Dealing with Sin and Guilt
Scripture reading for February 3rd: Leviticus 4-7
We are wired by God with an inner moral compass called a conscience. This conscience tells us when we are off base morally. Sin is disobedience to God’s commands or instruction. We experience guilt feelings when we sin or violate God’s basic laws. If we repeatedly sin and fail to take action to seek forgiveness and change our behavior, our conscience can become seared and we no longer experience guilt feelings.
God made a required way for His people to deal with unintentional sin and the resultant guilt. They had two prescribed offerings that were specifically designed to cover sin and remove guilt. The first offering was called the “sin offering” because of its obvious purpose. In this offering the guilty sinner must bring a young bull without defect before the Lord and present it at the door of the Tent of Meeting. He must lay his hand on the bull’s head and then slaughter it. The anointed priest was to take blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord in front of the curtain in the sanctuary. The priest then took more blood and anointed the horns of the incense altar and poured the rest of the blood out before the Lord. The fat and kidneys were burned on the altar as an offering and the rest burned outside the camp in a clean place.
This elaborate offering for unintentional sin speaks of Jesus Christ. He was a young man in His prime, offered before the Lord. He poured out His blood willingly for sinners and for the guilty to cleanse them from sin and guilt. His heart and kidneys were offered to God–perfect inner obedience and willing sacrifice! Jesus body was offered outside the camp on Golgotha! He went through the fires of God’s judgment on our behalf while hanging on the altar of the cross!
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)