The Sin Offering, Part I
There is an elderly gentleman who comes to 7-11 many mornings while I’m working there. He’s a really nice guy, and after seeing me working for several months, he came up and got friendly with me as many people eventually do. They realize I’m not just bum sorting through the garbage, but rather, I’m the guy picking up and taking out the garbage.
I guess the bare feet, dirty clothes, and shaggy beard lead to the initial impression which has to be overcome through repetitive visual experience. But as I tell folks once they get to know me, “I’m not going to wear a suit and tie to take out the trash.”
Anyway, this guy eventually found out that I preach. Probably, he heard one of the people behind the counter holler out, “Good morning Pastor” when I walk in to get trash bags. I think they do this on purpose to see the reaction of the people standing in line, looking at me as if I need to be ejected from the store.
Somehow he figured it out, and since then he has come up to me and hinted at wanting to come by the church some time. Each time he does, I tell him he’s always welcome. I’ve let him know that he would be a spring chicken there – he’s only in his 80’s. I tell him this so he knows it’s not just a biker church or something.
He’s driven by, he knows where it is, and I know he’s looked into the windows… I just know it. He really wants to come by, but I think he’s afraid of something in his past which he thinks will prevent him from being accepted. Maybe he thinks hell’s fire will burn him up when he steps through the door. I just don’t know. Whatever it is, he must be ignorant of God’s grace, and he must have gone astray at some point in his life in a way which he feels is simply beyond that grace.
Text Verse: “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. 3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.” Hebrews 5:1-3
My old friend at 7-11 came up to me the week I typed this sermon, and he said, “I know what you can do for me… When I die and get up to the gates, I’m hoping you will put in a good word for me.” I told him that wouldn’t do any good at all. I said that if he was hoping on me being his advocate, he had his hope in the wrong place. But I told him that Jesus would put in a good word for him if he just received Him.
He backed away, as he always does, and said, “Well, I was really just kidding, you know.” I know he wasn’t. He is truly scared of death and he sees that I am not. He wants someone he can trust to help him with the problem he knows exists. As I sat typing, I also sat praying. He needs Jesus; we all need Jesus.
Everyone of us knows that the disconnect is there. Some shun it, some ignore it, some can’t stop thinking about it, some try to earn their way around it… but we all know it is there. God took care of it for us. It’s so very simple to get it, and yet it takes the greatest act of all to receive it – put aside self and come with empty hands.
But when we do, the sin-debt is paid, and the restoration is available. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. It is all about Jesus, He is our sin-offering, and He is our place of propitiation. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Sin Offering (verse 1 & 2)
Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
These words form the first introductory words since Leviticus 1:1. In other words, there were the words in Leviticus 1:1 which said, “Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying…” Since that time, there has been one continuous proclamation from the Lord. It included the Burnt Offering, the Grain Offering, and the Peace Offering.
Those were all noted in order, and their particular order was given for specific reasons which were all detailed. Each of those offerings was already known to generations past, but they were detailed again in order to given them both legal sanction under the Law of Moses, and to exactingly detail how the offerings were to be made. As we saw, they all pointed in every way to Christ.
The offerings of chapters 4 & 5 are new types of offerings which are being introduced into the Bible, and therefore they are now preceded by these offset introductory words. The first three chapters were probably all spoken at the same time as Moses penned what he was told. Now, an entirely new train of thought is being presented.
It may be that he compiled the first instructions on one day and then these new ones came on the next. Whatever is the case, Moses is in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary where he receives the oracles of God. This is certain based on the words of Exodus 25 –
You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. Exodus 25:21-22
Concerning these instructions, and how they logically follow the previous offerings, Matthew Henry states the following –
“Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance.” Matthew Henry
This chapter, dealing with sin offerings, is most important. Where the previous offerings were voluntary, these are required. They must be made, and they were actually needed to be made before any of the other offerings mentioned so far could be accepted. As there is a rift between God and man because of sin, the sin had to be dealt with in order to restore a propitious relationship between the two. These sin-offerings were intended to do that.
