knows everything sees a higher good He's working, and even when it looks like He's a bad God, He's really a good God, 'cause He knows where everything's gonna end up in the end. And so, they're looking. We've got to find a fit man, not a famous man, not a player. We need a fit man. We need a man who is fit. He won't get any praise. He won't get any honor. His name will never be mentioned, but he will be fit. The word "fit" means suited for the task, proper and decent, capable of surviving the environment, ready and willing to sacrifice morally, mentally, physically sound.
Headed into the wilderness with a goat that carried all the sins of the people, and the whole thing was upon him to get that goat so lost so that it could never, with its instinct, find its way back to where it had been so well taken care of. He's going into a lonely land. He's not gonna be famous, he's gonna be lonely. He's going into a land of thirst, and hunger, and fatigue. It's wearisome. It's a wilderness experience, and God says that's the kind of man that I need. I don't need a famous man. I don't need any man. Any man won't do. I've gotta have some fit men. We need some fit men. We need some fit fathers. We need some fit mothers. We need some fit preachers. We need some fit people who are willing to walk through the wilderness and willing to do things that other people aren't willing to do, because they want to please the Lord.
A man who would find his way back home after he got the goat lost, because if you're not careful, it's possible to lose yourself while you're tryin' to help somebody else. He's got to bear the goat and take it so far away, and while you're tryin' to help everybody else with their stuff, you're losing yourself. A man who could get the sin-bearing goat lost without getting himself lost in the process. How important! The greatest horror of horrors would be if that goat, or that sin, made its way back to that family, to that camp. The chief concern for a fit man was his family, was his children, was his home, was his people. All of the blood of atonement would be wasted if it comes back.
And so many times we ask God for forgiveness of sin, and His shed blood and death has paid for that forgiveness of sin, but then there comes this thing of being filled enough with the Holy Spirit that we get liberated from sin and we put sin a separate way from us. This little thing of just prayin' a prayer and then living any way you want to - folks, that is not Bible salvation. Salvation requires separation from inequity, and wickedness, and evil, and known sin and transgression. The fit man really needed to love God. He had to be trusted. He didn't need to be unfit, meaning not morally and mentally suitable, lacking good judgment, couldn't stand the pressure of a hostile environment.
If you're a fit man, you can get in a hostile environment, but it doesn't change who you are. You can go to the office party and everybody can be doin' whatever they're doin', and you go in there and you do your thing 'cause you need to do it, but it doesn't change who you are. Wherever you go, you're a fit man. You don't want those goats to come back, because if they come back, they're gonna find your children, and it's gonna get greater then, and this bondage is gonna get greater on that house. You don't want that stuff back. Get the goats away from my family was the cry of the fit man. Lot was an unfit man. Lot would not separate himself from Sodom and Gomorrah, even though their sins vexed him. He would not put any distance between he and his family from inequity, and the Bible said he lost his wife and she turned into a pillar of salt, lost his two children. He fell to horrible sexual immorality. All of that because a man was unfit.
And I've been preachin' all of that to get to where I am right now. The tragedy and the truth is this. In the Old Testament, there was never a fit man who was strong enough to keep that goat away from the camp. Every year it would come back, or they would have to do it all over again. They could never completely remove it. All they would do is go through the routine again, and it would come back, and they would send it out, and it would come back, and they would send it out... once a year, once a year, once a year. But something begins to happen.
The Old Testament is a shadow of better things to come, and just as they were searching for a fit man, God the Father sat on the throne and He looked down, and He said the priests can't fix it, the blood of goats and lambs can't fix it. Hebrews said the blood of goats and lambs, it's not possible that it can take away the sins of the people. I need me a fit man. Wonder, can I find an angel that's worthy? Can He find an angel? Can I find Abraham? No, he lied. Can I find David? No, he was an adulterer. Is there anybody in heaven worthy? Is there any fit men?
Then, Jeremiah takes the telescope of prophecy and looks down, and he gives a prophecy. He says, I see somethin' comin' on the earth, and in those days, sin shall be sought for but not found. He said, there's coming a day. There's coming a day when their sins will be taken so far away that it won't keep coming back, and coming back, and cursin' and cursin', but there will be a fit man who will show up on planet Earth and he will forever remove. David got an insight and he said, let me tell you what this fit man comin' is gonna do. He said, as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. If he'd have said North Pole to South Pole, you could measure that, but he said east to west. There's no measuring that. And he said, there's somebody comin'. I don't know His name, I don't know who He is, but there's gonna be such a fit man that He's not just gonna forgive the sin by His death and by His blood, but He's gonna, by His life, His resurrection, take the sin away, and though men might seek for it, it will never be found again!
Guess who I'm preaching about? I'm preaching about your Jesus! He's gonna be fit, and here's the title of that little sermon. I've been so excited to give you this title - "He's Cross Fit"! Oh, get happy over that, you know you... That's my Jesus! His name shall be called Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin - the penalty of sin, the bondage of sin, the addiction of sin! He'll give 'em the release of sin! They'll be new creations! The old things have passed away! That's gone! The old me is over, and I am a new creation because Jesus made me cross fit! I got the fit man in me, and He makes me fit enough to say no to the wrong and yes to the right. Give God a big praise if you believe it!
It took two goats in the Old Testament, but it only took one Lamb in the New Testament. John the Baptist said, "Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world". I'm preaching today a radical gospel. I'm telling you that when you truly get cross fit, you're not satisfied to just ask for forgiveness and let the thing come back, and come back, and come back, but there is something in you, when the fit man fills you with His glory and with His power, it says I want you, Holy Spirit, to take this out of me - take this addiction out of me, take this fear out of me, take this torment out of me, take this suicide spirit out of me, and take it away and I don't ever want it to find me again. And Jesus, you'll never be fit enough with willpower. You'll never be strong enough.
Well, I'm gonna try to be a good person again. You gotta get... you must be born again. You gotta get the fit man in you! Then He'll change you on the inside. There's a king in the Bible by the name of Ahaz, and his father, and his father's father... wicked, wicked, wicked, wicked, wicked. The Bible said that they caused their children to pass through the fire. They burned children to demon gods as human sacrifices. And Ahaz, who was a child sacrifice idol worshipper, had a boy named Hezekiah, and Hezekiah had an encounter with his God. And, just because your father was not a fit man, or your grandfather, or your mother, or your grandmother... just because they never did right, here's the beauty of this thing.
Hezekiah was raised in a family of demon worshippers, witchcraft, sorcery, offering children's blood as sacrifice to demon gods. But Hezekiah said, just because they weren't fit doesn't mean I can't be fit. Just because they couldn't hold their marriages together, and all they had was addiction, and prison, and bondage, and debt, and nobody wins, and nobody's happy. and...I am not under the curse! I am under the blessing, and a blessing starts here and now because I'm cross fit! I surrender to Jesus! I take up my cross and He says, I'll bless you and the curse can't come back to your house! Those goats are gone forever! Shout now if you believe what I'm preaching.