BROKEN, SCOURED, AND RINSED
Now we must see something concerning the vessel which is used to boil the sin offering. “But the earthen vessel wherein it is boiled shall be broken: and if it be boiled in a brazen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water” (Lev. 6:28, lit.). The earthen vessel must be broken, but if the vessel is of copper or brass, it must be scoured and rinsed. We are the earthen vessel. That is our natural being. We were made of the earth, so we are earthen vessels. The copper or brass in typology signifies God’s judgment. This means that this kind of vessel has passed through God’s judgment. Both the burnt offering altar and the laver were made of brass (Exo. 27:2; 30:18). So the brazen vessel represents our regenerated being. Our natural being is an earthen vessel, and our regenerated being is a brazen or copper vessel. Our natural being must be broken, and our regenerated being must be scoured and rinsed in water. This is the water in the Word mentioned in Ephesians 5:26. The scouring is the natural circumstances raised up by God to scour us. God uses the circumstances to scour us and His Word to rinse us. The natural part must be broken, and our regenerated part must be scoured and rinsed.
EATEN BY THE MALES
Only the males among the priests have the right to eat of the sin offering. The males always signify the stronger ones. Aaron had daughters, but they were not privileged to eat the sin offering. This indicates that only the stronger ones in the church life are privileged to eat Christ as the sin offering. When we minister Christ to others as the sin offering, this is a kind of gospel preaching. When we minister Christ as the sin offering in this way, we are a ministering priest. Thus, we are privileged to enjoy a portion of Christ as the sin offering. All the weaker ones in the church who do not minister Christ to others as the sin offering do not have the right to enjoy Christ as the sin offering. Only those who would minister Christ to others in this way are the stronger ones; therefore, they have the right and the position to enjoy Christ as the sin offering. Whether they are brothers or sisters, they are the males among the priests because they are the stronger ones in the church life.
DIFFERENCES IN SIZE
We also need to see the difference in the size of the sin offerings. A bullock is much stronger and more vigorous than a goat. The sin offering for the priest as well as the sin offering for the congregation was a young bullock. This signifies that Christ is so vigorous and full of strength that He can be the sin offering for a congregation. Then a male goat is mentioned which is much weaker and then a female goat which is weaker still. Finally, there is a female lamb which is the weakest. The sin offering may be weaker or it may be stronger. Therefore, as with the other offerings, there are degrees in the appreciation and apprehension of Christ as the sin offering.
THE BLOOD AND THE ASHES
Two things remain in the sin offering as a strong testimony to us: the blood and the ashes. The blood is at the bottom of the altar, and the ashes are in the clean place. The blood is proof that God’s requirement has been fully met, and now we are under God’s acceptance. The ashes declare that all our judgment is over. The ashes are the remainder of something that has been burnt. Christ has been burnt and thoroughly judged on our behalf. He has passed through all the judgment, so the remainder is ashes. When we see the ashes, we realize that the judgment is past. Hallelujah for such a sin offering! The blood and the ashes are very meaningful to us.
OUTSIDE THE CAMP
There is one more matter. Hebrews 13:11-12 tells us that Jesus as the sin offering was burned outside the camp. “For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the Holy of Holies by the high priest concerning sin, are burned outside the camp. Wherefore also Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” Since Jesus suffered outside the camp, those of us who enjoy Him as the sin offering must also be outside the gate. We must follow Him outside of the world and any religious camp. We must be outside of any religious organization and any kind of worldly organization. Christ was judged there, and that is also our place. The more we are outside the gate, the more we are in the place where Jesus was burned into ashes. Then we can really enjoy Him and praise Him for the blood and the ashes. We are on the same standing as the ashes. We are the followers of Christ who have left the camp. We are not in any kind of worldly or religious organization. The redeeming Jesus has led us out of all these things. Now all we see is the blood and the ashes. Those who follow Jesus out of the camp also become ashes. We are nothing but ashes following Jesus. This is the full enjoyment of Christ as the sin offering.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)