Keith Hunt - Law of the Offerings #4a - Page Ten   Restitution of All Things

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Law of the Offerings #4a

The Sin-offering


                             by

                        Andrew Jukes



THE SIN-OFFERING

We now come to OFFERINGS **NOT** OF A SWEET SAVOUR:

Of this class are the Sin and Trespass-offerings; the object of
which is to present Christ's Offering to us in an aspect wholly
DISTINCT from those already dwelt upon. Hitherto we have met no
thought of Sin in the offerings. The Burnt-offering, the
Meat-offering, and the Peace-offering, much as they differed,
were yet alike in this, that in each of them the offering was the
presentation of something which was SWEET to Jehovah, an oblation
to satisfy His holy requirements, and in the acceptance of which
He found grateful satisfaction. 
But here, in the SIN and Trespass-offerings, we read of SIN in
connexion with the offerinG. Here is CONFESSED sin, JUDGED sin,
sin requiring sacrifice and blood-shedding ....

It might perhaps be thought that this view of the Offering, as
leading to the knowledge and discovery of sin, might be less
blessed, less full of joy and consolation, than those views of
the Offering on which we have already meditated. Such might be
the case, were we other than what we are, and were the Sin-
offering other than God has provided. Were we sinless beings who
knew no sin, this view of the offering might not be needed by us,
save as revealing the grace of Him who, though the Holy One,
could be "just and yet a justifier." But to us, who, knowing
ourselves to be sinners, and as such subject to God's just wrath
and judgment, have yet believed in Him "who was made a curse for
us" (Gal.3:13) this view of the Offering is perhaps of all most
comforting. 

The Sin-offering shews that sin has been judged, and that
therefore the sense of sin, if we believe, need not shake our
sense of safety. Sin is indeed here pre-eminently shewn to be
EXCEEDING sinful, exceeding hateful, exceeding evil before God:
yet it is also shewn to have been perfectly met by sacrifice,
perfectly borne, perfectly judged, perfectly atoned for.
And the fact is, that the view of Christ as Sin-offering is
sooner apprehended than those prefigured in the Burnt and
Meat-offerings. Experience abundantly testifies this. As in the
type the Sin-offerings, though LAST in order of institution, were
invariably the FIRST in order of application; (see any chapter
which describes the order in which the sacrifices were to be
offered, as Exodus 29; Leviticus 8; 14; and 2 Chron 29, etc.) so
in the experience of saints, Christ is FIRST apprehended as the
Sin-offering. Long before there is any intelligence of all the
details of Christ's perfect work, as fulfilling all righteousness
as man, and being accepted of God as a sweet-smelling savour, -
long before there is any thought of His offering as that wherein
God takes delight and finds satisfaction, the weak Christian sees
Christ as Sin-bearer, and His offering as a sacrifice for sin.
And though, as the type will shew us, this view may be very
indistinct, confused, or partial, - and though it may be
apprehended by different believers with an immense difference as
to the measure of discernment and intelligence, - yet in some
form or other it is, I may say invariably, the FIRST view of
Christ's Offering apprehended by the Christian.

I have observed that in the institution of the offerings, as
recorded in the commencement of Leviticus, the sweet-savour
offerings precede the others; but that in the application of
these offerings, the order is reversed. I will add here a word or
two on this point, as, if I mistake not, this, like all else, has
a meaning in it. The reason of it will, I think, commend itself,
when the characteristic difference of these offerings is seen.

The sweet-savour offerings are, as we know, Christ in perfectness
offering Himself for us to God without sin, the others, on the
contrary, as we shall see represent Him as offering Himself as
our representative for sin. The institution of these sacrifices
gives us certain aspects of the Offering, in the order in which
they are viewed by God: and in this view Christ offering Himself
without sin would clearly precede His offering Himself for sin.  
Had He not been in Himself what the Burnt and Meat-offerings
typify, a voluntary offerer of a sinless offering He could not
have been offered for sin: the fact of His being perfect fitted
Him to be a Sin-offering. 

But the application of the offerings, on the other hand, gives us
the order of Christ's work as viewed by Israel; and Israel's view
in this case, as in all others, begins where the Offering meets
Israel's sin and failure. For this reason it is, I cannot doubt,
that in their application the Sin-offerings preceded the
Burnt-offerings.

But to pass from this order to the Offerings themselves, the
least degree of attention is sufficient to shew that, the
offerings which were not of a sweet savour are, of TWO sorts, -
first the Sin-offerings (chap.4; and verses 1-13) and then the
Trespass-offerings (chap.5:14-19; 6:1-7). For a Christian rightly
to know the difference between these, shews that he has learnt
more than one lesson in God's school. And indeed it is one mark -
a mark not to he mistaken, of the present low state of the mass
of Christians, that so many of them never seem to apprehend the
difference which God sees between Sin and Trespass. 