In the atonement of sin, propitiation was restored. Because these sin offerings are mandated, it shows us that the blood of the previous sacrifices was insufficient for the purpose of full atonement. In this, we are taught an immensely important lesson.
This sin-offering looks forward to the cross of Christ Jesus. He is the true and necessary sin-offering for mankind. In Him, sin is atoned for, wrath is appeased, and propitiation is restored. Each offering looks to the cross in one way or another, but there is a logical need for them to come in a certain order. The sin must be dealt with first. Only then can the other offerings have any value. That Christ is our sin-offering is stated many times in the New Testament, such as in Hebrews 10 –
“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11-14
Christ’s cross was a one-time and for-all-time sin-offering for the people of the wold. We are, as it says, “perfected forever” through His cross.
2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
dabber el bene yisrael. These are the exact same words that were said in Leviticus 1:2. They tell us that the instructions given to Moses are to be relayed directly to the people of Israel, and not merely to the priests who will receive the offerings which will be laid out next. This then is a corporate instruction intended for all of the covenant people.
Though the priests were intended to follow through with the instructions as well as maintain the oracles of God, the words were to be known and adhered to by the people as well. In other words, just as the word of God is intended for all people today, it was also intended for all of the people in the past as well.
It is true that there weren’t printing presses, and there wasn’t a copy of the word in every tent, but the word was not to be secreted away from the people. They were to be explained what it said and they were to pay heed to those regulations.
As these words are to the whole congregation, it is to the people who are already in a covenant relationship with God. As this is true, they are the people to whom the promise of Genesis 3:15 will come through. That is the promise that the Seed of the woman will crush the serpent’s head. Because this is so, then all of what they are required to do in the coming regulations merely look forward to Him. As we are told in Hebrews 10 –
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4
In other words, everything given in these sacrifices is actually temporary and ineffective, except as it points to the coming Christ. How people miss this, even to this day, is astonishing.
2 (con’t) ‘If a person sins
nephesh ki tekhata – “If a soul wanders away.” The word for “sin,” khata, means just that. It is to miss or go wrong. If one shoots an arrow at a mark and misses, this is the idea that is given. There is a mark, or standard, which God expects. However, man is prone to miss that mark. When this is the case, a remedy is required.
The words here apply to the entire chapter, not just what will be stated in verse 3. In other words, “If a person sins” is dealing with the priest of verse 3, of the whole congregation in verse 13, of the ruler in verse 22, and any of the common people in verse 27. Everything from verse 3 through verse 34 is included in the words we are reading now.
2 (con’t) unintentionally
This is key to understanding much of what lies ahead. If one sins intentionally, or with a high hand, it calls for punishment. This will be explained later. What is being mandated here is a sacrifice for unintentional sin. However, exactly what it means by saying intentionally or unintentionally will take careful consideration.
The word here for “unintentionally” is shegagah. This is the first of 19 uses of it in the Bible. It signifies a mistake or inadvertent transgression such as through error, ignorance and so on.
Suffice it to say for now that the two classifications certainly refer to the relation of the conscience by the offender towards God. It cannot relate to outward action alone. In other words, if a person kills another person and is unrepentant, it is intentional sin. However, if a person kills another person and is repentant, it is not necessarily intentional. The account of King David and Uriah shows us this about as clearly as any other in Scripture.
Therefore, it logically follows that if a person refuses to bring a sacrifice for his sin which he is aware of, or if he brings a sacrifice with an uncaring conscience, meaning what he is doing is for show and not from the heart, then his sin must be considered intentional. This, for example, was the case with Cain’s offering. The rule must apply in both ways. And Scripture will bear this out. This then explains the otherwise difficult passage found in Hebrews 10:26 –
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…” Hebrews 10:26
Our relationship with God always comes down to a matter of the heart. One who has sinned and has not come through Jesus has no sacrifice which is suitable to atone for what he has done. The 19th Psalm speaks of that which is unintentional and that which is intentional –
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:12 13
2 (con’t) against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them,
Going against the commandments of the Lord include not doing that which should be done, and doing that which should not be done. When the Lord speaks, His word is law. Therefore, when one strays away from what He has spoken, it is a violation of His law. Of this, John Gill states the following –
“The Jewish writers distinguish the commandments of the Lord into affirmative and negative, and make their number to be six hundred and thirteen; two hundred and forty eight are affirmative, according to the number of bones in a man’s body, and three hundred sixty five are negative ones, according to the number of the days of the year; and they observe, it is only the transgression of negative precepts that is here meant, and for which a sin offering was to be brought.” John Gill
Like Matthew Henry’s comments earlier which say something similar, this is not correct. This cannot mean negative commandments only. To leave undone that which should be done may be correctable to some point, but not in all instances. If someone transgresses, they have sinned.
