The Bullock for a Sin-Offering

Exodus 29:10‑14; Leviticus 8:14‑17  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"Thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock. And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it. upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar, But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering." Ex. 29:10-1410And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock. 11And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 12And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. 13And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar. 14But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering. (Exodus 29:10‑14)
"And he brought the bullock for the sin-offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin-offering. And he slew it: and Moses took the blood and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it to make reconciliation upon it. And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burnt it upon the altar. But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses." Lev. 8:14-1714And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering. 15And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it. 16And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar. 17But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Leviticus 8:14‑17)
The first offering brought by Moses was " the bullock for the sin-offering," or as it might be better rendered, " the bullock the sin." The word " offering" is never found in the Hebrew, connected with the various sacrifices.
" And Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock, the sin."
This word " laid" has sometimes the thought of laying, or leaning the hand heavily-thus in Psa. 88:77Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. (Psalm 88:7), it is translated " thy wrath lied) hard upon me."
The priestly house had to become acquainted with the sin-offering. They were the first portion of Israel that ever knew an offering for sin. Hitherto every sacrifice which had been presented to God, from Abel downwards, had been a burnt-offering; and even when the covenant was confirmed by the shedding of blood, Ex. 24 that blood was procured from burnt-offerings and peace offerings. Thus an offering solely and peculiarly appropriated to sin, had never been known until the consecration of the priests. We must remember that this 8th chapter of Leviticus which we are considering, in point of time, preceded the first seven chapters of that book, for the events therein related took place when the tabernacle was first set up. Ex. 40:12-1512And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. 13And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 14And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: 15And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. (Exodus 40:12‑15).
Aaron and his sons by laying their hands heavily upon the head of the victim, recognized their identification with it, typically transferring their sin from off themselves, to the bullock thus appointed to bear it. It was like the act of faith in a sinner when he first trusts in Jesus, and who believes that his sin has been borne by Christ; like the verse of our well-known hymn,
By faith I lay my hand,
On that dear head of thine,
Whilst like a penitent I stand.
And there confess my sin."
Moses then slew the bullock. Death at once followed the transfer of sin upon its head-death by the hand of another. Throughout this scene Moses seems to take the place of God-Aaron and his sons are completely passive-he deals with them as God commands.
The grand aspect of Christ's death is that He suffered at the hands of God. God provided the Lamb, " and it pleased the Lord to bruise him." God made " his soul an offering for sin."
Moses next took the blood, putting it on the horns of the altar, (of burnt-offering) round about with his finger, thereby purifying the altar-and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.
It is perhaps expressive of a knowledge of the value of the blood, as to its cleansing power-Moses the clean person handling it, and applying its value to the horns of the altar; the horns representing the power, or the strength of the altar. The blood of the sin-offering alone was poured at the bottom of the altar. Ex. 29:1212And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. (Exodus 29:12); Lev. 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 347And 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 4:7)
18And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. (Leviticus 4:18)
25And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. (Leviticus 4:25)
30And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. (Leviticus 4:30)
34And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar: (Leviticus 4:34)
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The altar was thus established upon blood-poured out blood was the very basis upon which it stood. It was Israel's place of access to God, where gifts also were presented. It was founded upon the blood shed. In Psa. 22:1414I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (Psalm 22:14), we have the blessed Lord on the cross uttering his deep sorrows in death to God, and saying, " I am poured out like water "-and again in Isa. 53:1212Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12), " he hath poured out (or emptied) his soul unto death." To this also the Lord makes allusion when on the night of His betrayal, " He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, (His disciples,) saying, drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matt. 26:27,2827And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:27‑28); Mark 14:2424And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:24). And again, " this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:2020Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20).
The great canon of truth " without shedding of blood is no remission," is here typically declared.
Three chief uses of the blood are emphatically declared in this 15th verse of Lev. 8 purification, sanctification, and reconciliation.
The word which we translate cleanse, or purify, is the same as is elsewhere translated " to sin"-only a little varied in its inflection. How remarkably the Spirit of God calls our attention (even by the use of words) to the fact that we can only be cleansed from our sins, by the blood of Him who was made sin. A serpent of brass raised up upon a pole, was presented to the eye of a dying Israelite, as the only object that could give him life, when he was suffering from the bite of a fiery serpent. Num. 21:88And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. (Numbers 21:8).
The blood put with the finger, purified. The blood poured our, sanctified, and reconciled. So it is with the saved sinner. He is reconciled to God-atoned for by the shedding of the blood of Christ. Through that one offering also, he is sanctified; and the blood applied to his heart purges him from an evil conscience.
The priests had themselves first to realize the value of the blood; its power to purify, sanctify and atone, constituting them worshippers of God. After this they could present a sin-offering for other Israelites, with some appreciation of its value.
Portions of the bullock, all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, were next burned upon the altar by Moses-but the bullock itself and his hide, his flesh, and his dung he burnt with fire without the camp.
Two distinct words are employed for these two burnings, and they are never interchanged. The one is always used when either the whole animal, or portions of it were burned upon the altar of burnt-offering; the other, when the victim was burnt for sin outside the camp. In the first the thought of a sweet savor going up to God is connected with the. word. Incense is derived from it-we find it in the following cases.
Parts of the sin-offering. Lev. 4:10, 19, 26, 31, 3510As 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 4:10)
19And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar. (Leviticus 4:19)
26And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. (Leviticus 4:26)
31And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. (Leviticus 4:31)
35And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the Lord: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him. (Leviticus 4:35)
. Incense. Ex. 30:7,87And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. (Exodus 30:7‑8) Ex. 40:2727And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Exodus 40:27).
In this beautiful type we have two thoughts inseparably connected together. The death of the Lord Jesus under the wrath of God on account of sin, consumed like the victim outside the camp, at the same time that death was the odor of a sweet savor to God; like the portions burnt as incense on the altar of burnt-offering.
The third portion of the chapter closes here, with the words again repeated, as the Lord commanded Moses.: