The first five books of the Old Testament are in order. The Pentateuch, as they are
called, are the writings of Moses. Genesis is the book of beginnings; it records the fall of man. Exodus
is the book of deliverance from Egypt and records the redemption of man. Leviticus focuses on holiness and reminds
us of the worship of man. Numbers is a book about the land; we are told about the walk of man. Deuteronomy
literally means second law, so the emphasis is upon the work of man. Let’s review the order again. Man begins
in the garden of Eden with a fall into sin. Now he needs a Saviour and redemption from that sin. After his redemption man
needs to learn to worship, to walk and to work. Worship (the Book of Leviticus) must proceed the Christian walk (Numbers).
And walking correctly must proceed the work of the saint (Deuteronomy).
Leviticus is a book about worship. We do not work for Christ, because we do not walk
with Christ. We do not walk with Christ, because we do not worship with Christ. Leviticus will teach us how to worship the
Lord. In the first seven chapters of Leviticus we find 5 offerings: the burnt offering, the meat (or meal) offering, the peace
offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. Once again each of these offerings is listed in order. The burnt offering
will typify consecration or general submission to the will of God. The meat offering will typify commitment
or specific submission to the will of God. The peace offering will typify communion and will emphasize thanksgiving.
The sin offering is a picture of confession. And the trespass offering will picture cleansing. So there we have
the order of the offerings: consecration, commitment, communion, confession, and cleansing. We do not have cleansing from
sin, because we have not learned to confess our sin. We do not know how to confess our sin, because we are not in communion
with Christ in order to know what our sin is. We are not in communion, because we have not committed ourselves to him and
his will. And we have not committed ourselves to Christ, because we refuse to be consecrated and set apart for his service.
I. THE BURNT OFFERING - Consecration, Leviticus 1:1-17.
The burnt offering is a picture of total consecration. The fact that the offering was
burnt, i.e., totally consumed teaches us that it was an offering of consecration. Will you be totally consecrated to God?
Will you give God the submission of your will? You will not know his specific will in matters of detail until you submit to
his will generally. Are you a consecrated Christian? The Apostle Paul spoke it will in Romans 12:1-2. I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your
reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The presentation of the body must come before the proving
of his will. Are you presented so that you can be proven?
The burnt offering was introduced early into the religious life of the nation of Israel.
This offering was to be made every morning and every evening. It was to be a continual offering and the offering was to burn
all night (Exo 29:38-42; Num 28:3-8; Lev 6:9). As you recall the burnt offering was totally consumed, speaking to us of a
total consecration of the life to the Lord. Since it is a continual, repeated offering, it speaks to us of the repetition
of offering our lives in total consecration to the service of the Lord.
In the instructions for making a burnt offering there are three types of animals that
could be used: the bullock from the herd, the lamb or goat from the flock, and the turtle-dove or pigeon from among the fowl.
As the offerings are all a picture of Christ, each of these animals will typify Christ, who in turn is a picture or example
A. The BULLOCK - a SERVANT
The first animal that can be used in the burnt offering is the bullock or ox from the
herd. The bullock or ox is a beast of burden. He is the lowly servant. Christ was certainly the servant of Jehovah who submitted
to the will of God and went to the cross to die the sinners death. His whole life is filled with service. The Gospel writer,
Mark, told us that Jesus came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. The philosophy of the world is to be ministered
unto. But the height of perfection is service. A business that is service oriented will go far in pleasing its clientele.
Christ is our example. Submission to the will of God entails service. Service requires
a servant’s heart. Paul told us to, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form
of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross (Phil 2:5-8). We are not consecrated to God because we do not want to serve. Everybody wants
to be boss. Everyone wants to do his own thing. No one wants to be told what to do. We must offer ourselves on the altar of
burnt sacrifice if we would be true worshippers of God.
