Leviticus 4 - The big points:
1) With a high position comes great responsibility. The sin for the one anointed priest required the same sacrifice as the sin of the whole congregation.
2) Sin destroys. The bull sacrificed for the priest and the whole body could not be eaten and had to be burnt like garbage.
3) Sin separates us from God. The sin offering required blood on the veil of the covenant. Without the covering blood there could be no communion with God.
The first thing I love about this chapter is the sin offering wasn’t in the first or second chapter. Remember that when God was having this conversation they weren’t neatly divided into chapters and verses. He was just – talking. Yet God didn’t start out by telling us “Hey, you’re all sinners and you can’t come into My presence without the blood covering.”
No. The first thing He told us was that He wants to have fellowship with us. He wants us to want to come into His presence and spend time with Him.
This chapter goes into the details of the type of sacrifice that you needed once you sinned. The most telling point is this: the bigger your position in the society, the greater the sacrifice should value. Let me break it down:
An ordinary person could bring a female offering of the goat or sheep. But, a leader had to bring a male offering. Male animals would be more costly. An anointed priest would have to bring a bull – which would be even more costly.
With great power comes great responsibility.
God wanted those who led His people to be ever-conscious of the fact that they had to be a good example to the people. When they sinned, they could influence others to do the same.
But what if you were poor and couldn’t find a kid or a lamb? Well God made provision for that too, and we’ll see that in the next chapter. Now let’s talk about the grace:
A holy God demands sacrifice but did you notice that the covering for sin was something that was within the reach of the average Israelite? He didn’t ask for a rhinoceros or 100 gold coins. No. He made it something that they could actually pay.
While it cost them something (as it should because sin has a death penalty) it was not something that was impossible to achieve. Isn’t that great? And one other thing – did you realize how it all points to Jesus?
God, you knew our needs. You knew that we needed a covering between our sin and you. Thank you for allowing the blood of your only son to offer us grace and a chance for a new life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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