The Sin Offering

We shall now proceed to compare the sin-offering with the burnt-offering, in doing which we shall find the two very different aspects of Christ. But although the aspects are different, it is one and the same Christ; and hence the sacrifice in each case was "without blemish." This is easily understood. It matters not in what aspect we contemplate the Lord Jesus Christ, He must ever be seen as the same pure, spotless, holy, perfect One. True, He did, in His abounding grace, stoop to be the Sin-bearer of His people; but it was a perfect, spotless Christ who did so. The intrinsic excellence, the unsullied purity, and the divine glory of our blessed Lord appear in the sin-offering as fully as in the burnt-offering. It matters not in what relationship He stands, what office He fills, what work He performs, what position He occupies, His personal glories shine out in all their divine effulgence.

The truth of one and the same Christ, whether in the burnt-offering or in the sin-offering, is seen not only in the fact that in each case the offering was "without blemish," but also in "the law of the sin-offering," where we read,

This is the law of the sin-offering: In the place where the burnt-offering is killed shall the sin-offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy (Lev. 6:25).

Both types point to one and the same great Antitype, though they present Him in such contrasted aspects of His work. In the burnt-offering, Christ is seen meeting the divine affections; in the sin-offering, He is seen meeting the depths of human need. One presents Him to us as the Accomplisher of the will of God; the other, as the Bearer of the sin of man. In the former, we are taught the preciousness of the Sacrifice; in the latter, the hatefulness of sin.

We shall now consider the typical act of "laying on of hands." This act was common both to the burnt-offering and the sin-offering; but in the case of the former, it identified the offerer with an unblemished offering; in the case of the latter, it involved the transfer of the sin of the offerer to the head of the offering.

What, then, is the doctrine set forth in the laying on of hands? It is this: Christ was "made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). He took our position with all its consequences, in order that we might get His position with all its consequences. He was treated as sin upon the cross, that we might be treated as righteousness in the presence of Infinite Holiness. He had to endure the hiding of God’s countenance, that we might bask in the light of that countenance. He had to pass through three hours of darkness, that we might walk in everlasting light. He was forsaken of God for a time, that we might enjoy His presence forever. All that was due to us as ruined sinners was laid upon Him, in order that all that was due to Him as the Accomplisher of redemption might be ours. There was every thing against Him when He hung upon the cursed tree, in order that there might be nothing against us. He drank the cup of wrath, that we might drink the cup of salvation—the cup of infinite favor. He was treated according to our desserts, that we might be treated according to His.

Such is the wondrous truth illustrated by the ceremonial act of imposition of hands. When the worshiper had laid his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, it ceased to be a question as to what he was or what He deserved, and became entirely a question of what the offering was in the judgment of Jehovah. If the offering was without blemish, so was the offerer; if the offering was accepted, so was the offerer. They were perfectly identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them one in God’s view. He looked at the offerer through the medium of the offering.

But in the sin offering, when the offerer had laid his hand upon the head of the offering, it became a question of what the offerer was, and what he deserved. The offering was treated according to the desserts of the offerer. They were perfectly identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them one in the judgment of God. The sin of the offerer was dealt with in the sin-offering; the person of the offerer was accepted in the burnt-offering. This made a vast difference. Hence, though the act of laying on of hands was common to both types, and was expressive of identification, yet were the consequences as different as possible. The just treated as the unjust; the unjust accepted in the just.