B. The LAMB or GOAT - a SUBSTITUTE
The second animal that can be used in the burnt offering is the lamb or goat, something
from the flock. The Lord Jesus Christ, of course, is the Lamb of God (John 1:29; Rev 5:6). He was the perfect sacrifice. The
lamb or goat chosen from the flock was to be a male without blemish. The Lord Jesus Christ had not one blemish in his body.
He was without sin, and so he could not have any flaws.
From the very beginning of the sacrificial system the lamb was used as a substitute.
When Cain failed to bring the prescribed offering God gave him another opportunity and provided a sin offering at the door
if he would do right (Gen 4:7). this probably means that God had a lamb lying at Cain’s door ready to be offered in
his stead if he would accept it. When God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac upon the altar of sacrifice he stopped him just
before he slew his son and provided a substitute in the ram caught in the thicket. Jesus Christ became the ultimate substitute
for you and me. Rightly we should have died for our own sin, but Jesus took our place. He became our substitute. He died for
you. He was the perfect substitute, hence, He is THE Lamb of God. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isa 53:4-5).
In the OT sacrificial system a goat was used on the Day of Atonement to represent the
removal of the sin. Two goats were chosen; the one was slain and the other became a substitute. The priest would place his
hands on the head of the live goat as an act of identification. The live goat in effect took the sins of the nation and was
released into the wilderness, representing the removal of the sins. In one act, Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again
to carry our sins as far away as the east is from the west. Just like the goat was a substitute for the people on the Day
of Atonement, so the Lord Jesus Christ was our substitute on the day that he died on Calvary’s cross.
We cannot be a substitute for another. Jesus is the only one that can take their sin
as the sin bearer. But we can be a reconciler of men to Christ. We can stand in his place and warn them of a coming hell.
We are indeed Christ’s substitutes as he has gone back to heaven. He gave us a great commission to win the world for
Christ - to preach the gospel in all the world. How are you substituting for Christ today? A substitute teacher stands in
the place of the regular teacher. She has all the assignments and authority of the regular teacher. Jesus said, All authority
is given unto me ... Go ye therefore ... (Mat 28:18-19). He expects us to go in his power, strength, ability, and authority
to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world. How much substituting have you done this week? You see, we are not so consecrated,
C. The TURTLE-DOVE or PIGEON - a SACRIFICE
The third animal that could be used in the burnt sacrifice was the turtle-dove or pigeon.
We are told that this was the animal for the poor people. If one could not afford to buy or own cattle or sheep, he could
bring the turtle-dove or pigeon. The larger offering was not for larger sins. You see, Jesus Christ died and atoned for the
sin of the whole world, whether rich or poor, young or old, grave sinner or moderate sinner. The ground is level at the foot
of the cross. The way of sacrifice could not be barred to anyone. All must be able to come freely.
You will notice that each of these offerings was an offering made by fire, of a sweet
savour unto the Lord (9, 13, 17). The Bible tells us that at the Judgment Seat of Christ every man shall be tried by fire.
The Christian’s works of wood, hay and stubble will be burned up. As we labour for Christ our energy is burned up. I
wonder how we smell before the Lord God Almighty. Is there a sweet aroma of consecration that makes its way to the nostrils
of the Almighty? The twenty-four elders in the Book of Revelation will be carrying vials full of the prayers of the saints
for the purpose of burning incense before the Lord. How do your prayers smell? Are they full of the sweet smell of consecration?
Or, is it, Lord, give me this and give me that? The offering of the body in consecrated service to the Master will truly be
a sacrifice. Romans tell sus that this sacrificial presentation is a reasonable service. After all that Christ has done for
us, how can we not serve him completely? If we are truly consecrated to Christ our lives would be a sacrifice.
II. THE MEAT OFFERING - Commitment, Leviticus 2:1-16
We are looking at the offerings in the Book of Leviticus. The offerings are listed
in order. The burnt offering spoke of consecration to the general will of God. The meat offering will picture commitment to
the specific will of God. The peace offering is an offering of thanksgiving and communion. The sin offering is an expression
of confession. And the trespass offering is a declaration of cleansing from sin.
