The Sin Offering

Krista Williams

Day: 7 | Plan: Leviticus-Hebrews

Today's Reading: Leviticus 4

Leviticus 4:29 (NIV) “They are to lay their hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering.” 

God doesn’t wink at sin or overlook it. He doesn’t say, “I know she is a good person.” Or “He means well.” Instead, God says, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10; Psalms 14:3). His Word says, “ … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Sin is serious. It is costly. “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23a). Sin is an offense against a holy God, and no one is exempt from sin. 

So, how can a sinner ever hope to approach a holy God? There is only one way, and it is God’s way. God’s way is through blood sacrifice. The atonement for our sin comes at a high and gruesome cost.

“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

Leviticus 4 deals with the sin offering. The sin offering wasn’t for deliberate sins of disobedience. This offering was for an unintentional sin, a sin of ignorance or error. Once a person realized their guilt, they had to confess their sin and present the prescribed offering. 

They didn’t just come with the animal, drop it off at the door and say to the priest, “I’m sorry. Here is my sacrifice.”  

No. The person had to bring the perfect animal to the tabernacle, stand in the presence of the priest, put their hands on the animal’s head and confess their sin. Symbolically, the person’s sin was transferred to the animal. But they still were not finished. Next, the person was required to kill the animal by slitting its throat. The sinner had to slaughter the animal.

Then, the priest would take some of the animal’s blood to make atonement for the sin, and the person was forgiven for that sin.

Can you even fathom having to personally kill an innocent animal every time you sinned?

Imagine all that blood on your hands and mine, repeatedly, for our sin. It should make us think twice about the things we say and do. It should make us take into account the seriousness and awfulness of sin.

While we no longer have to shed the blood of animals to receive forgiveness for sin, we should still somberly consider the blood of Jesus that was shed for our sins on the cross.

Prayer: Lord God, my heart is grieved as I reflect on the seriousness and costliness of sin. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for stepping in as my sacrifice for sin. The pain and punishment You bore on my behalf arrests my soul. May I never take for granted all You endured to bring forgiveness to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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