The Sin and Guilt Offerings
Text: Hebrews 13:10-16
I. The Law of Moses featured numerous sacrifices and making sense of them can be difficult
A. There were five categories: Sin, trespass, burnt, meat, and peace offerings
1. But they were also grouped in another way: Firstfruits, wave, heave, vow, voluntary, and drink offerings
2. They were also divided into two groups: sweet and non-sweet aroma
a. The burnt, meat, and peace offerings were sweet or pleasant smelling offerings (Leviticus 1:9; 2:9; 3:5)
b. The fat of any animal was not to be eaten. It belonged to God - Leviticus 3:16-17; 7:23-25
(1) In those days, fat was considered a delicacy, but the best portions belonged God
(2) Offerings that included animal sacrifices, included a sweet offering, even if the offering as a whole was not sweet - Leviticus 4:31
B. Fortunately, we don’t live under this system, but it also means that most of us have no idea when a particular offering is mentioned, what is meant.
1. A shadow of the good things in the New Testament - Hebrews 10:1
2. For example, Christ was offered up as a fragrant offering - Ephesians 5:1-2
a. But Christ wasn’t burnt at the stake, so what does Paul mean?
b. Christ was being offered up as the best
II. Sin Offerings
A. Sin offerings were given where the sin was unintentional and where restitution was not possible.
1. By unintentional, what is meant is that there was no design to sin. But this offering was required once the person is made aware that he sinned. Examples are:
a. Not testifying of something you witnessed - Leviticus 5:1
b. Being unaware of touching something unclean, and thus, had not followed the requirements for uncleanness - Leviticus 5:2-3
c. A thoughtless promise (good or bad) - Leviticus 5:4
2. It included ignorance of the law - Numbers 15:22-29
3. There were four categories based on who sinned.
a. Priests had to offer a bull – a very expensive sacrifice - Leviticus 4:1-5
b. The whole nation because the sinners had hid the sin also required a bull. The elders had to lay their hands on the bull, both as representatives, but also the accountable party - Leviticus 4:13-15
c. Leaders had to offer a young male goat - Leviticus 4:22-24
d. Common people offer a young female goat or a female lamb - Leviticus 4:27-29,32-33
(1) The poor could bring two turtle doves or two pigeons - Leviticus 5:7
(2) For the very poor, it required a tenth of an ephah of flour (about a day’s supply of food) - Leviticus 5:11
4. Notice that the expense of the sacrifice increased as the person was more responsible. Priests teach the law, so they should know better. Elders watch over the people and serve as judges. Leaders enforce the law.
5. Also notice that no distinction is made over the type of sin. What was required did not change whether we as people might see it as a big or little sin.
B. Sin offerings required
1. The sinner to put his hands on the offering as a reminder of his responsibility to keep the law. He watched as the sacrifice was killed
2. Some of the blood was put on the horns of the altar of incense. For a congregational sin offering, blood was sprinkled seven times before the veil separating the most holy from the holies (Leviticus 4:17). The remainder was poured beneath the altar.
3. The fat and some choice organs were sacrificed before God as a peace offering - Leviticus 4:8-10
4. The remainder had to be carried outside the camp and burnt - Leviticus 4:11-12
5. Those serving in the temple could not receive a portion
C. Jesus was our sin offering - Hebrews 13:10-13
D. Intentional sins carried either exile or a death penalty - Numbers 15:30-31
1. Example is a man to gathered sticks on the Sabbath - Numbers 15:32-36
III. Guilt or Trespass Offerings
A. Guilt offerings are like sin offerings, but it covers unintentional sins where there was also restitution to be made
a. Causing damage to a holy thing - Leviticus 5:15-16
b. Lying - Leviticus 6:2-7
2. It was also used for
a. A leper who has been cleansed - Leviticus 14:10-28
b. A sexual sin with another person’s slave - Leviticus 19:20-22
c. Breaking a Nazarite vow - Numbers 6:12
B. Guilt offerings required a ram, repayment according to the property’s value plus a 20% fine.
1. A few crimes carried a greater fine - Exodus 22:1-9
2. Only after was forgiveness granted.
3. No variation was offered based on a person’s ability to pay
C. A guilt offering emphasized the fact that some sins impact our neighbors to whom we are responsible and it is also a sin against God.
1. Unlike the sin offering, the priest partook of parts of the guilt offering - Leviticus 7:1-7
2. Yet the payments isn’t earning forgiveness. This was for correcting the harm done to a neighbor.
D. Jesus was our guilt offering - Isaiah 53:10
1. He would sprinkle the nations - Isaiah 52:15
2. God laying on him our iniquities - Isaiah 53:6
3. He bore our griefs, sins - Isaiah 53:4, 11-12
4. Resulting in our justification
E. We find many quotes and allusions to this in the New Testament - Matthew 8:16-17; Luke 22:37; John 12:37-38; I Peter 2:21-25
1. Some are more subtle - I Peter 1:2
F. Why a guilt offering?
1. Jesus’ shed blood brought atonement for our souls - Leviticus 17:11
2. His blood gave us forgiveness - I John 1:7
3. But his death also paid the debt of sin. He made restitution
a. By becoming a curse, he redeemed us - Galatians 3:13
b. Redemption through his blood - Colossians 1:14
c. Not physical payment - I Peter 1:18-19
d. Eternal redemption - Hebrews 9:12, 15
IV. Jesus is worthy of our worship - Revelation 5:9
A. What do we do, knowing how much Christ has given us?
B. We can’t remain the same. We can’t remain in sin.
C. Titus 2:11-14
D. It is time to change. It is time to praise.