The meat offering was representative of the works of the hand, that which is produced
in service to God by the worshipper. Not only was the worshipper to consecrate himself totally to the service of Jehovah,
but he was to offer all that he possessed to God’s service. All personal property including purchases and productions
were to be committed to God. The emphasis was upon Divine ownership. Is this not the meaning of the Lordship of Christ? The
meat offering is actually a meal offering, the meat being an old name for bread. Bread is, of course, made from a grain or
meal, hence, the meal or meat offering. As we study the meat offering we discover six ingredients for commitment.
A. FINE FLOUR
The first ingredient in the meat offering is the fine flour. This is the main ingredient.
It is very similar to making a cake, pie, pastry, or bread; flour is the main ingredient. The offering represents the worshipper.
Once again Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all of these offerings. He gave himself in sacrifice. As he gave himself we must
The flour represents the Word of God. You will notice that the flour is fine flour.
It is not course. The way to get fine flour is to put it through the sifter. In a sense you and I are given the Word of God
as a raw material that must be studied (or refined) in order for it to become practical to the individual life. You cannot
improve upon the Word of God, but you can make it fit the nitty gritty of human life. In the same way if you and I are going
to offered to the Lord as a meat offering we must be put through God’s sifter. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that the presentation
of the body in Christian service is to be holy and acceptable. We become holy and acceptable by being put through the crucible
of fire, by being run through the grinder of faith, by being sifted through God’s seive of trials. Let God refine you
for his glory.
The fine flour (the Word of God) will then be mixed with other ingredients in order
to make it an acceptable, pleasing sacrifice. Each ingredient is necessary to the process of pure worship. The worshipper
brings his offering to the priest; a portion is taken by (given to) the priest. This portion is a handful. There are several
times in the Scriptures that God asks for a handful. Moses, "What is that in your hand?" It was a rod that God could use for
his glory. Widow woman, "What do you have in the house?" It was a pot of oil that God wanted to use for his glory (2Kgs 4).
Shunemite woman, "What can you do to honor the man of God?" She had a place where she and her husband made a little chamber
for the man of God to use as he passed by. Little boy, "What do you have in your lunch?" It was five loves and two small fishes
that God was going to multiply. You see, God can bless whatever it is that we have in our hands, if we would simply put it
into His hands. God wants whatever it is that you have. This is commitment.
The second ingredient that is found in the meal offering is oil. Oil in the Bible is
a symbol of the Holy Spirit. It is a good symbol. Oil has many uses. It is used as here in cooking. It is also used as a lubricant
to cut down on friction. When we allow the oil of the Holy Spirit to have his way he will cut down on the friction that you
and I create when we rub shoulders with one another. Let the Holy Spirit have his way and the work of God will be carried
on smoothly. Oil is also used to give light. When you and I study the Word of God through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, who
is our teacher, the Word of God will be illuminated so that we see whatever it is that God wants us to learn. It is only when
we quench the Spirit of God that his light is dim and we do not see the eternal truths from God’s eternal word. The
oil of the Holy Spirit mixes together with the fine flour of the Word of God to produce a pleasing sacrifice. In order for
you and I to discover the specific will of God for our lives we must be submissive to the Word of God and to the Spirit of
God. These are not divorced one from the other. They are necessary ingredients to work together to produce the will of God
in the life of the worshipper.
The third ingredient in the meat offering is the frankincense. Frankincense is an aromatic
gum that gives a sweet fragrance when burned. It is probable that all of the frankincense is used in the burnt offering aspect
of the meat offering. Incense in the Bible is a picture of the prayer life of the believer. So, we have three necessary ingredients:
the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and prayer. Never make a sacrifice without bathing it in prayer. I am convinced that the
reason we are not as blessed as we could be is simply because we do not pray. We are offering sacrificial service, but we
are not happy and God is not pleased because we serve without prayer. We know what the Word of God says and we are obeying
it. We are convinced by the Spirit of God that this is the way we ought to go and we are following. But we have failed to
pray. We are trying to do the service of God without the help of God. We must invoke the blessing of God upon every ministry
if we wish to fulfill the commitment of the meat offering.
