Leviticus 5:14 - 6:7
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expalins the role and significance of the Tresspass Offering and the treatment of reparations under Levitical law.
[Prayer] Father, again we give Thee thanks for the opportunity to study the Scriptures together. We pray again that Thou will give us understanding as we read the passages from the Book of Leviticus that we are studying together. We pray that Thou will give us understanding. Enable us also to see beyond the Old Testament passages to the one of whom they speak our Lord Jesus Christ. We commit this hour to Thee and the hour that follows in the institute. May Thy blessing be upon each of the teachers and upon each of us who study together.
For Christ’s sake. Amen.
[Message] Tonight we are turning to Leviticus chapter 5, verse 14, through chapter 6, verse 7, and studying the trespass offering. Leviticus chapter 5, verse 14 through chapter 6 in verse 7. And, I think, it would be good for us to read these verses as our Scripture reading and then we’ll turn to the exposition of them. Moses writes in Leviticus chapter 5 in verse 14.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the Lord’s holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.’”
Incidentally, in that expression “according to your valuation in silver by shekels,” that is probably a reference to Moses’ evaluation. And, of course, after Moses’ death the evaluation would have been made by the priests of the sanctuary. Verse 16.
“And he shall make restitution for that, which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it shall be forgiven him. Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, so the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it will be forgiven him. It is a guilt offering; he was certainly guilty before the Lord.”
Now, notice as we turn to the 6th chapter in the 1st verse that the emphasis of the trespass offering turns toward man rather than towards God.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him or through robbery or if he has extorted from his companion or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make retribution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering. Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt.’”
Last week we were looking at Moses’ words concerning the sin offering and we pointed out that the sin offering had to do with unintentional sins and with the expiation of them. The trespass offering also has to do with unintentional sins as you can see, but there is also, in addition to the question of expiation raised, the question of compensation. Characteristic of the trespass offering is the fact that the person who has committed a trespass shall restore that which he has sinned that which is involved in his sin and he shall add the fifth part there too. In other words, the trespass offering contrary to the sin offering looks more at the effects of sin rather than simply the sin itself. The sin offering stresses then the sin itself and the guilt that derives from it. The trespass offering adds this new dimension of the effects of the sin. Strictly speaking, the same act, therefore, may produce a sin offering as well as a trespass offering and you will find that that was, I think, the case in Israel. It was possible for a person to sin in such a way that he would bring not only the sin offering but a trespass offering as well.
If we were to look beyond the trespass offering to the completion in the saving work of the Lord Jesus, and we are saying that all of these offerings are presenting to us different aspects of the person and work of our Lord, we would say that in the type the trespass offerings suggests the completeness of the provision of our Lord’s work. The Lord Jesus not only dies for our sin, he also dies for the effects of our sin. And, furthermore, as a result of the saving work that he has done we not only are forgiven for the sin that we have committed and for the effects of our sin both Godward and manward, but we have handed to us a kind of position before God that corresponds to the fifth part, the extra.
Now, if I were looking through the New Testament for one verse that expresses the idea that as a result of what Christ has done for us we are better off than we would have been had Adam never sinned, we might find a text such as Romans 5:20 illustrating that. For there the Apostle Paul writes, “The Law came in so that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more; that as sin reigned in death even so grace might reign in righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Where sin abounded grace did much more abound. So the implication of that statement by the Apostle Paul is that not only is the grace of God in forgiveness, which was manifested in the saving work of the Lord Jesus, sufficient to cover our sins but as a result of it our position is exalted by the greatness of his sacrifice over that which was required by atonement. The truths that come before us in these two sections are the same. They are the truths of expiation for the ram must be brought for the trespass offering. There is the truth of restitution for the wrong that was done should be paid for, and I gather that here again we also have stress on the effects of sin because restitution forms a prominent part of this, and finally the idea of compensation. So these three ideas of expiation, restitution, and compensation are the three ideas that are stressed in the trespass offerings.
