Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Shadows of Good Things

Or the Gospel in Type

Russell R. Byrum, 1922

[Original Page Numbers]


CHAPTER V

THE OFFERINGS THE ALTAR

(Leviticus 1—7)

drawn to those who appreciate us and what we do for them. How much more must our provident Father? Let us offer more peace offerings, and God will give us more of his peace and blessings.

The Sin Offering
( Lev. 4—5 :13 )

  The sin offering and also the closely related trespass offering were very different in their aim and purpose from the sweet savor offerings already considered. Those had for their primary object worship, these expiation of sin; those made atonement a means to an end, in these covering of sin is the end; there sin was viewed in its general aspect, but here in a very definite act; those offerings were voluntary on the part of the offerer, but these are demanded by God to cover sin; there the offerer came as a worshiper, here as a sinner.

  The sin offering was not offered for every sin. Some sins under the law of Moses were unpardonable and punishable by death. But the sin offering might be offered for other than unpardonable sins whether they were ceremonial or actual, sins done intentionally or unintentionally. To suppose, as some have done, that it was to be offered only for unintentional ceremonial defilement is probably taking a narrower view of it than that described in the Scriptures. It was to be offered for these, as described in Leviticus 4, but it was also to be offered by witnesses who failed to tell the truth (5:1), and the trespass offering, which was one variety of the sin offering, for lying, violence, deceit, stealing, swearing falsely (6:2, 3), or adultery with a betrothed slave (19:20).

  It seems it was to be offered for the easing of the conscience of any who had intentionally or unintentionally violated God's commandments, that he might again feel himself right before God. We need not suppose, however, that God never forgave sin without a sin offering. Doubtless it w a s n o t essentially necessary to God's pardon of sin, but was necessary to clear the [96] conscience of the sinner because of God's command to offer it. It was intended to help the sinner to comprehend more vividly the ground on which God pardoned him, and to point him to the great antitype Sin offering, the coming Messiah.

  The Animals Offered.—The sin offering had a larger variety of definitely required offerings than had any other of the Mosaic sacrifices. For the high priest was offered a bullock, and also the same for the congregation collectively; for a ruler a male kid; and for one of the common people a female kid or female lamb. In every case the animal must be free from blemish physically as was Christ the true sin offering morally. The various animals were graded to denote the sinfulness of sin according to the dignity of the one who sinned. So today God rates sin according to the enlightenment of the worshiper rather than according to the act committed. If one were too poor to provide a kid or lamb, two turtledoves or two young pigeons might be brought, and in extreme poverty a small portion of fine flour would be accepted as a lower grade offering, which of course much less perfectly typified the true Sin offering. No meat offering was to accompany the sin offering because the sinner is not fit to consecrate himself to God until he is first made holy through the atonement. Neither was oil and frankincense to accompany the fine flour sin offering because the sinner is void of the Holy Spirit and cannot properly offer the sweet incense of praise to God.

  How It Was Offered.—The laying on of the hand and the slaying were the same as in all the other bloody offerings, but the action with the blood was different. For a ruler or one of the common people some of it was put upon the horns of the brazen altar; but if the offering was for the priest or for the congregation collectively it was put upon the horns of the golden altar and sprinkled in the holy place before the veil seven times. In every sin offering the remainder of the blood was poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. Next [96] the fat, the kidneys, and the caul were burned upon the altar. If the offering was for the priest or the whole congregation the remainder of the animal was to be burned outside the camp in a clean place, but if for a ruler or one of the common people the priests ate it (Lev. 6 :24 30). The flesh of the slain sin offering is said to have been most holy. The sin for which it was offered had been expiated, therefore it was holy as the offerer was before he sinned. The eating of it by God's priests symbolized the great fact that the offerer was acceptable to God because expiation had been made. How remarkable, even in minute details, are the great facts of redemption symbolized in these ancient shadows! How can any devout student of them fail to see in them the proof of the divine authority of the Bible. and that they are not mere "expressions of natural religion"?

  Antitypical Sin Offering.—As already mentioned, the true sin offering, typified by those ancient sacrifices for sin, is the Lord Jesus Christ as the bearer of our sin. This need scarcely be stated as it is clear from the very name of the offering. It definitely sets forth the idea of substituted suffering for sin—the wonderful truth that he atoned for our sin and by the sprinkling of his blood we may be as free from sin as was Adam in his primitive purity. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." (Isa. 53 :5). "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:21). The word here translated "sin," some versions give "sin offering," which is a better translation.

The Trespass Offering
(Lev. 5 :14—6 :7)

  The trespass offering, like the sin offering proper, belongs to the general class of sin offerings. It does not have various grades of animals to suit the dignity of the offerer. A ram is the only animal to be sacrificed for a trespass offering. It is introduced with the words, "The Lord spake unto Moses" (Lev. 5 :14), not at the [97] beginning of the chapter, as some have held. We are told in Lev. 7 :1 7 how it was to be offered. It was to be killed the same as the sin offering and the same parts burned and eaten, but the blood was to be sprinkled or dashed on the altar as in the burnt and peace offerings and not put upon the horns as in the sin offering.

  The principal peculiarity of the trespass offering was that the restitution must accompany the bloody sacrifice. This restitution must be the principal and a fifth part added, and given to the person wronged.

  God requires that those who do wrong to others shall make that wrong right as much as is in their power. It is not enough that he who stole steal no more. He must also "give again that he hath robbed." This requirement in connection with the trespass offering like many other of the ceremonial requirements served an immediate practical purpose. It served the Israelites a beneficient purpose in upholding righteousness among them. But along with this, the required restitution was typical of a great Christian truth in the work of our salvation.

  This, like the other bloody offerings, found its antitype in Christ, and like each of them it set forth a particular phase of his atoning work. The sin offering made prominent the idea of expiatory suffering for sin, the trespass offering compensation for the evil done. The sinoffering represented Christ as saving us from the penalty for sin, the trespass offering typified the other phase of his work—the undoing of the wrong in its effects as pertain to God and his holy law. These two classes of sin offerings showed remarkably these two aspects of the effects of atonement that make possible God's free pardon of our sins. Of course the restoration of what was taken wrongfully from another is a principle of right that applied then and also now, but we should not suppose that that restoration to one's fellow men was typical of a similar restoration to those we have wronged. But it was properly a type of that higher making right of wrong done against God, which Christ did in his sacrificial death. [98]

"Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.

"But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.

"My faith would lay her hand
On that dear head of Thine
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin."

        —Isaac Watts.[99]

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Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA

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