Let us remember that the meat offering, picturing commitment to the specific will of
God, is built upon the burnt offering which pictured consecration to the general will of God. The meat offering includes a
burnt offering with it. You cannot be committed to the specific will of God without being consecrated to the general will
of God. You must say in your heart, "I will do whatever you want me to do," before you ask, "What wilt thou have me to do?"
Submission to God’s general will must preceed commitment to the specific will of God. And all of this determining of
the will of God must be decided in prayer.
D. NO LEAVEN
A fourth ingredient that is purposely missing from the meat offering is leaven. I have
never found an example in the Word of God that leaven was a picture of good; it is always a picture of evil. A baker will
employ leaven to cause the bread to rise. We know of it as yeast. Jesus gave the illustration that a little bit of leaven
will cause the whole loaf to be leavened. So it is in your life - a little bit of sin will cause the whole body to be sinful.
We are instructed to purge out the old leaven. When Paul instructs the NT believer to present his body to the Lord in sacrificial
service it is clearly to be presented as holy - purged of all the leaven of sin. God has trouble using dirty vessels. When
you submit to the will of God make sure that there is no leaven in the sacrifice.
E. NO HONEY
A fifth ingredient that is purposely missing from the meat offering is honey. Honey
is good. So, why is it to be missing from the meat offering. Honey is naturally sweet. I believe the lesson is that our sacrifice
is to contain nothing that is naturally sweet. The cup of sacrifice is a bitter cup. The Word of God is a bitter pill to swallow,
but when we swallow it, though often bitter to the taste it is sweet to the soul. Honey will represent that which is sweet
and pleasant from the natural world. In our sacrificial service we do not need the pleasantries of this world. Sacrificial
service often means that we will give up those pleasant things. Even as the Lord Jesus who give up the voluntary uses of some
of his divine attributes when he became a man. He did not cease to be God, but he choose not to function as God on occasion.
He gave up the palaces of heaven to live without them on earth. There was no honey in his sacrifice.
We are also told that honey is an agent in fermentatin. We do not need anything in
our offering that will cause is to ferment, spoil or rot. I believe that there is a lot of rotten service administered in
the name of Christ today that is sweet service, but it smacks of the devil because it is rotten in the core. Let us be careful
not to bring the world, the flesh, and the devil into our worship and discovery of the will of God. It may be pleasing and
acceptable by the world’s standards - sweet as honey, but totally unacceptable and abominable by God’s standards.
Leave the honey of the world behind in your worship and discovery of the will of God.
A sixth and final ingredient that is present in the meat offering is salt. Salt is
a preservative, a taste enhancer, and a thirst maker. We need salt in our sacrifice in order to preserve it. Even as it is
the tendency for a living sacrifice to crawl off of the altar of sacrifice, so there is the tendency of consecration to lose
its commitment. Consecration must be re-established. Commitment must be renewed. Dedication must be remade. Put some salt
in your sacrifice to preserve it. Salt will help to make the sacrifice tasty. Salt will cause the recepient of service to
thirst for more.
Salt is a picture of soul-winning. Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth." As the
salt of the earth we are to make the gospel palatible; as the salt of the earth we are to help make sinners thirsty for the
living water. Sacrificial service and our commitment to the will of God will be preserved just a little bit longer if we temper
our service with soul-winning. From my own experience, I find that the joy of serving Jesus is restored when I go soul-winning.
When my sacrifice is tempered with salt, it is preserved a bit longer.