Now, there are strictly speaking just two types of trespass offering, but it seems to me in the light of the language here in the section that we have read that in the first type there are two different aspects set forth. For example, in verse 14 we read, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying.” That usually introduces a new section in Leviticus and, consequently, in chapter 6, verse 1, when we read, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying.” These are two divisions. We have one aspect of the trespass offering set forth in verses 14 through 19 of chapter 5 and then in verse 1 through verse 7 of chapter 6, we have this second of the trespass offerings set forth or the second aspect of it. But in addition, in the first section beginning at chapter 5, verse 14, through chapter 5, verse 19, there is a twofold division in it; for after verse 16, then Moses says, “Now if a person sins and does any of the things,” etc. So he divides the first aspect of the sin offering into two parts and so we will just, after all three points are what a preacher looks for in every package so we are told in some seminaries, at least, we will divide it up then into three parts. But I want you to realize that the first two are really aspects of this first section in chapter 5, verse 14 through verse 19. So first of all, now, in verse 14 through 16, we have trespasses in the holy things of the Lord, “If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the Lord’s holy things.”
Now, what in the world does Moses mean by the Lord’s holy things? I don’t know, maybe that was very plain to you but when I read this that is puzzling. What is meant by the Lord’s holy things? I do not think anywhere in the Levitical law up to this point there has been any expression like this. So I would imagine that as the law was first communicated to the children of Israel there was some who raised their hands and said, “What is holy things?” Well looking back over the Mosaic Law and some of the Old Testament accounts that are given to us we could probably, in the light of the stress on the effects of sin, arrive at the conclusion that holy things included holy gifts that were to be given to the Lord, the tithe, for example.
Now, of course, when a person gave a tithe that was necessary for him to estimate his ten percent but he might make a mistake. He might mistake unintentionally, of course, he might make a mistake intentionally. He might argue that he should give a tenth of his net profit whereas someone else might say no a tenth of your income, your gross income. But then there would be some mistakes intentionally and unintentionally; so holy things could include the question of a person’s tithes.
Now, remember in the Old Testament the tithe was an income tax. We’re not talking about giving. The tithe was something that people had to give. It was income tax. If you wanted to give something you had to give something more than ten percent, but you can easily see how a mistake might be made unintentionally in the matter of the tithe. You might discover that he had not given ten percent when he should have given ten percent.
Now, that sin that he committed in falsely estimating his tithe would affect other individuals. It would, of course, affect the Lord because he would have sinned first against the Lord, but it also would have affected someone else. Well who else would be affected by it? Well, the priest would be affected by it because the priests lived by the tithes of the people. So if they did not give their ten percent then the priests suffered. It was not only a sin against God, but it was a wrong against the priesthood. In other words, the rights of individuals were affected by that sin. That’s why it is called a trespass offering.
Another case of holy things or sin in holy things might be an incident like Aiken and the incident in connection with the destruction of Jericho. In Joshua chapter 7 in verse 1, we read, “But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban,” remember God had said that they were not to take any of the things of the Jerichoites, they were to be committed to destruction but Aiken violated the law of God. He acted unfaithfully, and here is that word that is used back in Leviticus chapter 5, verse 15, “If a person acts unfaithfully,” so Aiken the son of Carmi the son of Zabdi the son of Azera from the tribe of Judah took some of the things under the ban, therefore, the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.
Now, of course, he took them intentionally, but if he had taken them unintentionally and it was discovered that that was wrong then he should have brought a trespass offering because his sin was the sin of unfaithfulness in holy things of the Lord. The Lord had spoken about that thing. So holy things then included holy gifts, included the violation of commandments which the Lord gave at specific times such as in the case of Joshua and Jericho. It would also have included the breaking of vows. Suppose you had made a vow. The Old Testament has some rules concerning vows but you might break a vow that’s something that actually touches between you and the Lord but it also might affect others. You might vow a certain thing for the benefit of others. So you would be sinning in matters that concern the Lord’s holy things if you broke your vow. Or if, for example, instead of giving the first fruits as an offering to the Lord you ate some of the first fruits, things like this. So these then essentially are sins that affect others. Now, these are trespasses in the holy things of the Lord.