I assume here that there is a difference; for with these
offerings before us, it is impossible to doubt it. One thing at
least is plain: God sees a difference: happy the saint who sees
with God. Happy, I say, for though the knowledge of sin in itself
can never be a cause of joyfulness, yet to see and judge anything
as God Himself judges it is a step to blessedness, as surely as
it is a mark of communion with Him. Truly it is for lack of
knowledge on the particular now before us, that so many are
mourning who should be praising; for they do not see that
atonement has been made and accepted for sin in them, as well as
for their acts of trespass. I defer, however, entering into this
subject, until we have more fully considered the peculiar
character of the Sin-offering.     

When we have done this, and obtained, as I hope, a clearer
apprehension of it, we shall be better able to discriminate the
distinction between Sin and Trespass and their respective
offerings.

I proceed, therefore, at once to the consideration of THE
SIN-OFFERING. 

We may look at it, first, in its contrast to the other offerings:
and then, in its several varieties: the FIRST will shew the
particular aspect of Christ's Offering which is prefigured in the
type now before us; the SECOND, the various measures of
intelligence with which this aspect may be apprehended by
Christians.

To note then, FIRST, the Sin-offering IN CONTRAST WITH THE OTHER
OFFERINGS: 

three particulars will give us all the outlines.(1.) First; it
was, though with out blemish, not of a sweet savour. Then (2.) it
was burnt, not on the altar it the tabernacle, but on the bare
earth without the camp: in these two particulars the Sin-offering
was in contrast to the Burnt-offering. Lastly, (3.) it was an
offering for sin, and this as distinct from an offering for
trespass: in thus, as I need hardly observe; it stands contrasted
particularly with the Trespass-offering.

(1.) First, the Sin offering, though without spot or blemish, was
yet not a sweet-savour offering (chap.4). I have already dwelt
more than once on what is implied in a "sweet savour." I need
not, therefore, here do more than refer to it, to shew how Jesus,
the spotless One, could be "not a sweet savour."

The distinction is this: - the sweet-savour offerings were for
acceptance; the others for expiation. In the first class, sin is
not seen at all; it is simply the faithful Israelite satisfying
Jehovah. In the Sin-offerings it is just the reverse; it is an
offering charged with the sin of the offerer. 
In the Burnt-offering and other sweet-savour offerings, the
offerer came as a worshipper, to give in his offering, which
represented himself, something sweet and pleasant to Jehovah.    
In the Sin and Trespass-offerings, which were not of a sweet
savour, the offerer came as a convicted sinner, to receive in his
offering which represented himself, the judgment due to his sin
or trespass.  
  
In the Sin-offerings, as in the Burnt offerings, Christ is
Offerer: but here He is seen standing for us under the imputation
of sin. For though in Himself without sin, "the Holy One," yet He
became our substitute, confessed our sins as His sins, and bore
their penalty. Thus taking up His people's sins as His own, He
says, "My sins, 0 God, are not hid from Thee" (Ps.69:5) 
"Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have
taken hold upon me, they are more than the hairs of my head;
therefore my heart faileth me" (Ps.40:12). Oh wondrous mystery,
the Holy One of God made sin for sinners (2 Cor.5:21). And oh
unspeakable love, the Blessed One made a curse for cursed ones!
(Gal.3:13).

Such, then, is the import of the distinction between what was,
and what was not, of a sweet savour. 

In the one case the offering was accepted to shew that the
offerer was accepted of the Lord; and the total consumption of
the offering on the altar shewed God's acceptance of, and
satisfaction in, the offerer. In the other case the offering was
cast out, and burnt, not on God's table, the altar, but in the
wilderness without the camp; to shew that the offerer in his
offering endures the judgment of God, and is cast out of His
presence as accursed. In the one the offerer came to satisfy God,
and having in his offering stood the sifting trial of fire, was
accepted as a sweet savour; and fed upon, if I may say so, by the
Lord. In the other he came as a guilty sinner, and in his
offering bore the penalty for sin. The one is, - "He gave Himself
for us, as an offering to God of a sweet-smelling savour"
(Eph.5:2). The other, - "He gave Himself for our sins:" (Gal.1:4)
"He was made sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Cor.5:21). The
Sin-offering is the latter of these: not for acceptance, but to
expiate sin.

And yet the Sin-offering needed to be "without blemish"
(chap.4:3) as-much as the Burnt-offering: indeed in no offering
was perfectness more requisite. Again and again it is repeated
that nothing but an unblemished victim could be a Sin-offering:
(chap.4:3,23,28,32, etc.) one blemish, either within or without,
was enough to unfit the offering to bear the sin of others. So,
because He was sinless, Jesus could be a Sin-offering. Because He
was perfect, He could bear our sin.

It is well to meditate on this, **the perfectness yet the
rejection of the victim in the Sin-offering** that we may learn
how alone sin can be borne, and how it has been borne and
pardoned. Had there been spot or blemish of any sort on Jesus,
His offering could not have met and expiated sin. Had there been
one desire in His heart unholy, one act, one word, one look, one
thought imperfect, He could not have borne the curse for others.
He would Himself have needed atonement. But He was tried by man,
by God, by devils: and the trial only proved Him "the Holy One of
God." And "yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him:" (Isa.53:10)
though "the Holy One," He was cast without the camp: the only
spotless offering this world ever witnessed, was yet not only
afflicted of man, but judged of God and smitten.

