Sermon #10 Leviticus Sermons
Title: Christ The Sin Offering
Text: Leviticus 4:1-35
Subject: The Law of the Sin Offering
Date: Saturday Evening – July 7, 2001
Rescue Baptist Church – Rescue, CA
Tape # W-41b and W-43a
Reading: Leviticus 4:1-35 – Psalm 51
As I look out over this congregation, I hardly know how to begin my message. I stand before you, as Paul said to the Corinthians, with fear and trembling. I fear for your souls, and I tremble as I stand here in God’s stead to speak to you in the name of God, and plead with you in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to God. How shall I speak to eternity bound souls? What shall I say? Where shall I begin? I will begin by telling you three things I know we all share, three things we all have in common.
1. I know this: We all have a common problem. – The plague of sin runs through our souls. The guilt of sin is in our consciences. The curse of God’s holy law is upon us.
2. I know this, too: We all have a common need. – We need forgiveness!
3. And I know this: There is but one common hope for us all. – Our only hope is that God almighty might be pleased, in his infinite mercy, love and grace to forgive sin.
But there is one more thing I know. I know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know it because it is written in the Book of God. I know it because I have experienced it.
Proposition: I know that God almighty does forgive sin.
[Psalms 130:3-4] "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared."
[Psalms 130:7-8] "Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."
[Isaiah 43:25] "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."
Why did the Lord Jesus Christ have to die upon the cursed tree to save his people from their sins? Leviticus 4 gives us the answer to that question. This is the message of the sin-offering given in this chapter. Blessed be his holy name, the God of Glory, the God against whom we have sinned is a God who “delighteth in mercy.” He forgives sin. He forgives sin freely. He forgives sin fully. He forgives sin forever. Oh, God is a great Forgiver! But the holy Lord God, just and true, cannot and will not forgive sin except through the merits of Christ’s shed blood as our great Sin Offering. That is the message of Leviticus 4. That is what God taught Moses and the children of Israel when he gave them the law of the sin offering.
[1 John 1:7-10] "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
[1 John 2:1-2] "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
[Leviticus 4:1-3] "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall 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:  If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering."
I cannot, in this message, give a full exposition of this entire chapter; but that is not my purpose. I want to simply declare to you the message of this chapter. The message of the chapter is Christ the Sin Offering.
I. The Sin-Offering -- First, I want you to see that the offering described in this chapter is specifically called a sin offering, not a trespass offering.
This distinction is commonly overlooked, but it ought not be. There is a clear, unmistakable distinction made between the sacrifice for a sin offering and the sacrifice for a trespass offering. The sin offering is discussed in Leviticus 4:1-35. The trespass offering is discussed in Leviticus 5:1-6:7.
A. The Distinction
This distinction is made for a reason. It is ever the short-sighted tendency of human flesh to judge the character of a person by what he does. God judges the character of a person by what he is. He sees the sin that is in us, and declares that that is what we are. The trespasses we commit are but the fruit of what we are. Sin is our nature, what we are. Trespasses are our deeds of evil, the fruits of our corrupt nature.
Religion only deals with the fruits of sin, our trespasses; but God deals with both what we are and what we do; and he deals with what we are first. He first convinces us of what we are and then corrects what we do.
Therefore, as we read the thirty-five verses of Leviticus 4, we find no mention of any particular act of sin. We see the priest, the whole congregation, the ruler, and the common man all standing before God confessing themselves sinners; but no mention is made of any act of sin. In the trespass offering specific acts of sin are dealt with, but specific persons are not mentioned.
B. The Experience of Forgiveness
There are five distinct things involved in the experience of forgiveness. I stress the experience of forgiveness because the accomplishment of forgiveness and the experience of it are to separate, distinct things. Our sins were blotted out, put away and forgiven when Christ died at Calvary as our Substitute; but we cannot know anything about the experience of forgiveness until God the Holy Spirit convinces us of the accomplishment of redemption.
1. Sin must be made known. – Come to his knowledge.” If there is no known need, there can be no sacrifice.
[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."
This has reference to Holy Spirit conviction. Sin cannot be confessed and the experience of it cannot be known until we have been made to know our own sin, not just our sinful acts but our very nature. – “God be merciful to me, a sinner!” – We must see ourselves in the mirror of God’s holy law (Rom. 7:9).
