“Making them right with the Lord!” What a power-packed phrase, wouldn’t you say! This is the great effort of God and that is the great need of man. And through God’s initiative, both through the Levitical system of sacrifice and the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of his Son and our Savior, that has been made possible.
Going Deep // Focus: Leviticus 4:20
By this sacrifice for sin, the priest will purify the people, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.
“Making them right with the Lord!” So much is packed into that phrase, wouldn’t you say! That is the great effort of God and that is the great need of man. And through God’s initiative, both through the Levitical system of sacrifice and the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of his Son and our Savior, that has been made possible.
You see, sin, that which makes us un-right with God, is number one the problem of the human race! All other problems stem from this. Both our acts of sin and our Adamic sinfulness separate us from our Creator and Provider. God is pure and cannot tolerate impurity. Nor can he bless the impure. And because God is not only holy, but also just, his justice demands punishment for sin—our sin. And the only proper punishment for sin that can satisfy an utterly holy God is death for the sinner.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. …The wages of sin is death… But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.” (Romans 3:23, 6:23a, Exodus 34:7)
Houston, we have a problem! We are sinful and can do nothing to change that; God is holy, and cannot tolerate sin. Death to the sinner!
But God, who is rich in mercy and ceaseless in grace, has provided a way of escape for the sinner. Under the Old covenant, a sacrificial system was established that transferred the guilt of the guilty onto the sacrifice and thus absolved God’s righteous anger. Throughout the Old Testament this plan is made plain, and specifically in Leviticus 4 and 5, the phrase is repeated: offer sacrifice for sin…making them pure…they will be forgiven.
But, thank God, our Holy Creator went a step further and established a new and better covenant with his people: He sent the perfect sacrifice, his one and only Son, to be the sacrifice for our sins. And the offering up us Jesus on the cross as the atonement for our sin not only satisfied God’s righteous wrath and absolved the guilt for our sins, but the blood of his sacrifice obliterated our guilty standing before God created and perpetuated by our Adamic sinfulness. And best of all, his death was the once-for-all sacrifice to end all sin offerings—we don’t have to offer it over and over again.
And the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. … Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. …the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord. (Isaiah 53:6, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 6:23b)
Hallelujah! Once cleansed, the blood of Jesus keeps on cleansing us from all unrighteousness:
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:7-9)
What a God, who made a way in the Old Covenant for his people to be made right with him, at least temporarily, until the time for the permanent, perfect offering of his Son, our wonderful, merciful Savior, who offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice for our sin.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2)
Blessed indeed! We have been made right with God.