“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.” (Leviticus 4:1-4)
The sin offerings were required for a sin the person had done. They were strictly for sins that had been done unintentionally, whether not realizing they were sin, or not realizing a person was doing them. They were not for intentional or habitual sin. The sacrifice required would depend on the influence the individuals actions would have.
A priest’s sin would influence the entire congregation. He was required to bring a young bullock for his sin. It had to be without blemish, and he had to identify the bullock as his personal sacrifice.
“And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the veil of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Leviticus 4:5-7)
A different priest was to take the blood into the first room of the tabernacle, the holy place, and sprinkle it in front of the veil separating the two rooms. He was also to smear some of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense, portraying Christ acting as our advocate before God, as I John 2:1-2 describes. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Deliberate sin is a different story. Hebrews 10:26-27 warns, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” For those who reject Christ, it is eternal damnation. For those who receive him, Hebrews 12:6 warns, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
Whether a person is a Christian or not, deliberate sin will be punished. Hebrews 12:8 advises, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” A person who seems to be getting by with sin is not a child of God, and is destined for hell. God is allowing him to go in hopes he will turn to Christ. Romans 2:3-4 asks, “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” I realize this goes against what is commonly believed today.
“And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away, As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering.” (Leviticus 4:8-10)
The priest was to burn the same parts on the altar as were burned for the peace offerings.
“And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung, Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.” (Leviticus 4:11-12)
All the rest of the body of the sin offering was to be taken outside the camp and burned as representing the sin. Hebrews 13:10-14 refers to this practice. “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
I Peter 2:9 declares, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” This direction for the priests especially relates to the Christian. As Christians, we have our sins taken away, not just covered up, and so we need to move beyond the same old things we did in the past.