Well, what should a person do in a case like this? Moses sets it out in this three-fold way he says, “There is the truth of expiation, there is the truth of restitution, there is a truth of compensation,” and let’s look at them very briefly. Verse 15.
“If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the Lord’s holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord: A ram without defect from the flock.”
The ram was a male sheep, and the male sheep was usually the offering of a trespass offering. In fact, in this particular case you’ll notice it is only the ram. It is not like the sin offering in which there may be different kinds of animals, but this one animal is the animal for the trespass offering. It should be without defect. What does that signify? Well, we have seen that these animals that are offered in sacrifice represent our Lord Jesus Christ, and the “without defect” is designed to represent the sinlessness of our Lord. So the ram without defect is to be brought from the flock and that ram is to be slain. We read in verse 16, “The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.” Now, we’ve talked enough about expiation, about satisfaction, so that we don’t have to say anything more about that. It’s obvious that this is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ as a penal sacrifice as a substitute for our sins.
But now, there is something unusual about the trespass offering that we have not had. The first thing is this thing of restitution. Verse 16 we read, “He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing.” So the second thing is that he is to make restitution. If, for example, he has failed to estimate his tithe properly, he shall pay the amount by which he came short. And as a result of making restitution, God is no longer a loser in this transaction. If he simply brought the ram and offered the offering, the Lord would still be the loser and the work of the Lord would still be the loser by the amount that he had underestimated his tithe, so he’s to pay that amount.
Incidentally, you can see that in the things of the Lord he keeps rather accurate accounts and he did not let them get by with the ram, the slaughter of the ram, which would have cost something, but they are to bring the animal sacrifice and they are also to pay what they owed; pay it to the penny, to the cent, so far as we can tell. Then the third thing is the second of the strange things. We read, “And he and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest.” So he not only was to bring the ram when he had sinned in a trespass, and he not only was to pay back what he may have underestimated in the estimate of his tithe, but he was to bring twenty percent more. So that God is actually a gainer as a result of this transaction.
Now, of course, the Lord is not happy to be a gainer but, nevertheless, there is a great lesson in this, I’m sure. It’s just as if I were walking down the street one night in the city of Dallas, if you can conceive of anybody in their right mind getting out and walking on the street in the nighttime these days, as someone should come up behind me and put a gun in my back and say stick-um-up, hand over everything you’ve got. The poor soul not knowing exactly who he had under his gun would see me reach in my pocket and pull out my wallet rather thin and pull out three dollars and then nineteen cents, three dollars and nineteen cents. Well, if he took my three dollars and nineteen cents and ran, I don’t guess he would run with that but walk away, [laughter] if he were caught well I still might be out my three dollars and nineteen cents if he had spent it. But now, if he was caught with the money in his pocket I might get my three dollars and nineteen cents back. But if we were under Mosaic Law and he were caught or if he discovered for himself that he had sinned in this way, then I would not only get my three dollars and nineteen cents but I would also get sixty three cents, twenty percent more. So I would be a little richer as a result of this robbery that had taken place.
Now, let’s add to it the fifth part makes a very interesting thing because there must be some application of this to the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and I want to suggest to you, it is only a suggestion because I don’t know that this is taught in the word, but I’m going to suggest to you what this, ultimately, has reference to.
Now, if the ram of the trespass offering is a type of the Lord Jesus and if this transaction which took place over and over again was designed to teach Israel something and we surely would agree with what I said so far, we would say that this is designed to teach us something about the saving work of the Lord Jesus. Now, since this is specifically the trespass offering in its application to the things of the Lord, the holy things of the Lord, going back all the way to the Garden of Eden, what could we say? Well, could say that in the garden of Eden God placed man and his wife, he gave them a simple little command and you know the story of how Satan came into the garden in the form of a serpent tempted Adam and Eve and Eve fell and as a result of Eve’s guile Adam fell.
