Scripture Query and Answer: Offerings

Leviticus 1‑7  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Q. What is the difference of the offerings of sweet savor, those for sin, &c., and those of atonement-day?
A. The sacrifices spoken of in the first chapters of Leviticus present to us, 1-3, the intrinsic value and character of the sacrifice and self-offering of Christ, as estimated in communion. In Chap. 4-6, 7, the case is put, “if a soul sin?” that is, it is to meet the positive need of a soul, its positive sin, of whatever character; and he is, or they are, if it be all the people, forgiven. Atonement or forgiveness is not spoken of in the sacrifice for the high priest. The statement may be carried on, as all intercourse is interrupted for the people, to verse 20; if not, it is an exceptional case. In the 16th chap of Leviticus, its seems to me more the establishment of relationship with God; or, more accurately, the ground of relationship. We do not hear of forgiveness. Sin is put away; the character of God is made good and glorified, and the sins all borne away—uncleanness removed, so that things are clean. The priest goes in within the wail, so as to give God the ground of a relationship with the people by blood when sin was there, and the tabernacle was sprinkled so as to be suited for God's dwelling, and then all the sins carried away into a land not inhabited. Thus God could be with the people. Personal, individual forgiveness was made good by the sin and trespass offerings. This double character was partly connected with the imperfect character of the sacrifices which required repetition, and the van not being rent. But we acquire thus the knowledge of the double aspect of the work; relationship, sinless, righteous relationship and forgiveness. This subject is treated in Heb. 9; 10, where the day of atonement having been stated, as in chap. ix., as once for all, leading God's people to look for Christ, for whom He will come apart from all sin, because He has put it away for them, chap. 10. applies it, and shows that the yearly sacrifices (Lev. 16.) served as continual remembrance of sins, that they were not put away. That Christ has offered Himself, setting aside through the body, prepared for Him, all the sacrifices of Leviticus of every kind, in the work that He did as accomplishing the imperfect figure of Lev. 16., because, by that work which He wrought, to reconcile us to God, He bore and put away all sin for those that believe on Him, so that there is no more sacrifice for sin. The general statement of chap. 9:12-14 takes up the day of atonement and the red heifer, and shows the purging of the conscience by Christ. This is opened out in application in chap. 10.