Leviticus Chapter 4 Continued
In the previous lesson, we have been looking at the sin offering. This is a very important offering. The flesh offered in this offering is a shadow of the flesh of Jesus Christ. We noted in the last lesson, how Jesus took the sin of all the world upon His body on the cross at Calvary. Though His flesh became sin, that sin might die on the cross, the Spirit within that body was God the Son.
Leviticus 4:11 “And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,”
“Dung”: This term identifies the major internal organs of an animal, including the intestines’ waste content.
Leviticus 4:12 “Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.”
“Carry forth without the camp”: This was a symbolic gesture of removing the sign from the people (compare Heb. 11:11-13 in reference to Christ).
The act of carrying “forth without the camp unto a clean place” and then being burned with “fire” seems to distinguish it from the burnt offering. Both were holy, but their meaning might have been confused. One symbolized dedication, the other expiation. Both were acceptable to God. “Three examples of offenses that required a sin offering are given (in 5:1-13). The first is that of one who withholds evidence by failing to “utter it”. He had to “confess that he hath sinned” and then make appropriate restitution (6:5). The second offense involved contact with either unclean animals or persons (compare chapter 11). The third example was one in which someone pronounced aloud (“with his lips”), any kind of rash oath, perhaps without realizing fully the implications of what was being said. The combination of “evil … good”, is an ancient expression denoting totality. Hence the phrase could be translated “a rash oath to do anything at all” (compare 5:1-7).
We must remember here, that this is the sin offering. This animal’s flesh is accursed, because it took the sin on its body.
Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:”
The flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ took upon it the curse that belonged to us. This flesh which represented the sin of the whole world, must die. It is strange that all the time it was accursed it was also holy. The flesh of Jesus was holy, yet He took our curse upon His body, that we might receive His righteousness.
1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Verses 13-21: Sacrifices for the sin of the congregation were to follow essentially the same procedure as that for the sin of priests (4:3-12).
Leviticus 4:13 “And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done [somewhat against] any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which should not be done, and are guilty;”
The sin offering was not a voluntary sacrifice, as were the three sweet savor oblations in chapters 1-3. This offering was required of all: priests (verses 3-12), the congregation as a whole (verses 13-21), rulers (verses 22-26), and common individuals (verses 27-35). It made atonement for sins done “through ignorance” (bishgagah) or unintentionally or inadvertently. A sin of this type may result from two causes: negligence or ignorance. Either the perpetrator knows the law but unintentionally violates it, as in the case of accidental homicide (Num. 35:22-28; Deut. 19:4-10; Joshua 20:2-6, 9); or he acts without knowing he had done wrong. Some illustrations of these sins would be: (Gen. 20:9; Abimelech’s complaint to Abraham). And (Num. 22:34); Balaam: “I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me”. In opposition to these sins are those committed with a “high hand” (Num. 15:30), for which there is no atonement by any means of sacrifice (Heb. 10:28).
Leviticus 4:14 “When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Any of the commandments of the Lord forbidding such a thing to be done.
“Is known”: Is made known to them by the priest, or any other, so that they are convinced that what has been done is wrong, though done through ignorance.
“Then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation”: The same offering with that of the anointed priest, he being, as Aben Ezra on the place observes, equal to all Israel.
The first thing we must note here, is that the offering for sin for the whole congregation is no more than the offering just the priest had to offer for his sin. This tells me again, how much more severe is the punishment for those who sin with full knowledge.
I believe a message that we must see in this pertains to our day as well. We have allowed materialism to become a god for us. Our people are not speaking up against the filth that is on the television and in the movie houses. Many things are being done in the name of art and are being accepted by Christians, even inside the church. We could say then, that we are sinning by omission. We should stand up against these things, if we are to be found not guilty in God’s sight. The very same things that God found wrong in Leviticus are still wrong in His sight. Have we forgotten that we serve a holy God? We must repent; as a country and as believers in Christ.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
America, and most of the known world, have wandered away from God. Come back to Him now while there is still time. Read your Bible, and find out what God’s plan for your life is. So much is being done in the church today in the name of art. Re-examine your stand on these things. Judgement begins in the house of God.
1 Peter 4:17 “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
Are we showing enough respect for a holy God?
Leviticus 4:15 “And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.”
These must be two at least, some say three, and some say five; the more generally received notion is, that they were three of the Sanhedrim; though the Targum of Jonathan makes them to be the twelve rulers of the twelve tribes.