Now, when Adam fell, as I’ve often said to you, all hell broke loose; man fell not when Eve sinned but man fell when Adam sinned. The apostle says that very plainly, “Wherefore as my one man sinned entered into the world and death by sin,” because Adam is the representative man. And so when Adam sinned then the race fell. What was it that Adam was supposed to render to God for us? Why it was obedience. He was to obey the Lord. He was given a full and free run of the garden with one little exception, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” God was not a hard task master. He gave Adam everything but one thing. In fact, it all looked very good. Just one thing was prohibited from man. So every opportunity for obedience was given by the Lord but Adam disobeyed God.
Now, the Lord Jesus has come in order to restore and render compensation. He is the last Adam, the only other Adam, not the second Adam, the second man but the last Adam. And he has come on into this human scene and through his life and ministry and, ultimately, his sacrifice he has rendered to God the obedience that the first Adam did not and as a result he has paid God back for man’s sin. But not only has he done that he has done more than that. “As sin abounded grace did much more abound.” He has in a sense added the fifth part there too.
Now, the Lord Jesus speaks, I think, about this in somewhat of a figurative way but, nevertheless, I think, it is involved in it in John chapter 13, in the upper room discourse when we read, “When therefore,” this chapter 13 of the Gospel of John, verse 31, “When therefore when he had gone out,” that is when Judas had gone out “Jesus cried or Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.’” So not only has the Lord Jesus come and rendered the sacrifice, the expiatory sacrifice, not only has he paid for that sin, but he has also restored to the Father in behalf of those for whom he stands the obedience that we should have rendered, so that we are declared righteous through the work of the Lord Jesus, but he has also added the fifth part there too. He has glorified God and the saints who have believed in the Lord Jesus are now not restored to the Garden of Eden to a situation which Adam was in when Adam sinned, but we are now, according to the Apostle Paul, we are identified with him in his death, burial, resurrection. We also have ascended together with him and we are seated together with him at the right hand of the throne of God. What an exalted position we had as a result of the saving work of the Lord Jesus. Truly where sin abounded grace has superabounded as the apostle puts it. So the Lord Jesus offered the expiatory sacrifice, the substitutionary satisfaction which was a penal judgment that he met in the shedding of his blood, he has restored the obedience that we should have offered so that God is no longer a loser, and he has added the fifth part there too.
Now, it seems to me that this may well be what Moses means ultimately, of course, I don’t think Moses understood this. He probably would be sitting here with his mouth open at my exposition of this because they did not understand the full significance of the things that they were writing. But, nevertheless, it seems to me that is probably what is in view here when we read, “And shall add a fifth part of it and give it to the priest.” What a beautiful picture then the trespass offering is of the completeness of the work of the Lord Jesus.
Now, we come to trespasses against the moral law in verses 17 through 19. This is a puzzling three verses I must admit. Let’s look at the opening statement again in verse 17, “Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.” In the sin offering, it was wrong done that was stressed and that wrong that was done demanded punishment. But now in the trespass offering, it is the right that is left undone which demands amends that is stressed or compensation. So the sin offering and the trespass offering are not so separate that they cannot be very closely related in the sense that both represent wrongs that are done but different kinds of wrongs. One stresses punishment and the other stresses the need of restitution and adds the part of compensation. Now, compensation is not mentioned in that little section there, but I would gather in the light of its place here in the midst of the others, these three aspects that probably it is to be understood there.
Let’s move on now to the third trespasses against a neighbor. Chapter 6, verse 1 through verse 7, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying or the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord, and deceives his companion.’” Now, notice that. That’s the expression that marks this off as slightly different. We had trespasses that were primarily against the Lord in the first of the aspects of the trespass offering and now we have trespasses that are primarily against a neighbor. Now, of course, every trespass against our neighbor is a trespass against God. That’s true of our sins, incidentally. Our sins as a human being when we sin against a friend, we are sinning against God first. But some of our sins are personal and private, others of our sins affect our friends, our neighbors, and some of our sins affect the whole of the church. And when we sin against God we confess our sin to God, when we sin against our fellow Christian believer then we confess our sin to God, and we confess our faults one to another. And when we have sinned against the whole of the church then we confess our sin to God and we confess our sin before the church. It is possible, you see, for all of these things to transpire. It’s possible that I should commit a sin against the whole of the body of Christ that meets in Believers Chapel. It would be my duty to confess that sin to you.
