If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he has sinned…
The atonement for involuntary transgression. The Book of Leviticus well repays careful perusal in days when there are many attempts made to lessen men's sense of the enormity of sin and of the necessity of a propitiatory offering. Its teachings are impressive, its pictures vivid.
I. SIN INFLICTS AN INJURY UPON THE HOLINESS OF GOD, AND EXPOSES MAN TO PENAL CONSEQUENCES. The words used to denote sin imply a turning aside from the path marked out, a deviation from rectitude. Man misses his way, goes astray like a lost sheep. He does what he ought not to do (verse 2), and thereby the precepts of God are slighted and God's honour is wounded. This cannot be permitted with impunity. The wrath of God, not a base but holy passion, is aroused, and vengeance or holy indignation threatens to visit the transgressor. We think wrongly of our sinful acts if we minimize their awful importance, or pay regard simply to the injury done to ourselves. This is the least part. The Supreme Being is concerned, and it is his displeasure we have to fear. Sin cuts at the root of government, assails the foundations of the eternal throne.
II. EVERY TRANSGRESSION IS RECOGNIZED AS SINFUL, whether arising from ignorance or willfulness, whether an act of omission or commission. An atonement is insisted on even for what we deem the least flagrant derelictions. Man is so ready to extenuate his crimes, that God strips off the veil, and exposes sin in all its guiltiness, a thing to be loathed and shunned wherever met, requiring purification on our part, however accidentally we may have come in contact with it. That without intention we trod upon a venomous serpent, does not protect us from its fangs. We shall need the remedy, however the poison may have been injected.
III. PENITENCE AND CONFESSION ARE INSUFFICIENT TO OBLITERATE THE MEMORY OF THE SIN. To regret the act and to express sorrow and to determine not to offend again, are good as far as they go, but, to wipe out the stain, blood must be shed. This only con whiten the defiled robes. Sinner, behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! To have the sin brought to your knowledge, so that you take a more adequate view of its sinfulness, to pour forth agonizing cries and floods of tears, will not obtain forgiveness, unless accompanied with the presentation to the Father of the righteousness of his Son.
IV. SIN BECOMES MORE CONSPICUOUS AND FAR-REACHING WHEN COMMITTED BY THE OCCUPANTS OF A FORTY POSITION. The high priest was the representative of the nation, and hence his offering must equal in value that presented by the whole congregation. So likewise the sin of a ruler was more visible than that of a subject, and wronged God the more, and whilst a she-goat sufficed for one of the people, for him only a he-goat was allowed. Not without reason did the apostle exhort that intercession be made "for kings, and all that are in authority." Iniquity in high places in the Church and in society causes the greatest scandal, becomes most hurtful in its effects, and is most offensive to God. Both the animal offered and the ritual observed testified to the relative enormity of transgressions by different classes. Between the sins of each order in themselves no distinction was made.
V. BY THE APPOINTED VICTIM RECONCILIATION IS POSSIBLE TO ALL INADVERTENT OFFENDERS. We reserve this to the last, in order that the cheeriest aspect may be uppermost. Divest honour of its consequent responsibility we cannot, but we point to the ample provision for forgiveness afforded to comfort the prince and the peasant, the priest and the layman, the individual and the nation. Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, has given his life a ransom for the many. He satisfies all claims, reconciles us unto God, so that our trespasses are not imputed unto us. - S.R.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.