SIN AND SINS
We must realize that not only have we committed sins, but we are also sin. We may have never committed anything evil, but inwardly we are sin. It does not matter whether an apple tree brings forth apples or not; it is still an apple tree. Praise the Lord! On the one hand He was made sin for us, and on the other hand He bears all of our sins. He is the sin offering, and He is also the trespass offering. Eventually the trespass offering is also a sin offering.
In all of your experiences as a Christian, how many times have you realized that the Lord Jesus was your sin offering? He is not only our trespass offering, but also our sin offering. I am afraid that many of us have never had any realization of our sin. We have only realized our sins. We have never enjoyed Christ as the offering for sin, although many times we have enjoyed Him as our offering for sins: “O Lord, I am so sinful, but You died for my sins on the cross.” This is the enjoyment of the Lord as the trespass offering. But we are not only sinful; we are also sin.
A good person may have done little wrong, but he still must confess to God and apply the blood of Christ to himself. This is not for the outward trespass, but for the inward sin. It is not for what he did, but for what he is. What he is, is sin, and what he does, is sins. Jesus was made sin for us, and He also bore our sins.
SIN OFFERING MORE SERIOUS
As we go deeper with the Lord in the inner life, we will understand why the sin offering is mentioned before the trespass offering in Leviticus. This is because sin is more serious than trespasses. Sin is the seed, the root, the source. The trespasses are merely the outward fruits, and they are not as serious. The most serious thing in the eyes of God is the sin in our nature. What we are is much more serious than what we do. Hence, we need the sin offering first; then we need the trespass offering.
For the sin offering, a vigorous, young bullock was needed. But there is no bullock mentioned for the trespass offering. The strongest animal used for the trespass offering is a female sheep. This shows that there is not the need of a strong offering to deal with our trespasses. But we need a strong, vigorous bullock to deal with our sin. A weak turtledove or young pigeon is sufficient for a trespass offering, but the weakest animal mentioned for the sin offering in chapter four is a lamb. There is something even weaker used for the trespass offering: one tenth of an ephah of fine flour. It is not even a whole ephah, but one tenth of an ephah of flour. This proves that the trespass offering is not as serious as the sin offering.
At the time I was saved, I did not hear a message on sin, but on the world. I heard how Pharaoh is the king of this world, and all the people are under his dominion. Therefore, I repented of being occupied by the world. I did not at that time have much consciousness concerning my sins. I was caught by the Lord, and I told the Lord that I would give up the world for Him, but I did not repent so much for my sins. I would say that in typology I enjoyed Christ as my trespass offering as one tenth of an ephah of fine flour. Still I was saved. Perhaps when you were saved, you realized Jesus as your trespass offering as a ram. In later years, I began to enjoy the Lord Jesus as my sin offering as a young bullock. Sometimes as a priest I have made some mistakes. By these experiences I realized that there was something wrong in my nature that was more serious. I needed a strong Jesus, a young bullock, not just one tenth of an ephah of fine flour. This means that I learned to appreciate and enjoy the Lord as my sin and trespass offering much more than I did fifty years ago.
When we put all the items of Leviticus 4 and 6 together, we have the young bullock, the sheep, the goat, the lamb, the turtledove, the young pigeons, and the tenth of an ephah of fine flour. By all of these items we can see that the sin offering has the strongest items, and the trespass offering has the weakest. But regardless of how weak it is, as long as you touch it, you are saved.
We must realize that what we do is not so serious as what we are. Our outward actions are not as serious as our inward being. Our outward actions are just trespasses and iniquities, but our inward being is sin. Therefore, on the one hand the Bible tells us how Jesus was made sin for us, as in 2 Corinthians 5:21, and on the other hand several verses, such as 1 Peter 2:24, show us how Jesus bore our sins. Isaiah 53 also tells how Jesus was made a trespass offering on the cross by God to bear our iniquities, transgressions, and sins. In verse 10 of this chapter, “an offering for sin” should be “a trespass offering.” Therefore, we should read this verse in this way: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul a trespass offering.…” This shows us that in Isaiah 53, Jesus is the trespass offering.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 21, by Witness Lee)