Now, he says here and deceives his companion. So what we have here then are direct breaches of the second table of the law. Remember the first table of the Ten Commandments has to do primarily with the Lord; the second table of the law has to do with our fellow man. In one we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart with all our soul with our mind and the other we shall love thy neighbor our neighbor as ourselves which is a kind of summary of that second table. So here when a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord and deceives his companion. So we’re talking about breaches of the second table of the law, sins in their effects as they touch others in the community of Israel. And, I think, that these sins are sins in their antitype that affect our relationships to our fellow Christians and to our fellow men. I would imagine that something like borrowing a book and not returning it would be a trespass.
Now, none of you have ever done anything like that I know but I have. I have one or two books in my library that it is impossible for me to return. Individuals are no longer here and those were trespasses of a simple matter like that. It might be a business wrong. Christians do commit sins in business and they often commit sins in business against fellow Christians. I know of many cases in the past where it has been necessary for Christians to meet before elders and seek to resolve differences in businesses in order to avoid going to law because the Apostle Paul says that, “We should not go to law against another Christian.” He doesn’t say, incidentally, you should not go to law against a non-Christian but he says you should not go to law against a Christian because since you’re both just men you should be able to settle your question justly among yourselves or before the elders who are also just men. If the business partnership’s among Christians when there are difficulties they should go to the local church and to the body of elders first of all to solve the difficulties. So there are business wrongs and often those business wrongs affect the testimony of a local church.
Occasionally, there are people who are very active members of Christian churches such as this one who do things in their business that bring reproach on the whole body of Jesus Christ. That is something that often happens, and so it is a matter that, I think, is similar to that which we find here in the trespass offering. We often think in connection of this in connection of this with Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard. What a beautiful illustration of a trespass was Jezebel and Ahab’s sin. Over in 1 Kings chapter 19, I want to try to expound the chapter. It’s a very interesting story in itself but just the simple details of it, I think, will illustrate the point.
“Now, Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel set a messenger to Elijah saying.” Wait now, I’m reading the wrong place, just a minute. It’s chapter 21, 1 Kings chapter 21. That’s the first time I’ve missed a reference since nineteen thirty-seven. [Laughter] Chapter 21, 1 Kings, “Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, ‘Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.’”
Now, this was a sin on the part of Ahab because he well knew the Israelite law that they were not to sell their property. That property belonged to their family and it was not Naboth’s right to do it. Remember in Israel all of the land belonged to the Lord. It never belonged to anyone. It was the Lord’s and every fifty years it all reverted back to the original division of the land. So when Ahab suggested this, he was suggesting that Naboth do something wrong. So Naboth replied to Ahab of course Naboth may have just liked the place he may not really have not been so anxious to obey the law but we get the impression that he really was. Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbids me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
So what does the great king do? He’s a man who is the sovereign of the whole territory and now there’s a little plot of ground that when he goes out on his patio and looks out over there and he sees that little vineyard over there and it’s not his. What a small soul this man has. “So Ahab came into his house solemn and then vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him, ‘for he said I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers,’ and he laid down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food.” Can’t you just imagine this king sulking over the fact that Naboth wouldn’t sell him that little plot of ground. So you can see him I can’t eat, I’m not hungry, I want that piece of land looking toward the lawn, he won’t even talk to anybody, but he has a way to get it. He’s got a wife. And if the king hasn’t got the guts to take it by Gaulle, his wife has the guts to do all of the nasty work necessary to get it.
