We are now studying the 4th Levitical sacrifice known in Hebrew as the HATTA-AT.
Most Bibles will call it the “Sin Offering”.
However, given this sacrifice’s purpose and what it accomplishes, I believe it would be much more accurate to call it a “Purification Offering“.
While the first Levitical sacrifices were all about allowing the worshipper to come near to God and establish a peace relationship with Him, this 4th sacrifice, the HATTA-AT, brings a whole other aspect to the nature of sin, its effects, and the deadly assault on God’s holiness it causes.
I would say would one of the biggest problems with how the church teaches the Bible today is that they tend to reduce almost every Scriptural principle to a handful of simplistic clichés and clever, short sayings.
This is kind of like trying to get the essential nutrients our bodies need from a small cup of vitamin pills alone.
Wouldn’t it better (and much more enjoyable) to derive nourishment from real and healthy food instead of manufactured doctrines of men?
Personally, among the many pastors I’ve met in my life, I have never met one, not one, who really understood in detail what Leviticus is about and its connection to Yeshua’s sacrifice.
And I’ve never been to any church or church Bible study where the Book of Leviticus was properly taught.
Everything is always simplified into “well Jesus did away with all that” nonsense.
The reason Leviticus is important is because it gives us the full picture of sin and atonement.
There are many facets to sin and when studying Leviticus, you will find that sin is a much more complex and serious issue, and present in more forms in our lives than you may have ever imagined.
Let me demonstrate with a simple example why studying Leviticus is important and what it does it for us in terms of our understanding of sin and atonement.
Let’s say you are thinking of buying a new house in a new neighborhood.
Since this is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make in your life, you decide to undertake a thorough investigation of the neighborhood where your possible future house will be located.
First, you decide to take a drive around and throughout inside the neighborhood, checking out what types of stores, restaurants and other public establishments etcetera you would have access to.
Your research doesn’t stop there.
Next, you park your car, and decide to speak to some of the neighbors who live near the home you’re thinking of buying.
You introduce yourself, let them know that you’re seriously considering moving into the area and then start asking them some important questions.
Is the area safe at night?
What kind of community activities are there?
How are the schools in the area?
Have any serious crimes occurred in the past 5 years?
How is the noise level, especially at night?
After speaking with the neighbors, you may even decide to stay for a couple of nights at a motel located in or near the neighborhood you’re thinking of moving into.
During this temporary stay, you will venture out into the neighborhood in the early morning, in the afternoon, and during the evening, all the while observing, soaking up the atmosphere, and just trying to get a real feel for what it’s going to be like to live there.
The goal behind all of this research is to of course get a proper and full understanding of the neighborhood.
And of course, you will apply the same meticulous and painstaking research to the house as well.
My objective in sharing this example is to point out that in a sense this is what we are doing when we study Leviticus.
We are examining the many aspects of sin and atonement from many different positions and angles in order to get a complete and overall picture of the Lord’s perspective on the topic of sin and atonement.
The danger in NOT studying or in NOT undertaking a proper investigation of God’s Word and relying only on manufactured oversimplified doctrines of men is that you will get a very distorted or incomplete view of the Lord’s perspective on the subject.
The reason why it’s important to properly understand the nature of sin is because it can destroy our relationship with the Lord.
Sin presents the biggest threat to the covenant relationship the Lord created in order that man may live at peace with Him.
In addition, sin can also bring about many unintended and unforeseen consequences that are irreversible.
Here’s another point that I hardly ever hear brought up in the church.
Sin can bring about God’s wrath!
I know many people don’t want to hear that.
All people want to hear about is a buttery, maple syrupy sermon about God’s love and how Jesus paid for all our sins past, present, and future and now there are no consequences for our behavior.
Well, while love is one part of God’s character, so is God’s judgement and wrath.
There are some folks out there who say “I don’t believe in God’s wrath” or “The God of wrath was only in the Old Testament”.
Boy, do I fear for you if you think like that.
If you don’t believe God pours out His wrath in judgement, you just don’t understand the Scriptures my friend.
Hopefully, by the time we’re through with Leviticus, you will understand just how serious sin is from the Lord’s perspective.
It ain’t a pretty picture.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Study to show thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.“
-2 Timothy 2:15
“Though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you
the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.
You need milk, not solid food!”