“And the bullock shall be killed before the Lord”: In the court near the altar of burnt offering, either by a priest, or Levite, or by a butcher, as the above Targum expresses it.
These elders here, are twelve men who have been chosen to represent the whole group. Twelve, you remember from a previous lesson is the number which represents the whole; such as the 12 apostles. They were all to lay their hands upon the head of the bullock, thereby transferring the sins of all the people on the bullock.
Leviticus 4:16 “And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the congregation:”
That is, the chief priest, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan explain it.
“To the tabernacle of the congregation”: As he brought the blood of his own bullock (Lev. 4:5). From there to the (Lev. 4:16), an account is given of the same rites to be observed in the sin offering, for the congregation, as for the anointed priest (see notes on Lev. 4:6; 4:7; 4:12).
We have mentioned before, that the priest that is anointed, is the high priest in authority at present.
Leviticus 4:17 “And the priest shall dip his finger [in some] of the blood, and sprinkle [it] seven times before the LORD, [even] before the veil.”
“And sprinkle it”: It was not to be poured out there, but sprinkled only. For the cleansing virtue of the blood of Christ was sufficiently represented by sprinkling. It was sprinkled seven times. This signified the perfect satisfaction Christ made, and the complete cleansing of our souls thereby.
Leviticus 4:18 “And he shall put [some] of the blood upon the horns of the altar which [is] before the LORD, that [is] in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which [is at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
The priest then took the blood into the holy place, where, after dipping his finger in it seven times, he sprinkled the drops seven times before the veil. This done, he returned to the court of the priests, and ascending the altar, put some portion upon its horns; then he poured it out at the foot of the altar.
We touched on all of this when we dealt with the sin offering for the priest. We see that the offering for sin does not vary. We will touch again on one or two points here. The high priest first offered for himself, but then he offers for the congregation. Remember 7 means spiritually complete. We also know that the symbolic meaning of putting the blood on the horns is (power in the blood). The blood being poured out at the foot of the altar shows this blood is for all the earth, for whosoever will accept it as their sacrifice.
Leviticus 4:19 “And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn [it] upon the altar.”
The fat was the only part of the animal which was offered on the altar; for the carcass, with its appurtenances and internal organs, were carried without the camp, into the place where the ashes were deposited, and there consumed with fire.
This fat being burned, made a sweet savor to God. We remember this represents the fact that Jesus glorified the Father in the crucifixion. Jesus was obedient to the Father even unto death.
Leviticus 4:20-21 “And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.” “And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it [is] a sin offering for the congregation.”
Let us never forget, that this sin offering, is a type and shadow of what Jesus did for us on the cross. (One for all), had been taught even in the Old Testament. We will see from the following Scripture that the Jews had been taught from the beginning, that one should die for all.
John 11:49-50 “And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,” “Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.”
Just as in the Scripture, one should die that the whole congregation might live. We know that the Jews gave several reasons why Jesus was not to be crucified inside the city wall, but the real reason, which they were apparently unaware of, was the fact that He was the sin offering and had to fulfill every aspect of that offering.
Leviticus Chapter 4 Continued Questions
1. The flesh in the sin offering symbolizes what?
2. Jesus for a moment on the cross, became what for us?
3. What was the Spirit within that body of Jesus?
4. Where was the flesh of this bullock to be burned?
5. This animal’s flesh is ___________, because it took the sin on its body.
6. Galatians 3:13 tells us that Christ redeemed us from what?
7. We being ______ to sins, should live unto _________________.
8. By whose stripes are we healed?
9. What are some of the conditions of the sin in verses 13 and 14?
10. What is our society allowing to become a god?
11. What does the author believe is the answer for all people?
12. Where does judgement begin?
13. What shall the end be for those who obey not the gospel?
14. Who lays their hands upon the offering for the congregation?
15. Why were there twelve instead of some other number?
16. Who brings the bullock’s blood to the Holy Place?
17. How many times does he sprinkle the blood before the Lord?
18. What does the putting of the blood on the horns symbolize?
19. Why did he pour the left-over blood at the foot of the altar?
20. What does the burning of the fat do?
21. What is the sin offering, here?
22. What was the name of the high priest who said that it was expedient for one to die for all?
23. What was the real reason that Jesus was crucified outside the city wall?