"He must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as
a sin offering for the sin he has committed." Leviticus 4:3
Sin! The sound is brief. But it presents a dark abyss of
thought. No mind can trace its birth. No eye can see its death. Before the
worlds it scaled the heavens, and dragged angels down. In life's first dawn
it entered Eden and slew innocence. It ends not with the end of time. It
ever rolls an ever-deepening course.
Reader, think much of sin.
It is earth's death-blow. It marred the beauty of a
beauteous world. It stripped it of its lovely robe. It caused the soil to
harden; the leaves to wither and decay. It turned fertility to weeds, and
armed the brier with its bristling thorns. It made the clouds to blacken,
and the storm to rage. It raised the tempest's roar, and plumed the
lightning with its forked wings. It placed its foot upon a perfect
workmanship—and left it a disordered wreck.
Reader, think much of sin.
It is man's ruin. Its most tremendous blight fell on our
inner life. It drove the soul from peaceful fellowship with God. It changed
the loving child into a hardened rebel. It robbed the mind of light. It
rendered reason a bewildered maze. It made the heart a nest of unclean
birds; a spring of impure streams; a whirlpool of tumultuous passions; a
hot-bed of ungodly lusts; a den of God-defying schemes. It is the malady—the
misery—the shame of our whole race. It is the spring of every tear. Each
sigh, which rends the breast—each frown, which ploughs the brow—each pain,
which racks the limbs, are cradled in its arms. It is the mother of that
mighty monster—death. It digs each grave in every grave-yard. Each widow and
each orphan tastes its gall. It fills each hospital with sick. It strews the
battlefield with slain. It is the core in every grief. It is the worm which
gnaws the root of peace.
Reader, think much of sin.
Its terrible destructions die not in the grave. There is
a region, where its full-blown torments reign. It built the prison-house of
hell. It kindled quenchless flames. It forged the chains, which bind lost
sinners to their burning beds. It sharpened the undying sting of an
upbraiding conscience. It arms the jailer—Satan, with his scourge. It bars
the hopeless in that outer darkness, where weeping ever weeps—and wailing
ever wails—and teeth forever gnash—and all is woe, which knows no respite
and no end.
Reader, think much of sin.
It works this bitter and eternal anguish, because God's
curse attends it. It raised a rebel-hand against His will. It dared to
violate His holy law. It strove to lay His honor in the dust. It trampled on
the statute-book of heaven. Therefore God's anger fiercely burns against it.
Hence every misery follows in its succession. He must be wretched who has
God against him.
Reader, here is a picture, in which all horrors meet.
Regard it with an earnest eye. No fiction colors it. No power can over paint
the terrible reality. No artist's skill can represent a flame. The dreadful
truth exceeds report. The lost writhe out eternity in fully learning the
deserts of sin.
These terrors are the best prelude to the tidings of the
sin offering. Tears magnify the cross. The trembling heart is the best soil
for seeds of peace. Hell seen beforehand, is hell escaped forever. Satan
disclosed, is Satan baffled.
As the bright sun behind a threatening cloud, the sin
offering waits to change the frightful aspect of sin. At Sinai's base this
rite steps forth to show the reconciling work of grace. Reader, receive the
soul-reviving voice— Though sin is death, the sinner need not die. There is
a fortress of escape. There is a remedy to heal these wounds. What though
your sins be countless as the sands? They all may disappear. What though the
dye of each be double crimson? Each may be washed away. The filth may all be
cleansed. The debts may be wiped out. The soul may meet Jehovah's eye
without one stain. There is a way, by which the vilest may stand pure. This
is the blessed and the wondrous truth, which the Sin offering
proclaims.—God's love decreed a plan. He willed a ransom, and His Son
achieved it. Let us draw nearer to the amazing sight.
When God would save, justice, and truth, and holiness
proposed tremendous terms. Each sin must bear its merited load of woe. Each
curse must be endured. Each violation of the holy law must drink the dregs
of condemnation. Jesus comes forth to help. The guiltless One, takes the
guilty place. The God-man represents His flock. He stands their ready and
complete sin offering. He pays in anguish and in blood their every due.
Wrath is endured. Penalties are paid. Sufferings are suffered. Agonies are
agonized. The work requires infinity of woe. Infinity of woe is borne by
Him. His Deity enables. His manhood qualifies. Thus sin is fully punished.
Thus the redeemed are fully saved.
Such are the tidings of the Sin offering. Say, is not
this the truth of truths? All minds should ponder it. All hearts should
welcome it. All eyes should gaze upon it. All hands should grasp it. All
lips should praise it. Parents should teach it. Children should learn it.
Pulpits should echo it. The cottage—the sick chamber—the dying bed, should
brighten with this light. It should be the stable center of the soul—the joy
of social converse—the bond of Christian fellowship. Men should walk up and
down in the full freedom of redemption's plains.
Until by the Spirit's aid, the eye of faith discerns a
substituted sufferer, the conscience has no peace; the Bible is a locked-up
page; life has no steady compass; death has no pillow of assured repose.