[John 16:8-11] "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  Of sin, because they believe not on me;  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
2. Sin must be confessed (“Lay his hand upon the bullock’s head.” -- vv. 4, 24, 29, 33).
[Proverbs 28:13] "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
[1 John 1:9] "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
3. Sin must be judged. – “Kill the bullock.”
The sinner must kill the sin offering with his own hands, identifying himself with the guilt of the Savior’s blood. Thereby he declared both his heart enmity toward God (He identified himself with the guilt of crucifying the Son of God!) and the justice of God in punishing him for sin.
4. Sin judged in Christ is sin atoned. – “The priest shall make atonement for him” (v. 26).
[Romans 5:10-11] "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
5. Sin confessed, judged, and atoned for is sin forgiven. – “It shall be forgiven him” (v. 26).
· Instant Forgiveness!
· Complete Forgiveness!
· Assured Forgiveness!
Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Let’s look at the sacrifice of the sin offering. Here we see the great work of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Sin Offering, by whom our sins have been put away.
II. The Sacrifice Offered -- Here, in the sacrificial sin offering, we see the glorious gospel doctrine of Substitution. The Lord Jesus Christ was made to be sin for us.
A. His Holy Character
Our Savior’s character is set before us in the requirements given for the sin offering. The sacrifice for the priest must be a bullock without blemish (v. 3). The sacrifice of the congregation must also be a young bullock without blemish (v. 14). The sacrifice of the ruler must be a kid of the goats without blemish (v. 23). The sacrifice of the common people must be a kid of the goats or a lamb of the sheep, a female, without blemish (v. 28).
1. The sin offering, unlike the burnt offering, the meat offering, and the trespass offering, was not optional. This sacrifice must be made.
2. The sacrifice must be without blemish before the Lord.
He who is our Substitute must have no obligations of his own. He cannot pay my debt, if he owes anything for himself. The Lord Jesus Christ could not be our Sin Offering were he not the holy Lamb of God. He who redeemed us from the curse of the law died for us as “the Just for the unjust.”
· A Perfect Sacrifice
· A Mortal Sacrifice
· A Sacrifice of Infinite Worth
With each of these sacrifices there was the ceremonial laying on of the hands. The sinner laid his hands upon the head of the victim to be slain. As we have seen, this portrayed his own confession of sin; but it portrayed much, much more than that. The mere confession of sin cannot change anything. This ceremonial act portrayed the great, mysterious, glorious work of divine imputation, the transference of sin from the sinner to the sinner’s Substitute.
“My numerous sins transferr’d to him, Shall never more be found,
Lost in his blood’s atoning stream Where every crime is drown’d!”
[Isaiah 53:4-11] "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.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."
[2 Corinthians 5:21] "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."
C. The Victim Slain
Be sure you do not miss this. There was no atonement made, no forgiveness granted, no blessing pronounced until the victim was actually slain (vv. 4, 15, 24, 29). As soon as sin was imputed, the victim was slain.
· I thank God for Christ incarnate.
· I delight to see our Lord living in righteousness as our Representative, obeying the righteous precepts of God’s holy law for us.
· I endeavor to follow my Lord’s example.
· I rejoice in Christ glorious exaltation and sovereign dominion.
· But our message is “Christ crucified!” -- “It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul!”
D. A Picture of Faith
The whole work of atonement, once the animal was publicly slain, was done out of the view of the common man, “before the Lord.” It was a work done out of sight, a work performed by the priest within the tabernacle. This means three things.
1. Atonement is God’s work. – “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
2. Atonement is totally outside ourselves.
3. Atonement must be received by faith, by believing the Word of God.
III. The Symbolism of the Offering -- Third, I want everyone here to see that the precious blood of Christ is effectual, sin-atoning, justice satisfying blood.
This fourth chapter of Leviticus sets before us the glorious efficacy of Christ’s precious blood.
A. Blood Sprinkled on the Veil
As soon as the victim was slain, the priest carefully collected the blood. The animal was slain in the court of the Israelites. Do you see it? There it lies at the foot of the brazen altar. The priest caught its blood in a bowl.
Then he goes into the court of the priests, goes by the golden altar of incense, which stood in the holy place, and proceeds to dip his finger in the bowl. His fingers dripping with blood, he sprinkles the blood seven times towards the veil which concealed the Holy of Holies.