The verse doesn’t delineate between negative and positive. We cannot justify this. It would be to ignore the Lord’s command. Further, a biblical year is 360 days, not 365. Also, there are 270 bones in the body at birth, and after some fusing together, we are left with 206, not 248. The Jewish writers are wrong in all cases.
An offering for sin to restore the peace
I come to petition my God at the burnt altar
Until I do, the enmity will never cease
But knowing He will forgive, in this I will not falter
At the altar, and by the door of the tent
The animal is slain, its life ebbs away
In that exchange, God’s wrath is spent
Harmony is restored, and has come a new day
Innocent and pure, no fault of its own
The death truly touches my heart
But in this exchange, I am clearly shown
That only through death, can there be a new start
Thank God that Another can die in my place
In His death I can again look upon God’s face
II. The Sin of the High Priest (verses 3-12)
3 if the anointed priest sins,
Ha’kohen ha’mashiakh – “the priest, the anointed.” This is the high priest. This term is used only four times in the Bible. Three are in this chapter and one is in chapter 6. The provision is for him if he sins. This immediately tells us something we have already learned in earlier Exodus sermons. It shows that the high priest of the Law of Moses is a fallible person, and that he can never be made perfect by the Law of Moses.
Both are to be clearly understood from the context. Because of this, the truth of Hebrews 10:1 is made clear. The law can make none perfect. It could only anticipate the coming of Christ who would fulfill the law and set it aside in order to bring in a New Covenant in His blood. As Matthew Henry says about this –
“The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance.” Matthew Henry
This sin-offering is for the high priest. Each subsequent sin offering will be a grade lower. It will next be for the congregation as a whole, then the prince of the congregation, and then for the individual. The importance of the position is how these are listed.
3 (con’t) bringing guilt on the people,
When the high priest sinned, the entire nation became guilty because of his sin. He was the representative of the people to God. No person could have his sins removed until the one who mediated for the people had his sins atoned for. Therefore, all who were under his authority became guilty through Him.
The opposite for us is then true. In Christ who bears no guilt, we too are deemed not guilty. God is not counting our sins against us because our perfect Mediator covers us with His perfection.
3 (con’t) then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.
The sin-offering for the high priest is the same as that for sin committed by the entire congregation which is noted in verse 14. The bull thus stands for the people just as the high priest stands for the people. This will become clear in Leviticus 16. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest must sacrifice for his own sins first with a bull. After that, the sins of the congregation are dealt with by using a ram.
As this is so, the bull is typical of Christ. And this is actually pictured in the first sentence of the Bible where the middle of the seven words is spelled with two letters, an aleph and a tav. The letter aleph is represented by a bull, and the tav is represented by a cross. The bull and the tav thus picture Christ and the cross.
The par, or bull, comes from the word parar which carries the meaning of defeat, or make void, although it can be variously translated. The idea of Christ is written all over this. It is He who defeated the devil, making void that which the devil had wrought.
This required bull is to be tamim, or “without blemish.” Again as in all sacrifices it looks to Christ. Only a perfect offering could be considered an acceptable sin-offering. And as before, it looks to Christ – our perfect sin-offering. Each detail is given for this purpose, and with an eye to what is coming in Him.
4 He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord,
As has been seen before, presenting the offering at the door of the tent of meeting actually means that it is being offered at the altar. But it is the altar that then allows symbolic access through the door. The connection between the altar and the doorway is inseparable.