I also find that many Christians have lost the joy of their salvation. Did you ever
notice how excited we get around a little baby? The same is true regarding spiritual things. If we would conceive a spiritual
life, i.e., be involved in the reproduction of spiritual seed, the joy of the Christian life would be restored. My grandfather
was a rough and tough farmer. Often he would hollar at his help. Although he is a dedicated Christian, I think he carries
a bit of bitterness in his soul. He now resides in a rest home where he is allowed to visit the little children in the day
care center. He mellows and loves the little children. The same thing can happen to us. The bitter experiences of life will
fade in the distance when we give ourselves in sacrificial service to the winning of souls to the Saviour.
III. THE PEACE OFFERING - Communion, Leviticus 3:1-17
Now we come to the third of the five types of offerings in the Book of Leviticus. The
first offering was the burnt offering and spoke to us of consecration. The second offering was the meat (or
meal) offering and spoke to us of commitment. The third offering is the peace offering and will typify communion.
The sin offering of chapter four will picture confession. And the trespass offering of chapter five will
The peace offering speaks of the relationship that the worshipper has with his God.
The fact that the meal was to be eaten with the priest, God’s representative to man, was a sign of fellowship with God
and his program. Many of God’s people need to offer a peace offering in order to fit in with God’s program. We
are running aloof from God’s man and God’s plan. We need to get with the program, and God’s program for
the present day is the NT local church. The peace offering is a test of our communion with God.
A. Sources for the Peace Offering
As with the burnt offering we find several sources for the offering. The instructions
mention a possible offering from the herd, the flock, or from among the goats. I find in the work of God that there are three
types of people. Workers for God, waiters upon God, and rebels from God. God can use all three in his
service if they would submit to his leadership.
1. The Herd, 3:1-5
The herd is most often represented by the ox, the servant, the worker. There are some
people who labour in the work of the Lord. They are not afraid of work. They are eager to be busy for God. For the most part
they carry a servant’s heart.
2. The Flock, 3:6-11
The flock is a generic term for the sheep and lambs. In describing his people God most
often depicts us as sheep. Sheep are followers. They generally have no motivation on their own. They must be lead at every
step of the way. Sheep are prone to wander and go their own way (Isa 53:6). Praise the Lord for the Good Shepherd who will
never lead us astray. Sheep have the tendency to be lazy and must be encouraged to step out for God and do the right thing.
Most of us probably fit in this category when it comes to spiritual things.
3. A Goat, 3:12-16
And then there are the goats. Goats will eat just about anything. God’s people
who are goats will have little discernment as to good food and bad food. Goats will butt and thrust to get into the first
place. Paul warned us not to fuss and fight with one another lest be bite and devour one another and thereby be consumed of
our own lusts (Gal 5:15).
But you see all of these animals, whether cattle, sheep or goats could be offered in
sacrificial service. All of us have different personalities, attitudes and desires. God wants to use them all. The spirit
of rebellion can be used as we rebel against the forces of evil and the powers of darkness. The spirit of waiting upon the
Lord and following his every command can be used as God musters up an army of trained soldiers who will do his bidding. The
spirit of servitude can be used in any aspect of the ministry. But you see we have to make an offering if God is going to
use us. And we must submit to his service if we are going to be employed.
B. Reasons for the Peace Offering
The directions for the peace offering are continued in chapter seven of Leviticus where
we find three reasons why the worshipper might bring a peace offering.
The first reason to bring a peace offering was thanksgiving. Oh, how we need to re-learn
the art of gratitude. We have been fed a welfare mentality so long, that we have lost any attitude of thanksgiving that we
might possess. God simply wants us to come in thanksgiving. He has done so much for us. Let us learn to praise him.
A second reason to bring a peace offering is to perform a vow. We tend to shy away
from the making of vows. Many folks tell me that they do not want to trust Christ because they are afraid that they will not
be able to keep their promises. But you see, salvation and all the blessings of it are not dependent upon you. God has made
every provision for eternal life and the living of it. Paul said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet
not I but Christ that liveth in me (Gal 2:20). We need to get back to the place where we make promises to God to live
right and then trust him to help us live right.
