Jehovah spoke to Moses and said: “If a person commits a sin and unintentionally sins in Jehovah’s holy things, he will present to Jehovah through his fault a sheep from the flocks, valued in silver shekels, according to the cycle of the sanctuary, as a sin offering. ”Leviticus 5: 14-15
A distinction made in the sin offering is that sin was sometimes said to be involuntary. It does not have to do with deliberate evil actions, which we all commit from time to time, but it has to do with the nature that motivates those actions and which take us by surprise.
Haven’t you noticed that? Most of us, if asked for our private opinion, would have to say that we are quite nice. Most of us have a decent opinion of ourselves. We recognize that we still have some minor problems, yes, a few peccadilloes that, if we just had the proper motivation, we could eliminate with a little effort on our part. That’s true, isn’t it?
Read also: Your sins can be forgiven
But once in a while, something happens that surprises us, and we act in a way that we did not expect. Some situations suddenly catch us, and suddenly we do the same thing that we never thought we were going to do. Does this ever happen to you? We realize suddenly and overwhelmingly that there is a deeper evil in us than we had realized. That is what the sin offering is talking about, that type of evil that is part of us, part of our nature, that takes us by surprise because we believe that we had discarded it or that we did not even have it.
Dostoevsky, in The Karamazov Brothers, tells a fable about an evil woman who died. The demons took her and threw her into the lake of fire. Her guardian angel was puzzled about what he could do to help her. So she thought through her whole life to see if she could find at least one good thing she had done that she could bring her before God. Finally, he went to God and said: “A beggar once passed by his house when he was weeding his garden, and she took out an onion and gave it to him to eat.” God said to the angel: “Very well, then go down and get that onion, and you will reach it in the lake of fire. Tell him to take the onion, and if you can take it out with the onion, then he can come to paradise. ” So the angel took the onion, went down into the lake of fire and handed it to the woman. She took it, and the angel started pulling her. He tugged and tugged, and unsurprisingly, he started pulling her out of the lake of fire. She was almost completely free when some other sinners around her grabbed her ankles so they too could get out. At first, the onion held out, and they also started to come out. But the woman was very angry and shouted: “This is my onion, and you are not going out with me!” And when he kicked them to let go, the onion broke, and she fell again and to this day she is burning. But the woman was very angry and shouted: “This is my onion, and you are not going out with me!” And when he kicked them to let go, the onion broke, and she fell again and to this day she is burning. But the woman was very angry and shouted: “This is my onion, and you are not going out with me!” And when he kicked them to let go, the onion broke, and she fell again and to this day she is burning.
This is a graphic illustration of what this offering is all about. Even in moments of triumph, there is a stain of selfishness, that evil in every human heart. That is what the sin offering is taking care of.
Father, how completely do you understand me! You know what lurks in my life, hidden, preventing me from knowing the full measure of Your grace. Thank you that you have foreseen all my sins, even those of which I am ignorant.
Application to life
As we encounter the surprise, often shock, of our sinfulness, does our amazement increase at the amazing sacrifice paid for our sins? Do we respond with gratitude that changes our lives and with praise?