4 (con’t) lay his hand on the bull’s head,
Here we have a man who has sinned laying his hand on a perfect bull, one without blemish. It is also an animal without the ability to reason which implies it is innocent. Each detail looks to Christ. We have the sinner in need of a Savior, and the innocent Man who is the perfect Substitute.
The high priest himself places his hands on the bull, thus he is acknowledging that this is his sacrifice. He is the offender, and it is his offering. He is asking that the offended, meaning God, will accept the bull, which looks forward to Christ, in his place. The implication is that if not accepted, then his life is lost already and would remain lost.
Further, it is implied that this sacrifice is sufficient to accomplish the mission. The Lord has mandated it, and therefore it is suitable to the task. The sin is symbolically transferred from the high priest to the bull. This is known as imputation. The bull is reckoned as receiving his sin, and he is reckoned as receiving the bull’s innocence.
However, unlike what this bull pictures, meaning Christ, any time he sins, another sacrifice must be made. Therefore it can only mean one thing, which is that this sacrifice is but a temporary stay of God’s wrath, anticipating a final, more perfect offering to come.
4 (con’t) and kill the bull before the Lord.
It doesn’t say that the bull could be kept in a pen, separate from all other bulls for the rest of its life. Nor could it be sent to Exile Island to live out its days. As with all such offerings, the Bible says that there can be no atonement for sin without the shedding of blood. And for us, there is no other atonement for sin than that of the shed blood of Christ. He had to die in order for us to be saved.
5 Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting.
Something new is now done with the blood of the bull. The previous sacrifices had the blood splashed around the altar of burnt-offering. Now however, the blood must be brought to the tent of meeting itself. What was sufficient before is not sufficient here.
The reason is because it involves the mediator who stands between the people and the Lord. As he is the one to come into the holy place each day, he would be unqualified to do so unless his sin was dealt with first. His duties would be ineffective, and therefore there would be no forgiveness for the people he represented.
6 The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil of the sanctuary.
With the blood of the bull, he was only to go as far as the veil. His duties as mediator prohibited him from going behind the veil except once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Therefore, for any sin committed during the year, the shed blood was needed as far as his regular duties allowed him to go.
In the Holy Place he was to dip his finger into the blood. The word gives the sense of immersion. In other words, it wasn’t just the tip of the finger, but he immersed the finger into the blood. From there he was to nazah, or sprinkle the blood seven times before the Lord who was behind the paroketh, or veil. Thus it says, “in the face of the veil.”
The word finger, or etsbah, comes from another word, tsebah, which indicates dyed material and thus one gets the idea of grasping something. Therefore, the finger is that which accomplishes a task. The creation is said to be the work of the Lord’s fingers in the 8th Psalm. Thus in this verse, the mercy, the refuge, and the remission of the sins is granted by God, but it is accomplished by the work of the petitioner’s fingers.
This word, nazah, or sprinkle is used now for only the second time. It was first used in Exodus when the oil of ordination was called for in order to be sprinkled on Aaron and his sons. Now it is used for the second time in the atonement process for the high priest.
The reason for the seven sprinklings has met with fanciful interpretation, claiming that this is the number of times that Christ shed His blood during His time leading up to the cross. However, no such analysis is born out by the writers of the gospel. That has to be forced in order to arrive at the number.
He shed blood when He wept, He was pierced in His hands and His feet – do we count that as 1 cumulatively, 2 for the hands and for the feet, or four for the four appendages? He certainly bled when He was whipped, but the record does not say this. He probably bled when the crown of thorns was placed on His head, but the record doesn’t say that. He bled internally through bruising, but that doesn’t qualify for shed blood. In the end, we can only use what is explicit, and doing so leaves nothing which matches what is called for here.
Simply, seven is the number of spiritual perfection, and it is used countless times in Scripture to denote this. There is no reason to go beyond this basic and full explanation. As Christ Jesus is the epitome of spiritual perfection, the sprinkling of the blood is emblematic of this innate perfection which was given for the sins of His people. The seven sprinklings are done to petition the Lord’s mercy and to acknowledge the death of the innocent substitute.
