“If an individual among the people commits a sin inadvertently, doing something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty. If the sin he committed becomes known to him, he is to bring as his offering a female goat without defect for the sin he committed, lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter the purification offering in the place of burnt offerings.”-Leviticus 4:27-29
While in the midst of studying the HATTA-AT levitical sacrifice or the Purification Offering (as I have chosen to render it), it struck me that there is one really important truth we need to wake up to and it is this.
The sins of a general congregation of believers carry with them a higher consequence than the leader of that group bears.
And we also see that the sins of the leader carry with it greater danger than the sins of any individual group member.
However, when I say “leader”, understand that I’m not referring to the High Priest.
Do NOT think that a rabbi, pastor, or bishop etcetera is to be equated with the High Priest.
That position is now permanently occupied and there is ONLY ONE High Priest.
His name is Yeshua.
Although we have a tendency to see it in reverse, the truth is the trespasses of the congregation as a whole are much more dangerous than the congregation leader.
This means that before we make a decision to join a group of professing believers, we had better make darned sure their belief system and actions are in harmony with Scripture.
You can’t renounce a group and simultaneously stay in union with it.
You cannot harbor the attitude that you’re above the sins of the group while still fellowshipping with them.
At least, that’s the takeaway I’m getting from this portion of Leviticus.
Having said that, don’t think I’m saying you’re under obligation to have to agree with every individual in the group on every issue.
There is definitely a place for healthy debate and disagreement, and I think that is the sign of a healthy congregation.
The point I want to make is that followers should NEVER blindly follow their leaders.
Congregation members should be well-schooled in Torah so they can be discerning and know whether the actions of their leaders are in accordance with God’s Word or not.
And if not, action needs to be taken, whether it is correcting the leader or correcting yourself by leaving the congregation.
However, how many congregations have members who are well-schooled in Scripture?
It seems to be more the norm that congregation members just accept whatever doctrine they are force fed from the pulpit.
Okay, today I want to close Leviticus Chapter 4.
So out of the four classes for the Purification Offering which are the High Priest, All Israel, the Tribal Leader, and Common Folk, we now come to the lowest class which is the offering of the Common Individual.
We’re told that when the common individual inadvertently sins, he is to bring a female goat or a female sheep to be offered.
A female animal was generally considered to be of lesser value than a male animal of the same kind.
Thus, with the common person we’re seeing yet another step downward in price that needs to be paid for an unintentional sin.
The ritual steps are the same as usual.
The female goat or sheep is led to the Tabernacle area, SEMICHAH (laying on of hands) is performed to indicate a transfer of guilt, the animal is killed, the common priest dabs some blood on the horns of the Bronze Altar and then finally the fat from the organs is removed and burned up on the Bronze Altar.
And again, we’re given this reminder in verse 31.
“the cohen is to make it go up in smoke
on the altar as a fragrant aroma for Adonai”
So the whole purpose of the sacrifice is to create smoke which emits a pleasing odor to the Lord.
Also note this part of verse 35.
“All its fat he is to remove,
as the fat of a lamb is removed
from the sacrifice for peace offerings“
Recall that Peace Offerings is referring to the ZEVAH and with the ZEVAH certain parts of the animal can be used for personal food.
So we know that that is what was done with the HATTA-AT offering for the Tribal Leader and the Common Individual.
Finally, take note of the closing verse of Leviticus Chapter 4.
“The cohen will make atonement for him
in regard to the sin he committed,
and he will be forgiven.“
Again, I reiterate and I’m going to keep hammering this home, these Words of Scripture are NOT a lie.
It clearly says that the priest will make KIPPER (atonement) and the worshipper who sinned WILL BE FORGIVEN.
This ritual sacrifice wiped clean the defilement and the sinner was fully restored to a peaceful relationship with the Father.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER FIVE