The veil, made of very expensive tapestry, over the years must have gradually come to look very much like a vesture dipped in blood. Seven times towards the veil the blood of the sin offering was sprinkled by the priest. Why did he begin there?
It was to show that our communion with God is by blood. The veil was not then, of course, rent. It showed that the way of access to God was not then revealed. The sprinkling of the blood showed that the only thing that could open the way of access to God was the blood; that the blood, when perfectly offered, sprinkled seven times, would rend the veil.
The blood of Christ has fulfilled the type to the letter. When our Lord had sprinkled, as it were, seven times (perfectly) his own heart’s blood upon the veil, he said, “It is finished,” and “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
[Romans 4:25] "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
[Romans 5:1-2] "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Through the perfect offering of our Savior’s precious blood, we have access with boldness into this grace wherein we stand; and we who have faith in that blood have intimate communion with the living God. We come near to the mercy-seat and talk with him, who dwells between the cherubim, as a man talks with his friend.
B. Blood Smeared on the Horns of the Altar
Next the priest backed away from the veil to the golden altar of incense, adorned with four horns of gold. Dipping his finger in the basin, he smeared each of the four horns of the altar until each glowed with crimson in the light of the golden candlestick.
The horn indicative of strength. Why was the blood put upon horns of the altar? That incense altar was typical of prayer, and especially of the intercession of Christ; and the blood on the horn showed that the force and power of Christ’s all-prevailing intercession lies in the blood. Thank God for those blood smeared horns!
“The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One,
He cannot turn away The presence of His Son!”
C. Blood Poured Out at the Altar of Brass
With the bowl of blood still in his hands, priest continues to move backward, as it were from God to the people, until he gets to the great brazen altar, where the burnt offerings were consumed with fire. There he pours out all the rest of the blood before the people. What does that represent?
The only ground and basis of our acceptance is the shed blood of Christ.
· The Acceptance of Our Persons
· The Acceptance of Our Sacrifices
Do you get the picture? -- Blood everywhere! -- What a blessed sight! -- Blood on the veil. -- Blood on the golden altar! -- Blood on the horns of the altar! -- Blood poured out! Blood all over the priest! – Hear what the blood speaks and rejoice!
IV.The Shame of the Ordeal -- I cannot conclude this message without also showing you that the sin offering sets before us something of the horrid shame our Lord Jesus Christ endured as our Substitute, when he was made to be sin for us and suffered all the hell and ignominy of God’s holy wrath for our sin.
Look what had to be done with the carcass of the slain sacrifice. Once the fat was burned before the Lord, the carcass, with the dung, was carried forth without the camp and burned. We read in verses 10-12…
[Leviticus 4:10-12] "As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering.  And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,  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."
The priest takes the carcass of the sacrifice and carries it without the camp, a procession of some four miles, to the place where the ashes were poured out; and there he burns the whole thing (not on the altar, but) on the ground. What a picture of utter humiliation, shame, and sorrow. What a picture this is of what Christ endured for us. I can almost hear the cry ascending up to heaven, reverberating throughout the camp of Israel, -- “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”
1. Hear me now, my friends, God will have blood, either yours or Christ’s.
· Sin must be punished.
· Justice must be satisfied.
2. There is forgiveness with God! He “delighteth in mercy!”
3. How shall we who are now forgiven of all sin through the precious blood of Christ respond to this message?
[Hebrews 13:10-15] "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.  For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
· Let us go forth unto him! – Faith.
· Without the camp! – Alone.
· Bearing his reproach! -- Baptism
· Seeking our home with him! – As Pilgrims.
· Offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving unto our God continually!
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Oh! Precious is the flow That makes me white as snow!
No other fount I know! – Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
“There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains!
1. "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,"
2. "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall 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:"
3. "If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering."
4. "And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD."
5. "And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:"
6. "And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the veil of the sanctuary."
7. "And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."
8. "And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,"
9. "And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away,"
10. "As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering."
11. "And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,"
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."
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;"
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."
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."
16. "And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation:"
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."
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."
19. "And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar."
20. "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."
21. "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."
22. "When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;"
23. "Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:"
24. "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering."
25. "And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering."
26. "And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him."
The Common People
27. "And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;"
28. "Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned."
29. "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering."
30. "And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar."
31. "And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him."
32. "And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish."
33. "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering."
34. "And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:"
35. "And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him."