A third reason to bring a peace offering was as a voluntary offering. Here there was
no obligation like sin or a vow or whatever. A free will offering is given just to keep the lines of peace open. God loves
for his children to voluntarily offer their lives, their time, their talents, their treasure in service to the King of kings.
C. Restrictions for the Peace Offering
In chapter seven of Leviticus we also find several restrictions for the peace offering.
Truly God was us to service him and to offer ourselves in service, but there is always the right way to make the offering
and the right way to render service. We must lay aside the flippant attitude of the modern society to say, "Take what you
get" when we speak to our Lord.
1. No Remainders After the Third Day
Unlike the burnt offering that was fully consumed the peace offering was to be eaten.
If the offering was an offering of thanksgiving it was to be eaten the same day. I think it is significant that our thanks
ought to be rendered immediately. If the offering was for the purpose of fulfilling a vow or a voluntary offering (7:16ff)
it could be eaten the first day or left to the second day. However, any part of the offering that was left to the third day
was to be burnt. Is there any connection to the Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead on the third day? For two days he ministered
in the shadows of hell, proclaiming liberty to the captives and victory to the overcomers. Prior to the resurrection hell
contained an upper and a lower compartment. The upper compartment was called Abraham’s bosom and held the souls of the
departed saints. The lower compartment was called the place of torment and held the departed souls of the wicked. At the resurrection,
Jesus Christ lead captivity captive (Eph 4:8), i.e., he took the believers to Paradise with him.
In the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans the believer is instructed to live in resurrection
power. There is to be nothing left over from the world in the life of the consecrated soul. Just as hell was left in hell
and the souls of the OT saints were taken to heaven, so the world must be left in the world while the NT saints possess the
new man provided in salvation. Nothing remaining after spiritual transformation.
2. No Uncleanness
A second restriction regarding the peace offering was the lack of uncleanness. You
will notice that the uncleanness can be in the sacrifice itself or in the worshipper. Just so, our service can be rendered
unclean because it is defiled service, or the whole business can be nullified because the worshipper is unclean.
3. No Fat Eaten
A third restriction regarding the peace offering is that no fat is to be eaten. This
is strickly mentioned at the end of chapter three (v. 17). Fat could be classified as that which is unnecessary. There are
many things attached to our service for God that are unnecessary. We must cut these away.
4. No Blood Eaten
A fourth restriction regarding the peace offering is that there is to be no blood eaten.
Once again this is doubly emphasized by including it at the end of chapter three and again here in chapter seven. The life
of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). From the beginning of the allowance to eat flesh man was restricted from the
eating of blood (Gen 9:4). The blood of the sacrifice points to the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Don’t mess with
the blood! The blood of God is his blood. We are not to take any glory from the sacrifice to ourselves.
D. Specifics for the Peace Offering
1. The breast was waved.
2. The right shoulder was heaved.
IV. THE SIN OFFERING (SINS OF IGNORANCE) - Confession, Leviticus
They say that ignorance is bliss. They say, "What we don’t know won’t hurt
us!" Is this really true? Once again we have been looking at the five types of offerings in the Book of Leviticus.
The first offering was the burnt offering and spoke to us of consecration. The second offering was the meat
(or meal) offering and spoke to us of commitment. The third offering is the peace offering and will typify
communion. The sin offering of chapter four will picture confession. And the trespass offering
of chapter five will picture cleansing.
The sin offering and the trespass offering fit together. In fact, it is difficult to
tell the difference between them. It is suggested that Leviticus is introducing these two offering into the sacrificial system.
The previous three offerings: burnt, meal, and peace offerings were already known by name to the people of Israel. Since the
commandments and ordinances came through the law of Moses, violations of the commandments and ordinances needed to be dealt
with in a new manner. The sin and trespass offerings were added to the sacrificial system in order for the Israelite to deal
with his guilt. These two offerings were negative offerings, whereas the previous three offerings were positive offerings.