That this is done before the paroketh is of great significance though. As we saw in Exodus, the word paroketh means “veil,” but it comes from the word perek which means “cruelty” or “rigor.” That then comes from an unused root meaning to “break apart” or “fracture.”
On one side is the Lord, on the other side is fallen man. The veil with cherubim woven into it is a picture of the fracture between God and man which occurred at the fall. When Adam sinned, he was cast to the east of Eden where cherubim were placed as guards. With the sin of the high priest, all access to God is lost, even to the prayers of the people. In sprinkling the blood before the veil, it is asking that the mediation would again be allowed so that He would hear the prayers of His people. This continues to be seen in the next verse…
7 And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of meeting;
This verse corresponds somewhat to that of Exodus 29:12 which details the ordination of Aaron and His sons. The ordination made them acceptable to serve as priests, but his sin has now caused that to cease until it is atoned for.
As we saw in Exodus, the altar of incense corresponds to the Ark with its Mercy Seat. Incense signifies the prayers of the people. The incense is the only thing that would waft through the veil and into the Lord’s immediate presence each day. If the sins of the high priest were not atoned for, then the incense placed there would not be considered acceptable to the Lord. Therefore, the altar of incense had to be atoned for as well.
Putting the blood on the horns, or qarnoth, of the altar is symbolic of petitioning for mercy and safe refuge. Horns are a symbol of strength. Just as a horn grows out of the head of an animal, these likewise protrude directly from the altar. They demonstrate the intercessory power of Christ to God.
For the blood to be placed on them signifies the petitioning of mercy because wrath has already been transferred to the bull. In this application, there is a transcendence from the earthly to the heavenly realm.
7 (con’t) and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
The Hebrew here says “all the blood,” but “remaining” must be implied. Any blood left after that which was sprinkled was to be poured out at the base, or “foundation” of the altar. It was not to be splashed on the altar as was to be done with the previous offerings.
The atonement within the Holy Place was sufficient, and so the remainder was to be poured out, allowing it to sink into the ground.
8 He shall take from it all the fat of the bull as the sin offering.
After the application and disposal of the blood, proving the death of the animal, there was now the job of handling the body of the animal. As it is a sin-offering, it could not be wholly burnt on the altar. Therefore, the fat alone was to be removed.
8 (con’t) The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat which is on the entrails,
These words are almost identical to Leviticus 3:3, word for word. The same with the peace-offering, so with the sin-offering.
9 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove,
These words are identical, to the letter, with Leviticus 3:4, with but the addition of a single letter, yod, in the middle of the word translated as “them.”Another mystery which I have no explanation for, but from which I did obtain a large sized headache trying to figure out why the change.
10 as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering.
The same procedure is given for these parts that was given for the peace-offering with one notable difference. In verse 3:5 it said that the peace offering was to be burnt “on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice,” meaning the daily offering. However, this sin-offering would need to precede the daily offering, which could not be considered acceptable until the sin was first dealt with. It would make no sense to offer the daily offering, which would not be accepted because of the mediator’s sin. Whenever the sin was discovered, it had to take priority.
This obviously shows us that no offering to God can be acceptable until our sin is dealt with first. Above all, Christ is our sin-offering. After that, He fulfills every other type in the proper order. Though God does not exist in time, there is a logical order of sacrifices for us who do. This is seen in the many details of the offerings which are carefully laid out for us.
However, as with the parts of the peace offering, the same symbolism is seen in these parts of the sin-offering. They represent the abundance of the very deepest parts of Christ the Man. The fat is the abundance and health of life. The kidneys signify the mind and reasoning. The fat by the loins signifies where one places his confidence. And the fat lobe above the liver represents the emotions and feelings of the person.
These then were to be offered to the Lord because they symbolized His most intimate aspects. They are the very substance of who He is, and so they are returned to God by fire.
11 But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and offal—
This signifies all the rest of the bull which is left. Only the blood and the items of the previous verses are excluded. Even the skin, which was normally given to the administering priest, is included here.
*12 the whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.
