I’ve learnt a lot about sin in the last couple of days.
Leviticus 1-7 are pretty gory chapters of the Bible. What’s clear is that blood must be shed to make atonement for sin. I can only think of one part of the Bible that is more gory than this and that comes at the end of the 4 gospels when God sacrifices his own son to make atonement for the sin of the world.
Another lesson is that when it comes to sin, ignorance doesn’t = innocence. If we sin, we are guilty whether we knew we were sinning or not. Jesus’ blood cleanses us from this guilt too.
It is clear from chapter 5 that sin can be a failure to do something good just as much as it can mean doing something “bad”. You might have heard such sin described as “sins of omission”, where the good thing remains undone. I’m so grateful that Jesus didn’t even sin in this way. He was so in tune with and submissive to his Father’s will that he never failed to the good things that God had prepared for him. God graciously credits this righteousness to us through faith in Christ.
And finally, these chapters reveal that sin against another person is always against God first. This means that there are two stages necessary in dealing with sin: atonement with God and restitution towards the person we have sinned against. It is impossible to sin against another person without also sinning against God. The fact that we are “the body of Christ” should help us to understand this and spur us on to love one another as God has loved us in Christ.