Many of us want to stop after the third offering. Generally we like the idea of consecration,
committment and communion. But as the "consecrated, committed, walking with Christ" Christian travels through this world below
he will get his feet dirty. He will sin. We do not wish to move on from our ivory tower commitment and discover our sin. But
sin is a serious offense to the character and nature of God and we must deal with sin in order to get God’s blessing
for life and service.
The sin offering and the trespass offering seem to have been offered for sins of ignorance.
That is, sins that were committed unwittingly. The opposite of a sin of ignorance was a "sin with the high hand," clearly
signifying a sin with a rebellious spirit (Num 15:30-31). The sin of ignorance was the violation of some command or ordinance
of God’s, a violation of the holy things, or an inadvertant violation against a neighbour. Even though the sin was committed
out of ignorance, it is still sin, and the sinner is still guilty. Ignorance of the law does not make the violation of the
law a righteous act. In our own judicial system too many people are pleading insanity. "I didn’t know what I was doing,"
or "I didn’t mean to do it," they claim. In God’s economy the sinner was always guilty, and atonement must
be made for all sin. We would do well to learn a lesson from God’s judicial system.
- Forsaken Things - Violations Against a Commandment of the Lord
The sin offering is provided to deal with a sin against a commandment of the Lord.
These sins could be called sins of commission. The text says, If a soul sin through ignorance against any
of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: (4:2).
The problem was the commission of a sin by violating a command of the Lord. We find that all people are guilty of violating
the commandments of the Lord. The chapter can be outlined according to the various people or people groups that sinned. There
are four categories for the law of the sin offering.
A. The Sin of the Priest, 4:3-12
God begins with spiritual leadership. If the leadership is not right, then the "followship"
will not be right. There are three emphases that we find in the sin offering. The first emphasis that we find regarding
the sin offering is the blameless identity. The chosen bullock was to be without blemish, a beautiful picture of the
perfect sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ. The worshipper was to place his hands upon the head of the bullock (4), a act that
pictures the transfer of the sins of the worshipper to the sacrificial animal. Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body on the
tree. Secondly, there is an emphasis upon a blood atonement (5). In the case of the priest the blood of the bullock
is sprinkled seven times before the veil of the sanctuary (6). The blood is purposely placed upon the horns of the altar of
incense in order to make atonement for the soul (7). You will also notice that the sin offering becomes a burnt sacrifice,
the third emphasis. The fat and the inwards are removed and burned upon the altar (8-10). We must remove all of the things
in our lives that are unnecessary at the altar of sacrifice. The rest of the body was taken outside the camp to a clean place
and offered as a burnt sacrifice (11-12). Once the fat of sin is removed at the altar then we must go outside the camp to
offer ourselves in total consecration once more to the service of the Lord.
B. The Sin of the Congregation, 4:13-21
C. The Sin of the Ruler, 4:22-26
D. The Sin of the Common People, 4:27-35
V. THE TRESPASS OFFERING - Cleansing, Leviticus 5:1-6:7.
A trespass seems to be a act of stepping over a boundary when I do not intend to do
so, once again a sin of ignorance. But in this case it may be that the Lord expects some sort of retribution to accompany
the offering. The trespass offerings are offered for things that we forget to do, are forbidden to do, or are formidable to
A. Forgotten Things - Violations Because of an Ordinance of the Lord,
Sins that are forgotten are sins that come because of the violation of some ordinance
of the Lord. There are three examples of forgotten things given in the next four verses.
1. Sin of Silence, 5:1.
The first example of forgotten sins is the sin of silence. The sin of silence occurs
when a fellow citizen in God’s economy hears (or sees) another citizen swear by an oath of cursing and does nothing
about it. When he knows of the crime and does not tell he is an accomplice in the deed. There seems to be a fine line of difference
between being a tattletale and reporting an incident to the proper authorities. For instance, we may be traveling down the
road and see someone speeding. The police are nowhere to be found. Should we get the license number of the car and turn it
in? A student in school is cheating on a test; the teacher does not see it. Should we report it to the teacher? There are
no easy answers to these applications.
