The Offerings: The Sin Offering

This continues a series on the Offerings and what they tell us of the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme sacrifice. The Sin Offering is found in Leviticus 4 and speaks of the Lord as the offering to remove our sins both in our initial salvation and for any sins we may commit in failure in our lives as Christians. This appeared in ‘The Bible Handbook’ by Walter Scott. My own notes are given in purple.

The Sin Offering (Leviticus 4)

The various sin offerings being identified with that which was in itself abhorrent to God, were not burnt on the altar, but were wholly consumed "outside the camp;" God thus marking His sense of the terrible character of sin, even when laid on Jesus—His soul's delight—who "suffered without the gate," saying, as the expression of His soul's agony in that awful hour, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" But let it ever be remembered, that even in those sacrifices which represented Jesus made sin for us, and thus only on the cross, officially obnoxious to God, that personally He never was more dear to His God and Father; for the blood (the life) was sprinkled before Jehovah, and in certain cases put upon the horns of the golden altar—worship; and upon the brazen altar - approach; while all the fat was burnt upon the altar, ascending to Jehovah and heaven as a sweet savour.

The Lord with our sins upon Him was forsaken by God, His Father. God could not look upon His Son who was carrying our sins. However, the Person of His Son, having to willingly submitted to God’s will, even unto death remained infinitely valuable and this value is seen most expressly in the three Offerings already considered.

The various grades in the offerings express the various measures of apprehension found amongst God's people in respect to the one sacrifice of Christ If we have measures of apprehension, we have also degrees of sin, and this latter is specially pointed out here. The gravity of sin must be measured by the dignity of the offended One, and the relative position of the offender. First, then, we have the sin of the anointed priest (see Leviticus 4:3‑12); secondly, of the whole congregation (see Leviticus 4:13‑21); thirdly, of the ruler (see Leviticus 4:22‑26) and fourthly, of any of the common people (see Leviticus 4:27‑35)). If the priest, who represented the people before Jehovah, or the congregation, sinned, the blood—the witness of death—was sprinkled seven times (spiritual perfection) before the Lord, and also put upon the horns of the golden altar; this latter use of the blood was in order that the worship and communion of the redeemed congregation might be righteously and holily maintained, or, if lost, restored; but when a prince or ruler, or one of the common people transgressed, the worship of the Lord's host was not necessarily interrupted, and hence, in their case the blood was merely put upon the horns of the brazen altar. The sin of the anointed priest, and the corporate sin of the whole congregation, were the most serious cases of any; on their sin the judgment of God rested more heavily than in the other cases, for in theirs only is it said that the sin offering was to be wholly burned outside the camp. It may be remarked, that so thoroughly is this aspect of the death of Jesus identified with the sin of man, that in the original it is the same word for "sin" and "sin offering."

All these sacrifices and the teachings based thereon have a solemn voice to us, and read us deeply impressive lessons, which may God grave upon our hearts.

The sin offering was concerned with removing the sin of the people, ruler or priest who had sinned. As Christians, we know that the Lord was our sin offering for us as the people, but also as rulers and priests. We are “a kingly priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and this means that in our daily service as Christians the Lord is the sin offering for us and his blood covers every sin we ever commit.

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