The flesh of some sin offerings was acceptable to be eaten by the priests as will later be explained. However, Leviticus 6:30 will show why this is not the case here –
“…no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of meeting, to make atonement in the holy place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned in the fire.” Leviticus 6:30
The disposal of the animal is determined by the use of the blood. Because the blood of the bull was brought into the holy place, the animal must be burned and not consumed. Instead, the bull was to be taken outside of the camp to a clean place and burned.
The sinfulness of the sin, being of the high priest himself, is indicated in the need for the blood to be brought into the holy place, and for the remainder of the animal to be taken outside the camp. The extreme treatment of both shows us the most severe nature of the offense, and so an even greater immensity of the atonement which was provided is also seen.
The acceptance of the bull’s death as a substitute highlights the extremely merciful act of forgiveness granted to the priest. In his cleansing, the body of the bull now bore the sin of the mediator. Because of this, it needed to be purged from the camp entirely. And what a picture of Christ to finish our verses today.
I have already showed that the bull pictures Christ, but this isn’t just me making a dubious connection and then applying it to Him. Rather, the Bible explicitly shows us the connection between the two. In Hebrews 13, we see why these requirements were given here in Leviticus and what they prefigure –
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. Hebrews 13:11-13
What was given to Israel in type and shadow is realized in its fullness in Christ. There is a problem which infects man, and its source is that of the devil himself. The only way to defeat what he did was for Christ to take it away from us. We are told that He was made to be sin for us so that we could then become the righteousness of God in Him. What a bargain God has offered us!
All our misdeeds, all of our errors and failings, and our once-lost state is taken away and nailed to the cross through the death of Jesus Christ. Matthew Henry explains it in his own eloquent way –
“All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed…” Matthew Henry
And the body of sin can be destroyed. Through faith in what Jesus did, it can be completely removed so that fellowship with God is possible once again. That is what Christ did for us by having His own life taken from Him as He suffered outside the camp. Let us go to Him there and be joined to Him through the greatest act of love ever expressed – let us go to Calvary.
Closing Verse: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10
Next Week: Leviticus 4:13-35 What marvelous things are ahead for you… (The Sin-offering, Part II) (6th Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Sin Offering
Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He began relaying
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
‘If a person sins unintentionally
Against any of the commandments of the Lord
If such a thing as this comes to be
In anything which ought not to be done
And does any of them, yes any such one
If the anointed priest sins
Bringing guilt on the people, to them it is pinned
Then let him offer to the Lord for his sin
Which he has sinned
A young bull without blemish as a sin offering
Such shall be his proffering
He shall bring the bull to the door
Of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord
Lay his hand on the bull’s head
And kill the bull before the Lord, according to this word
Then the anointed priest shall take
Some of the bull’s blood, this he shall do
And bring it to the tabernacle of meeting
As I now am instructing you
The priest shall dip his finger
In the blood and sprinkle some of the blood, so it shall be
Seven times before the Lord
In front of the veil of the sanctuary
And the priest shall put some of the blood
This task he shall be completing
On the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord
Which is in the tabernacle of meeting
And he shall the remaining blood pour
Of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering
Which is at the tabernacle of meeting’s door
He shall take from it all the fat
Of the bull as the sin offering, so he shall do
The fat that covers the entrails
And all the fat which is on the entrails too
The two kidneys and the fat
That is on them by the flanks as I behoove
|And the fatty lobe attached to the liver
Above the kidneys, he shall remove
As it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice
Of the peace offering
And the priest shall burn them on the altar
Of the burnt offering, such is the proffering
But the bull’s hide and all its flesh
With its head and legs, its entrails and offal, no doubt
The whole bull he shall carry outside the camp
To a clean place, where the ashes are poured out
And burn it on wood with fire, as you have learned
Where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned
Our Lord Jesus died outside the walls of the city
He died there for the sins of all men on that day
God demonstrated His merciful pity
And in that crucified body, God has opened the way
We now can come home to Him once again
We are reconciled through what He alone has done
May we be willing to share this marvel with all men
That God has given us new life through His Son
Praises to God who has done this most marvelous thing for us!
All praises to God, through our glorious Lord Jesus!
Hallelujah and Amen…