The spotless Jesus not a sweet savour! The spotless Jesus
accursed of God! Cast forth, not merely without the Tabernacle,
but as unclean "without the camp!"  "But He was wounded for our
transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the
chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we
were healed" (Isa.53:5). Here we may learn the measure of the
love of Jesus, and our security as having been already judged in
Him. In His love He beheld, and saw us ruined, and that fallen
man could not bear the curse and live: "Then He said, Lo, I
come:" and He came, and was accursed for sinners. As
our representative He confessed our sins, binding on Him that
which would have sunk us in wrath for ever: as our
representative He bore their curse; and received at God's hand
our judgment.  
And because He has been judged for us, justice is satisfied; we
who believe have already been judged in Him; and God now is "just
to forgive us" (1 John 1:9) for Christ has borne our sins. 
"He His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that
we, being dead to sins, might live unto righteousness:" (I Peter
2:24) "For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He
liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be
dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our
Lord" (Rom.6:10,11).

But I pass on to the next characteristic feature in the
Sin-offering, which has already been incidentally alluded to.

(2.) The SIN-offering was burnt without the Camp (chap.4:12,21).

The other offerings were, without exception, burnt on the altar
in the Tabernacle.   
Here "the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head,
and with his legs, his inwards, etc., even the whole bullock
shall he carry without the camp .... and burn him on the
wood with fire" (verses 11,12). The import of this we have more
than once noticed in passing. It testifies how completely the
offering was identified with the sin it suffered for; so
completely identified that it was itself looked at as sin, and as
such cast out of the camp into the wilderness.

A part indeed, "the fat" (verse 8) was burnt on the altar, to
shew that the offering, though made a sin-bearer, was in itself
perfect. But the body of the victim, "even the whole bullock,"
was cast forth with out the camp. "Wherefore Jesus also, that He
might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without
the gate" (Heb.13:12). He was cast out as one who was unfit for
Jerusalem, as unworthy a place in the city of God, And what this
must have cost that Blessed One can never be entered into or
understood, till the holiness of Christ and the sinfulness of sin
are seen in measure, at least as God sees them.    

Who shall tell the secrets of that hour; when this part of the
type was fulfilled in Jesus; when He was led forth without the
camp, to bear the vengeance due to sinners?  His own words may
perhaps help us to lift the veil: - "My God: my God! why hast
Thou forsaken me?" (Mat.27:46).  As a man, - and He was perfect
man, with all our feelings and affections, sin excepted, - as a
man He felt the approach of death by painful, shameful, lingering
suffering: but the hiding of His Father's face, the consequence
of imputed sin ; this was His anguish. 
    
Doubtless He suffered being tempted; He suffered from reproach,
from the shame, the contempt, the spitting: doubtless He felt the
mockery of His foes, the flight of His disciples, with all their
aggravating circumstances. How He felt let the Psalms reveal.
But it was not this which made Him cry in anguish, "My God! my
God! why hast Thou forsaken me?" He had "suffered being tempted"
(Heb.2:18). He had "suffered, leaving us an example" (1 Peter
2:21), but His greatest suffering was, "He suffered for sins" (1
Peter 3:18).

And herein was His anguish, that He who had never known what it
was to have a thought out of communion with His Father, should
for a season be cast out of His presence, and endure the hiding
of that Father's face. In the Garden, looking forward to this
hour, with a will still longing for unbroken fellowship with His
God, He cried once and again, while great drops of blood fell
from Him, - "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me." But
even here He says, "Nevertheless not my will, not my will, but
Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). Yea, knowing what being forsaken of
God would involve, He comes to His Father and says, "Not my will,
but Thy will." 
He might, had He wished to spare Himself, have escaped this. He
might have refused to drain the cup of trembling. But then how
would His Father have been glorified, - how should we have
been redeemed to His praise? Therefore "He suffered for sins,"
and "the Just One" died for the unjust. He took our place that we
may take His: He was "cast out" that we might be "brought nigh"
(Eph.2:13) for ever. Blessed, blessed Lord, may we in the
knowledge of Thy love learn to love Thee better!

What consolation is there here for the mourner groaning under
the sense of sin or strong temptation; to know Jesus, though
sinless, has suffered for sins, and therefore He can, and
assuredly will, sympathize with us. And oh, what security, too,
is here: our sins have a Sin-bearer; they were once His burden.

It is unbelief, or ignorance of the Sin-bearer, that leaves the
sense of the burden but for a moment upon us. Faith sees the
Sin-offering "without the camp." and that Jesus there has met,
and suffered for sins for us.

(3.) The third peculiarity we may note in the Sin-offering is,
that it was an offering for sin, not an offering for trespass"
(chap.4:3,21,24,33, compared with chapter 5:13,19 and 6:2,6).

                               .............

TO BE CONTINUED


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