That person, I believe, has a very limited image of what Christ did for us by his suffering, death and resurrection. This idea is not compatible with what we, Christians, hold most dear. Surely, Christ was powerful enough to do what the Gospels and Paul proclaim that he did by his redemptive act.
We tend to use the word "scapegoat" loosely but what is a scapegoat and where did the idea of a scapegoat originate?
The Jewish ritual for the Day of Atonement is described in Leviticus 13. The word "atonement" includes the idea of expiation for sin and reconciliation with God.
Its root meaning is to conceal or cover the offending object and thus remove the obstacle to reconciliation. Atonement was offered on the Ark of the Covenant.
After elaborate washings and dressing in linen, the high priest entered, only on this special day, the Holy of Holies, the place where the Ark rested. A young bull was offered as a sin offering for the priest and a ram as a burnt offering for the people's sins. Both were slaughtered, offered to God and their blood sprinkled on the altar.
SIN OR SCAPEGOAT
In addition, lots were cast to determine which two young male goats was to be offered to God as a sin offering and which was to become the scapegoat.
The priest lay both hands on the scapegoat's head, symbolically transferring all Israel's sins to the goat. This animal then was sent to the wilderness, carrying its burden to suffer there but was never offered in sacrifice to God.
The idea of expiation was never aimed at God as if, through it, God's anger could be appeased or God's favour cultivated. Sin had to be removed as it was like blocks put in the way of God's goodness. This was achieved through the shedding of blood of the sacrificial animals. Blood signified life and the life-blood of the victim was considered powerful enough to purify the altar and the tabernacle, removing the barriers to God's goodness.
God had made a covenant with Israel. God's part was ever-faithful and loving care for the Israelites who, in return, were to observe the Law God had given them.
FENCE THE LAW
In order to protect the Law, numerous rules were added like a fence around the Law. For example, the Law said to keep the Sabbath holy, so they prescribed how far one could walk on the Sabbath, the exact weight of burdens one could carry, the limit of what one could do, etc.
But given the human propensity to break rules, the people became alienated from God.
These ritual sacrifices were not intended to be substitutions for the sinner in the sense that the victim would bear the punishment of the sinner's sin. Rather, the sacrifice would remove the barrier and restore the sinner's access to God. It didn't do that permanently since the sacrifice had to be repeated over and over.
The New Testament Letter to the Hebrews refers to these animal sacrifices as inadequate.
On the contrary, Jesus' offering of himself as the perfect sacrifice accomplished what the Israelite sacrifices could not do. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, knowingly and willingly, took upon himself the sins of humanity and offered his life once and for all.
Only the perfect sacrifice of the perfect high priest, Jesus, could truly open the way to God for us. It is upon this that our whole hope as Christians rests.
The New Testament often alludes to the provisional nature of Old Testament expiatory rites to emphasize the unique power of Christ's death and resurrection.
The references to the blood of Christ shows how Christ fulfilled what was anticipated in the Old Testament, that is, an expiation through shedding of blood and death leading to the glory of the resurrection. Through this, Christ bestowed on us access to the Father who has pledged an eternal inheritance to all.
Therefore, I believe that anyone who wants to reinstate the need of a scapegoat to atone for sin of others is denying, perhaps unintentionally, the meaning of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
With the prophet Isaiah, we can say: "He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole and by his bruises we are healed" (52.5).