So you know the story of how she accused him of blasphemy and if you commit blasphemy you do lose your property. And the result is that a trespass, a great trespass, has been committed in Israel by the king himself and Jezreel. And you know the story that, ultimately, they had to pay with their lives because of the sin that they had committed. The ideal would have been for them to realize their sin, confessed it, and brought the proper trespass offerings.
Well, now, in the case of trespasses against the neighbor we have the same thing. We have the truth of restitution in the 4th verse, “Then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found.” These are various ways in which you might sin against your neighbor. You might have some money entrusted to yourself and you might spend it yourself. There have been people actually who were treasurers of evangelical churches who took the money for themselves. I know of some instances like that in the city of Dallas where the treasurers took the money that was entrusted to them in evangelical churches in Dallas and applied it to their own expenses, and the result was that they trespassed against the Lord and against the body of believers. So he says, “First of all there shall be restitution. He shall restore what he took by robbery.” And then in the 5th verse compensation or anything about which he swore falsely, he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one fifth more.
Now, evidently, in sins in which they were not specifically sins of money then the priest would make an estimate of the proper restitution and the addition of the fifth part but they also had to render reparations. Reparations was a good word with which we people who walk around with gray hair know about because we remember after World War I, Germany was required not only to make restitution for the wrongs that they had done, but they were required to pay to the United States a vast amount in reparations, thirty-three billion dollars in reparations which, of course, ruined the German economy and may have contributed to the World War II that followed. Here we have reparations in the Bible. It is a biblical term. There is restitution and there is reparations. That is, there is compensation for the wrong.
And finally, we read in verse 6, that there is expiation. The order is a little different here but the same thing, “Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering.” Now, let me in just a moment or two that we have make application of this second kind of trespass offering. We suggested in the first in which the sin is primarily against the Lord that there may be an application to Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Adam robbed God of the obedience which his created being should have rendered to him. The Lord Jesus came, he perfectly obeyed the law rendering to God the perfect obedience as the representative that Adam failed to render, and then added the fifth part there too glorifying God so that in the final analysis our Lord Jesus worked more than restores that which was lost when Adam sinned in the garden of Eden because it is a work of infinite value.
Now, turning it around toward man because this part of the trespass offering stresses trespasses against a neighbor or against man; what was it that Adam robbed us of in the Garden of Eden? Well he robbed us of peace with God. He robbed us of life. As a result of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, judgment was passed upon all men and all men die. “Wherefore, if by one man’s sin entered into the world and death by sin.” So Adam robbed me and robbed you, he robbed men of life and peace by his work in the Garden of Eden. The Lord Jesus Christ has come, has offered the expiatory sacrifice that pays the penalty for that. He has restored that which Adam lost giving by virtue of his saving work life and peace to those who are brought in faith to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus and possessed of his salvation and, furthermore, he has made us even richer because as we have said in Romans chapter 5, verse 20, “Where sin abounded grace has much more abounded.” We are not only rescued we are restored and we are raised to the very side of God in Christ, a magnificent position about which Adam knew nothing.
Now, of course, there may be other applications of this that pass beyond our understanding, but it seems to me that in the trespass offerings we have a beautiful picture then of the effects of sin and how God in Christ has overcome all of the effects of sin for his elect and has glorified the Son and magnified his grace toward us so that we can now say it was good for us that Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, that the plan of God in all of its beauty and perfection and exaltation might be worked out in our case. Beyond that we probably have some other things that we do not understand. It’s possible that we express the greatness of what he’s done for us in the stanza of that hymn, “When we stand with Christ in glory looking over finished story then Lord shall we fully know not til then how much we owe and how much has been done for us through the Lord Jesus.”
Let’s bow in a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these wonderful pictures of the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we thank Thee that he is the burnt offering who renders perfect obedience, that he is the meal offering whose character is beautiful and perfect, that he is the peace offering, and that through him we have reconciliation, that he is the sin offering and our penalty is paid, and the trespass offering and our trespasses are also expiated. And we have now been blessed by receiving not only restitution but the fifth part added to it. Accept our thanks for all that we have in Christ.
In his name. Amen.