Let me give you an application that I think will fit the situation. Let’s suppose
that you are at work and your fellow employees are speaking ill of the boss. They plan some form of mistreatment against him.
You hear it, but tell no one. In this case it does not matter if the allegations against the boss are true or not. When the
boss is mistreated you feel guilty. You have made a trespass; an offering needs to be rendered.
Let’s be careful not to miss the point of the example that is given. This sin
of silence could be called a sin of omission. We may commit many sins, but there are also the many sins that we commit
by omitting to do what we should. What we need is for the Holy Spirit to lead us in these matters and then to follow his leading.
2. Sin of Squalidity, 5:2-3.
The second example of a forgotten sin is that of the sin of squalidity (uncleanness).
This is where the citizen in God’s ecomomy becomes defiled by touching a dead or unclean body. The idea is that he did
not know he had become defiled, but when it is revealed to him, he is guilty and must make atonement. We do not have to go
very far in our Christian experience to brush shoulders with uncleanness. In so doing we ourselves become defiled and are
in need of cleansing. The sacrifice of the red heifer, a form of the sin or trespass offering, was particularly applicable
in the matter of touching a dead body. (See Numbers 19.) When it is revealed to us that we are defiled by touching something
unclean there is a need for the trespass offering.
3. Sin of Swearing, 5:4.
The third example of a forgotten sin is that of the sin of swearing. Here we go back
to the first example and deal with the citizen who made the oath. We find that this unpaid vow could be made for either evil
or good. The failure to pay the vow seems to be the matter that disturbs the holiness of God. Man is so fickle with his words
these days. We no longer say what we mean, nor mean what we say. And God is not pleased. The sin is that of thoughtless conversation.
Proverbs 29:11 warns that a fool uttereth all his mind, but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Be careful not
to say what you do not mean. The example is given of Jephthah who made a vow to the Lord that he would dedicate to him the
first thing that he saw coming out of his house. He further vowed that he would offer it up as a burnt offering. Lo, and behold,
his daughter exited the house. Jephthah rent his clothes and was very troubled, for he could not break his vow. Many people
will vow to come to church or serve the Lord and consistently break their vows. "Lord, if you get me out of this hospital
bed, I will serve you," and they have no more intention of serving God then the man in the moon. Forgotten things will put
us in trouble with the Lord of the universe.
B. Forbidden Things - Violations Against Holy Things, 5:14-19.
A second area where the trespass offering is at work is with forbidden things, particularly
the holy things. Let’s say, for instance, that a man were to inadvertently use one of the holy utensils of the temple
for common use. He would defile the instrument and himself. There are times in the life of a believer that he enters in where
he has no business, or uses what he has no authority to use. Saul, a king, was in trouble when he entered into the priestly
office where he had no business. Keep your nose out of things that do not concern you. Some things are holy and belong only
to the Lord. For instance, "Vengence is mine, saith the Lord." Don’t try to get even with somebody, that is holy ground
and belongs to the Lord.
C. Formidable Things - Violations Against a Neighbour, 6:1-7.
A third area where the trespass offering is at work is with formidable things (dreaded,
causing fear; hard to handle or overcome). This area has to do with violations against a neighbour particularly by
lying to the neighbour. It is difficult to see that a citizen of the nation would commit this sin in ignorance. It is not
clear if the fellow citizen purposely tries to deceive, steal, or lie about a given situation, nevertheless, he is guilty
(v. 4). I call these things formidable because they cause fear and are hard to handle. The emphasis here is upon restoration.
Broken fellowship is difficult to restore. The instructions call for a five-fold restoration. The violator must restore what
was lost, stolen, broken, or otherwise destroyed and add the fifth part to it. Reparations should begin with the truth. An
expression of sorrow is the next order of business. And finally some form of restoration of the lost, stolen, or destroyed
item. In our modern culture this restoration may take the form of money.