SHALL DO IT
if the whole congregation of Israel commits error and the matter
escapes the notice of the assembly, and they commit any of the things
which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and they become guilty;14
when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the
assembly shall offer a bull of the herd for a sin offering and bring
it before the tent of meeting. 15 'Then the elders of the congregation
shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the LORD, and the
bull shall be slain before the LORD. 16 'Then the anointed priest is
to bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting; 17 and
the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven
times before the LORD, in front of the veil. 18 'He shall put some of
the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the LORD in the
tent of meeting; and all the blood he shall pour out at the base of
the altar of burnt offering which is at the doorway of the tent of
meeting. 19 'He shall remove all its fat from it and offer it up in
smoke on the altar. 20 'He shall also do with the bull just as he did
with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it So the
priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.
Sin creates a need. And I don’t speak
about a need you feel with the one who has sinned, or has sin – like
you experience the lack of nutrition as an obvious hunger feeling –
but a real need.
Some people can have an ocean of obvious sins and daily live and
practice obvious sin, without having any annoying feeling of that
matter, while others are so sensitive in this area that the most
overshadow feeling in life is a guilt feeling.
It’s not about what we sense and feel, and not either what we mean
– our opinions, what we think is reasonable or unreasonable etc, but
about what God has revealed in His word!
Where there is sin – and all sin is sin against God – there
is also a real need for forgiveness of sins! If a person is left
standing without the forgiveness of sins – yes, then he is standing
before God with sin, and has to take the consequences from it. And
that means he is lost forever. So the real need we speak about here
now is in other words pressing! You have to have that – and in time as
God had given the Jews
directions: For known sin it should be sacrificed in public, among
others – to a testimony that God in His holiness demanded
accountability for sin – and last but not least that there existed a
sacrifice that could take away guilt! It wasn’t the bulls, the calves
and other animals that were sacrificed on the earthly alter here, but
the sacrifice they were a model for, and pointed towards: The perfect
sacrifice, that which was of God. The sacrifice God Himself had
chosen: The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!
We should notice something
here: “Now if the whole congregation of Israel (inadvertently)
(Norw. transl.) commits error…” (v.13a) .
Now we know that God in His mercy – for His own sacrifice sake –
leaves more than what has happened of error, He also leaves
transgression, it says. Transgression is a sin a man has committed
despite that he in advance knew it was a sin. But still from this
passage we should be aware of that God in His holiness is a consuming
fire also against the sin that has happened in error (inadvertently).
As we see here – it has to be sacrificed for!
We think so quickly about this – yes but, I didn’t mean it like
that, so it isn’t that serious! Let God’s word answer to that now:
“Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebr.9:22).
The sin you have committed by error – only a word that shouldn’t
have been said for example – it has to be made atonement for! Or else
you are left standing before God with it! It will not be forgiven!
Then I can ask: Is your need
for forgiveness of sins a real need? There shouldn’t be any reason that
it would be blurry to you, if you look for it in God’s word. But that is
what so often is so tragic – people don’t look after God’s word, but
consider themselves: What do I think is fair?
God will never ask you what you think is fair! What did you do with
the Word you heard – or more precise: What did it do with you?
Now we should notice
something more in this passage – and that is a delight. It is a relief
for the soul, where it is sick and wounded, exactly because of the
importance we are standing before: “So the priest shall make
atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.” (V.20b).
When the priest did this after the laws God had ordered
him, the people got forgiveness of sins!
They just stood there and watched what the priest did. In that
they had salvation! They could not do anything themselves here – even if
they had given their bodies to be burned. It was somebody else – the
priest – who had to do something, and he again had to do it perfect
in regulations to God’s directions.
Then a certain question is pressing: Has any sacrifice like that –
perfect according to God’s demands and laws – been given to me? – For my
soul? For my sins sake
We will again let God’s word answer that – anything else is not
interesting in this context: “- how much more will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God,
cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
(Hebr.9:14). And we know the words from 1 John: “- and He Himself is the
propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of
the whole world.” (1 John 2:2). We hear about what the priest did
for the people!
Listen again to what is
testified about this sacrifice here in Leviticus: “So the priest
shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.” (v.20b).
They were given forgiveness! Who? How many? Then we get a
wonderful answer: “Now if the whole congregation of Israel
commits error…” (v.13a).
This sacrifice took away the sin and the guilt that laid upon
all the people! Therefore the angel preaches the Christmas night:
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which
will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10).
He had come to make
atonement and take away all the sins of the world! Who is it then
that don’t have a reason to be happy? You can leave right now and say: I
don’t want this! I want to go my own way! Most people do that, Jesus
says – choose the broad way to perdition. But you can’t say that God
hasn’t made atonement for you too!
Lift your eyes a little and
see what is going on inside the Holy of Holies. God Himself has pulled
the veil aside for that: The priest – the high priest Jesus – carries
His own perfection according with God’s holy demand and laws, and the
people – you – get the forgiveness of sins! But of this
The serpent, is highly effective today too! No, you must! –
you must! - you must! No, what I had to, Jesus did, and I
am therefore free from all of these: “You must!”
Didn’t Jesus speak the truth when He shouted from the wooden cross:
“It is finished?” That is the question you have to
take very seriously! Because if it is true, what He testified, then
there should be absolutely nothing that you should add to it! And if
that’s what you’re doing – adding to it – you must by all means call it
seriousness or god fear or whatever a man can come up with – it has to
have its reason that you don’t believe in Jesus words! And what does He
say about Himself? He says: “I am the truth!” (John 14:6).
He is the one who testifies for your heart right now, as you hear
His word again: “It is finished!” The priest has made atonement for you!
Many priests in the Norwegian church, stands and mumbles themselves
further and further into spiritual darkness that lowers itself over land
and people in this time, but the true light that lights up every man
(John 1:7, He shines still in darkness and His light is a light to
salvation. So listen: “So the priest shall make atonement for
them, and they will be forgiven.” (v.20b).
Incredible! – but true!
Holy Bible, New American
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart