Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday - Leviticus 4 - Sin Offerings

There were some distinct differences in the rituals of the sin offering. Like in the burnt offerings, the whole animal was to be destroyed. Like in the peace offerings, the fat, the caul and the kidneys were to be burned on the brazen altar.  However, unlike those kinds of offerings, the rest of the animal was to be burned outside the camp. Not only that, a small part of the blood was supposed to be sprinkled in front of the Tabernacle veil, another part was to be wiped on the horns of the incense altar (except when the sacrifice came from a common Israelite) and the rest was to be poured out around the brazen altar.

Additionally, if the sin was committed by a priest (I Peter 4:17) or by the nation then the animal had to be a young bull. If the sin was committed by a leader of the people then he was to offer a young male goat. If one of the common people sinned then they were supposed to offer a young female goat or lamb and the blood was only placed on the horns of the brazen altar (and poured at the foot of the same altar) ... none of it was taken into the Tabernacle.

The most significant part of this whole process was the promise that their sin would be forgiven. If there had been no promise of forgiveness, what good would all of this do? Of course, we know that the forgiveness was incomplete. The sin sacrifice had to be repeated and the sins were not ultimately taken away (Hebrews 10:4-6). God's mercy was applied but His justice was only temporarily appeased. Only the blood of Christ makes full propitiation for sins and only His blood can cure our moral disease (Hebrews 9:14).  Only Jesus' blood provides for a new birth and a new nature.

One final thing... the bodies of the sin offerings were burned on the outside of the camp (Hebrews 13:11-13). As the personification of sin (II Corinthians 5:21) Jesus was rejected, cast out and relegated to the outside.

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