Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Leviticus, chapters 5 through 7, further detailing the requirements for sin offerings. Some impressions from the text:
- Leviticus 5:1 classifies as sin what we today might call obstruction of justice.
- A few things noteworthy about guilt offerings
- They were due for atonement whether the person offering them sinned intentionally or not. Mistakes required atonement as much as malicious acts.
- They were due for atonement in addition to repentance from sin. Merely feeling sorry or expressing regret, while necessary, was not good enough.
- In addition to the guilt offering, sinners were required to make their victims whole. They had to replace whatever they took, damaged, or lost. And they had to give a fifth extra, almost like a form of interest. This is fascinating, and implies that victims are not made whole by merely replacing what was taken, but by also compensating for the inconvenience. It’s analogous to suing for legal fees.
- The second point above reminds us of a critical aspect of the gospel. While the first exhortation of the evangelical is to repent, to turn from sin, that is not enough to warrant salvation. Repentance, while necessary, does not save us. Christ’s atoning work on the cross, to which we add nothing through any effort of our own, is what actually saves us. Just as the repentant Israelite still had to bring a guilt offering to cover his sin, so too must the repentant believer today be made clean through the blood of Christ.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Laws for sacrificial offerings, and their relevance today. – Leviticus 1-4