XI. FOR THE PRIESTS’ SERVICE, THE SIN OFFERING BEING FOLLOWED BY THE BURNT OFFERING
For the priests’ service, the sin offering is followed by the burnt offering (Lev. 16:3, 5). This signifies that we, as the priests of God, after enjoying Christ as the sin offering, must take Him as the burnt offering that we may live Him for God’s satisfaction.
On the one hand, the sin offering is based on the burnt offering. On the other hand, the burnt offering follows the sin offering. The more we enjoy the Lord Jesus as our burnt offering, the more we realize that we are sinful. Then we take Him as our sin offering more deeply than ever, and this causes us to enjoy Him more as the burnt offering. Hence, the burnt offering is before our enjoyment of the sin offering and also after it.
The only way we can know ourselves thoroughly is to enjoy Christ as the burnt offering. By enjoying Christ as our burnt offering, we will realize that we are not for God absolutely. We may be for God to some degree, even to a large degree, but we still reserve something for ourselves.
Whenever we touch the holy things, the spiritual things, and the service of God in the church life, we must bring the sin offering with us. This is clearly revealed in the Old Testament type. Whenever God’s people did something with God, even the most holy things, they needed the sin offering. We also need the sin offering today because we are not clean and pure and we are not absolutely for God. Who among us can say that he is absolutely for God? No one can say this. Therefore, in all that we do for the Lord, we need the sin offering. Even in speaking for the Lord, we need to take Christ as our sin offering, hiding ourselves in Him and asking Him to cover us with His precious blood.
First, the Lord saves us, and then He attracts us to love Him, to take Him, and to enjoy Him. By taking Him and enjoying Him as the burnt offering, our sinfulness is exposed, and we see that we are not absolutely for God as He is. Others in the church life may appreciate us, but inwardly we know that we are not good, that we are not absolute for God. We may love the church and seemingly we have given everything for the church, but we are not absolute for God. There are still reservations within us.
By enjoying the Lord as the burnt offering and the meal offering, we realize that we are sinful. So we take Him as the sin offering and then as the trespass offering. This is what we see in chapter one of 1 John. As we are enjoying the Triune God in the divine fellowship, we realize that we still have sin inwardly and that we have committed sins outwardly. We then receive the cleansing of the precious blood. This becomes a cycle. The more we are cleansed, the more we enter into fellowship with the Triune God; the more we enjoy this fellowship, the more we are enlightened; and the more we are enlightened, the more we realize that we are sinful, even sin itself. It is by this cycle that we are delivered and saved from our self. Actually, we are delivered and saved from sin, from the flesh, from Satan, from the world, from the prince of the world, and from the power struggle. The more we enjoy Christ, the less power struggle we will have with God. Eventually we will give every inch to Him.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)