Chapters 4 up to the 6th of the book of Leviticus provides the people of Israel a series of procedures to be done if there is sin in their midst. As you read the passage, you will notice that there is a slightly different procedure and requirement when the High Priest, the congregation of Israel, the leaders and lastly, the common people, sin.
All procedures required a sacrifice. In the case of the High Priest and the congregation, a young bull was required. For the leaders and the common people, either a goat, sheep, turtledoves or pigeons. The last two were for those who cannot afford a sheep or goat. Remember the time when Jesus drove away the merchants in the temple who were selling sacrificial animals in the Gospels? These people were selling their wares inside the temple courtyard which intensely upset Jesus.
The Lord Almighty was very particular and strict on how these ceremonies were to be performed. The thing that struck me was that the verse I mention above gives us an idea on how to deal with sin.
- Realization. This one is found in 5:4. A lot of us may be in sin and may not be aware of it. This is probably the reason why there is a provision for intentional and unintentional sin in the Old Testament. But God made it clear that even if its unintentional, committed out of ignorance, for example, it is still sin and we need to realize that we are guilty.
- Admission. Once there is realization, then we must admit that we committed sin. This is very important! Many people, upon realization,will need to decide to admit. Admitting to sin is very difficult. You may be subjected to shame and scrutiny. People may leave you or will not want to be associated with you because of your sin. This is something that will take a lot of faith to obey God. It is a lot easier to hide a sin than be subjected to humiliation.
- Confession. When you are past admission, then we need to confess the sin. In these passages, God did not specify where to go and to whom to confess the sin. They could probably confess to the priests or their leaders in the community. Again, this is a tough act and requires complete trust in God.
- Restitution. In the case of the Israelites, the sacricial animal was the cost of gaining forgiveness from God. I would like to make it clear that in other parts of the Torah, or the first five books of the Old Testament, penalties were prescribed. You can read them in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Restitution was an important component because it satisfies justice.
We can also apply these same principles in our life. Sin is not a joke with God. His Son, Jesus, paid the penalty for our sins. We only need now to realize, admit and confess our sins and God will be faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9). Jesus loves us so much that He gave His life so that we can look forward to an eternal life with Him and the Father, free of the bondage of sin.
We only need to pray to commit our lives to Jesus so that we will have access to this grace that Jesus freely gives. You can pray this short prayer. “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I am lost without you. I repent of my sins and ask for your forgiveness. Wash me and cleanse by the blood of Your Son, Jesus. I want to commit my life to you. Please take control of my life from now on. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.“