Different ways to cleanse the sin of different people

The sin offering had to be offered in different ways to cleanse the sin of different people viz. the priest, the people and the leader, Leviticus 4. The other offerings that were needed to be offered included the guilt or trespass offering for sin committed unintentionally, Leviticus 5, and intentionally, the burnt offering, Leviticus 6, along with the grain offering, peace offering and thanksgiving offerings, and the portions to be given to the priests and the special instructions related to the non consumption of fat and blood, Leviticus 7.

The different sins listed in these chapters include: the guilt that a witness who knows the truth and does not deliver the falsely accused from a public curse bears, or when a person swears an oath, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips, whether to do evil or to do good, and is found guilty by not keeping it, or if a person deceives his fellow citizen in regard to something held in trust, or a pledge, or something stolen, or by extorting something from his fellow citizen, or has found something lost and denies it and swears falsely concerning any one of the things that someone might do to sin, and disobedience to any other commandments of the Lord, as and when, the person comes to know of the same, Leviticus 5,6.

The fire of the burnt offering was to be kept burning continually and never to be put off, Leviticus 6:8-13. Besides, the meat of the peace offering could never be eaten on the third day, Leviticus 7:18. What is the Lord seeking to make us understand through all these detailed instructions? Firstly, sin had to be atoned for immediately when the person concerned became aware of the same.

Next, stealing, lying, deception, loose speaking and refusing to speak up for a falsely accused person were some of the sins that God considered serious enough to mention in these chapters! Peace should be made with God and man immediately and settlement of such matters should not be kept pending even upto the third day!

Fat and blood were not to be consumed. So, this must have both physical,as well as, spiritual significance!

Further, because of our uncleanness (sin), we should take care to cleanse ourselves immediately so that we don’t defile others too with our sinful behaviour or sinful thought processes! And lastly, but in no way the least, the fire of the burnt offering had to be kept burning continually on the altar, signifying that every part of our bodies had to be offered as a living sacrifice unto the Lord continually, Romans 12:1,2.

This being done,the manifest presence of God would always be present in our midst and all the blessings that follow this would be freely enjoyed by us too. Let him who has an ear, hear!

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.