In my last post I made a statement that may have been quite surprising and shocking to some folks, especially those who grew up in sunday type Christian churches.
The statement I made was that the Leviticus sacrificial system did NOT cover all sins a person could potentially commit.
According to the Torah, ONLY “UN-intentional sins” could be forgiven.
“Intentional sins” could NOT be forgiven.
Now the truth be told, I think the usage of the word “intentional” is a bit misleading.
Take the sin of stealing for example.
According to the Torah, “stealing” would be classified as an unintentional sin and thus could be forgiven under the Levitical sacrificial system.
However, if you think about it, the act of stealing itself is an act committed intentionally.
I mean, have you ever heard of someone accidentally stealing something?
By definition, the word “steal” means to INTENTIONALLY take something that doesn’t belong to you.
So the Biblical usage of the words “intentional” and “unintentional” differs from our plain English understanding of these words.
In the Biblical usage, an “intentional sin” is really referring to a “great” or “high-handed sin”.
So what are some examples of unforgivable “intentional sins”?
Murder would be a perfect example.
According to Biblical law, the killing of a human being fell into one of two categories: JUSTIFIED or UNJUSTIFIED.
An example of a JUSTIFIED killing would be if you killed a thief in your house at night.
The reason this is justified is because since it was dark, you were unable to see properly and thus were incapable of making a proper judgement call concerning how much the danger the thief really posed to you and your family.
However, the killing of the same thief during the daytime would be considered UNJUSTIFIED because during the daylight hours you would have been able to discern how dangerous the criminal was, like whether he was armed or whether he was some famous serial killer at large etcetera.
Killing an unarmed thief during the daylight hours would only have been about protecting your property and the Lord doesn’t allow that kind life-for-property tradeoff.
These principles would have been common knowledge to any Hebrew.
The UNJUSTIFIED KILLING would have been considered murder and thus an INTENTIONAL SIN that could NOT be covered by a sacrificial atonement.
But the JUSTIFIED KILLING would have been considered an UN-INTENTIONAL SIN and thus was coverable by a sacrificial atonement.
Another example of an INTENTIONAL or high-handed sin was adultery.
If a man had sex with a married woman who was not his wife, no two ways about it, this was considered INTENTIONAL.
Both the man and woman knew the Law on this matter because the prohibition against adultery was commonly understood.
One doesn’t commit adultery by accident, so this sin was certainly not justifiable and thus could not be atoned for under the Levitical sacrificial system.
So the 64,000 dollar question that confronts us is what happened to those who could not make sacrificial atonement for their sins, because the sins they committed were classified as intentional?
The answer is they were turned over to that other part of God’s justice system known as the CURSES OF THE LAW.
That’s right, the phrase “curses of the law” or the “curse of the law” does NOT mean what you’ve been taught by your Christian pastor.
When the Apostle Paul said “the curse of the Law”, he was not uttering a blanket condemnation of the Mosaic Law.
He was referring to a specific aspect of God’s judicial system.
This is so important I’ve got to say it again.
Paul saying the “curse of the law” was NOT a blanket condemnation of the Mosaic Law, like saying the “curse of cancer” or the “curse of old age” for instance.
He was referring to a SPECIFIC ASPECT OF GOD’S JUDICIAL SYSTEM that dealt with intentional (or high-handed) sins.
See, all unintentional sins could be atoned for by a proper sacrifice under the Levitical sacrificial system.
And this was a great blessing because by God’s grace, these unintentional sins could be forgiven.
But there was NO SACRIFICE that could be offered up to atone for INTENTIONAL SINS.
Thus, these sins were turned over to that particular aspect of God’s judicial system called the “Curses of the Law”.
Since there was no animal sacrifice that could atone for INTENTIONAL SINS like murder or adultery, the perpetrators were in most cases sentenced to be executed, usually by stoning.
So this part of the Law was a curse indeed!!!
Make no bones about it, you had best believe that this information I’m sharing with you about the Law is not based on my own subjective imagination gone wild nor am I talking about the Law in some vague sense.
THIS IS THE BIBLICAL LAW AS FOUND IN THE TORAH.
UNINTENTIONAL SINS (like stealing or accidentally eating unclean food) were covered by the Levitical Sacrificial system.
INTENTIONAL SINS (like murder or adultery) were turned over to the CURSES OF THE LAW (usually resulting in execution).
To be fair, unintentional sins also required in some cases that reparations be made if for example somebody was injured or property was damaged due to one’s carelessness.
A good example is if you did not keep one of your farm animals properly confined to its stable and it ran out and damaged your neighbor’s property.
You would have to offer up an animal sacrifice at the Tabernacle AND compensate the injured party for the ensuing damage.
After doing so, you made peace with both your Father in heaven and your neighbor on earth.
I really, really hope you’re getting this because not only will you begin to understand the REAL Hebrew mindset as reflected in the Scriptures, but you will also REALLY, and I mean really, really understand what Paul was talking about in his so many references to the law in his letters to the various churches.
So let’s get this straight once and for all.
When Paul said “the curse of the Law”, he was NOT, and I repeat, HE WAS NOT uttering a blanket condemnation of the Mosaic Law.
He was referring to one specific aspect of God’s judicial system.
God’s judicial system had many aspects to it.
There were instructions for living, purity rituals, the sacrificial system etcetera and the curses of the law was just one part of that.
The way Christianity has interpreted and used the phrase the “curses of the law” is just PLAIN WRONG and has not only led many to accept a condescending attitude towards the TORAH and the other Scriptures but has also given birth to a vicious form of anti-Semitism that still festers in the gentile church to this very day.