Reader, is this truth, the light—the feast—the joy—the
strength—the rapture of your soul? Does morning wake you to bring this
offering to the Mercy-seat? Do you go forth with your hands resting on its
head? Do you lie down with the blood sprinkled on the day's misdeeds? It
should be so. In every way God sets this sacrifice before you. Christ knocks
for entrance at the sinner's heart. The Spirit joys to show the
And now in these poor lines another message craves
attention. Come mark, then, how the Sin offering in every part proves sin to
be a vanquished foe.
There are indeed some grades of difference in this type,
as rank or as offence might differ. The first example will illustrate all.
The offender is the anointed Priest. Lev. 4:3. Sin has
allured—ensnared—defiled him. But now he sees his guilt. He cannot rest
until pardon be obtained. God's voice directs his course. He must bring a
young unblemished bull to the tabernacle-door. Behold the proof, that God
has found a ransom. This is an idle and an empty rite, unless it shows the
victim of God's choice. This is but mockery, except it witnesses, that help
is laid on the redeeming Jesus.
The type is clear. It ushers in the Gospel antitype.
Atonement is indeed provided. We are not left to hopelessness, or human
schemes. Sins are our own. The remedy is His.
A SOLEMN ACT is next enjoined. The offender's hands must
be laid on the victim's head. This sign too, has no meaning, unless it bids
the sin-lost to transmit their guilt. Without such a meaning, it is a
puzzling and deceiving shadow. But God gives not an ordinance in vain. He
thus consents, that sin should pass to the Sin offering. He thus instructs
the heavy-laden to roll all on Christ.
Reader, if sin be found adhering to yourself—if it should
weigh you into nether-hell—it is not, because the chain cannot be broken—it
is not, because Christ refuses to receive—it is not, because you never heard
of transfer. It is, because you care not for relief. It is, because
self-will retains the mass of sin.
The substitute is then slain. Lev. 4:4. Sin must
have death. The curse must fall. God pardons not by bidding anger to hold
back. His hatred must be shown—His majesty must be maintained—His truth must
be preserved. Pardons indeed abound. They freely and they gladly fly. But
all proceed along a blood-stained path.
Believer, your sins slew Christ. They cannot now slay
you. His death is yours. Therefore you live. God's smile is on you, not
because your sins are none, but because each has died in Christ.
The precious rite continues to unfold the Savior's worth.
It shows THREE USES OF THE OUTPOURED BLOOD.
1. The veil is sprinkled seven times. Lev. 4:6. This
veil hung in front of the Mercy-seat. It was the entrance to the holiest
place. The truth is manifest. They, who would enter into heaven, must plead
Reader, the blood, which flowed at Calvary, still flows
within your reach. Take it by faith, and mount the holy heights. You may
have heaven, as your eternal home. Your sins are no insuperable bar. Without
one doubt, present the price. The gates will lift their heads. The
everlasting portals will fly back.
2. Part dyed the golden-altar's horns. Lev. 4:7. This
was the place where incense rose, as emblem of ascending prayer. Christ's
intercession is Salvation's crown. But it prevails, because its plea is
blood. The wounded hands cannot be stretched in vain. Who, also, are
they, who thrive most in the growth of grace, and work most boldly in the
Savior's cause? They, whose incessant prayers most sweetly savor of the
dying Lamb. The bleeding cross is supplication's strength.
3. The brazen-altar drank the rest. Lev. 4:7. Thus
all is used to bring assurance to the anxious heart. Each drop subserves its
part. Atonement needs the whole. The whole is given.
Reader, behold each altar reeking with this stream of
blood, and doubt not, that God's claims are satisfied.
This is not all. No effort is untried to deepen peace.
Hence we see more than the sin offering's death. Other rites follow. Let
them be marked. The costliest parts are piled upon the burning altar. Lev.
4:10. The angry fire receives them, as its prey. It burns—it blazes, until
all disappears. Thus wrathful fury seized the soul of Jesus. All torments
dealt most fiercely with Him. He suffered, until eternal vengeance asked no
Reader, if you are one with Christ, hell-pains are past
for you. If you are not, they still remain. Alas! how shall you bear them!
Again, this is not all. The curse is linked to sin. A
perfect sin offering, then, must be abhorred, as an accursed thing.
Abomination must pursue it. Turn now to the type. The remnant of the victim,
vile and contemned, is borne outside the camp. Lev. 4:12. It is spurned, as
hateful to the sight and touch. A pile of wood is raised. Again the fire is
brought, and burning work does its part. Here is clear emblem of Christ made
curse for us. The garden misery showed anger wrestling with His soul. But
further anguish presses in the rear. He is led out beyond the gate. The city
loathes Him, as earth's refuse.
He hangs conspicuously a curse for sin. Here the last
vengeance falls. Blessed are they, whose curse descends on the Savior's
Reader, in pity to your soul, flee to the Sin offering.
Make Christ by faith your own. When fears affright—when Satan claims—when
death draws near—when the great judgement throne is set—place Him—your
shield—before God's wrath. They cannot fail, who thus make Him their All.