Sin Offering as Sin for Us

Today in Biblical Hebrew I encountered the word for ‘(guilt of) sin’, חַטָּאת, which also means ‘sin offering’. The sin offering is the representative of our sin, and this is what is presented to God to be consumed by fire.

Then you shall bring the bull before the tent of meeting. Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull. Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall take part of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and the rest of the blood you shall pour out at the base of the altar. And you shall take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the long lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar. But the flesh of the bull and its skin and its dung you shall burn with fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering. (Ex. 29.10–14)

That God takes this sin offering must mean also that God takes the sin from us. Both are together destroyed ritually, substitute and sin, one in name:

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Cor. 5.21)

How marvellous, that this truth was in the Hebrew language even before the Christ was revealed!


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