Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will begin to consider the trespass offering. We may think that, as the last of the five basic offerings, the trespass offering is not very important and rather easy to understand. Actually, the trespass offering is extremely important and is difficult to understand adequately. Therefore, in our study of Leviticus, we need to read 5:1-10 carefully and attentively.
In talking about sin, many people do not realize that there is a great difference between sin and sins. Sin is a matter of indwelling sin as the nature of Satan within us. Sins are a matter of outward sinful deeds. The sin offering deals with sin, and the trespass offering deals with sins, transgressions, and trespasses, including lies, mistakes, and all kinds of wrongdoing. Trespasses are transgressions, and transgressions are different kinds of sins.
We first need to see the significance of the trespass offering.
There is an important difference between the sin offering and the trespass offering. The sin offering signifies Christ as our offering resolving sin in our fallen nature (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21). The trespass offering signifies Christ as our offering resolving the problem of sins in our conduct (1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:5-6, 10-11 in ASV).
Romans 8:3 says, “God sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” God has condemned sin. How did He do this? He did it by sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin.
The phrase “likeness of the flesh of sin” combines sin and the flesh. Our flesh today is the flesh of sin. As we have pointed out, sin and the flesh are related to Satan, the world, and the prince of the world. Whereas our flesh is the flesh of sin, Christ came only in the likeness of the flesh of sin. In Him there was no sin; He did not have sin in His human nature. Nevertheless, in appearance He bore the likeness of the flesh of sin.
The flesh of fallen mankind is the flesh of sin. In other words, the flesh of the fallen human race is one with sin. Where the flesh is, there is sin. The word flesh signifies a fallen person, and every fallen person is sin. Whether we love others or hate them, we are sin. Genesis 6:3 says that fallen man became flesh. Since man has become flesh and the flesh is of sin, the flesh and sin are one. They are identical. As fallen human beings, we are flesh, and the flesh is sin.
God condemned sin by sending His Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, He was sin in the eyes of God. Christ was crucified in His flesh. This means that His flesh was crucified. Since His flesh was crucified, sin was condemned because sin and the flesh are identical. God judged the flesh, and He judged sin. He did this by judging Jesus on the cross. When God judged Jesus, He judged the flesh and sin. Moreover, at that time God destroyed Satan in the flesh, judged the world that was hanging on Satan, and condemned the prince of the world and the power struggle. One was crucified, but five things were dealt with: sin, the flesh, Satan, the world, and the power struggle. These five things are one.
Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “Him who did not know sin He made sin on our behalf.” The Lord Jesus did not know sin, but God made Him sin on the cross for our sake. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, He was not only a sinful person in likeness, even as the brass serpent was a serpent in form (John 3:14), but He was also made sin by God. If Jesus had not been made sin, sin could not have been judged when He was crucified. Sin was condemned because Christ, while He was on the cross, was made sin on our behalf by God.
Whereas the sin offering deals with the sin in our nature inwardly, the trespass offering deals with the sins in our conduct outwardly (1 Pet. 2:24). As the marginal notes in the American Standard Version indicate, Isaiah 53:10 puts the trespass offering together with the sin offering. The same thing is true of chapter five of Leviticus.
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