The Five Offerings Of Leviticus Part 9 of 10: The Trespass Offering, Asham [אָשָׁם]

Leviticus 5:1-4
““If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter—if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.
“Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness—whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty.
“Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters.”

Last, but not least, is the Trespass Offering. Whereas the Sin Offering is all about who  we “ARE,” this offering is about what we “DO.”

There is much disagreement today about the sins we commit after we come to faith in Christ.  Everyone seems to understand that we are saved by grace.  Where confusion seems to reign is what happens after that when we sin.  Do we “confess as we go,” …..or did Christ take care of all our sins from the moment we accept Him until we see Him face to face?

My hope is that understanding this particular offering will clear up that confusion which stems from misunderstanding 1 John 1:9.

What Qualifies As Sin?

Most of us think that the sins we commit are only the ones outlined in the Big Ten.  While those are certainly included, it may surprise you what God has on His list from this chapter of Leviticus.  They bring the Law up to a whole new standard. 😮 Here we go…..

1. If you so much as even heard the utterance of an oath, or knew of it and did not report it, you were either guilty of that sin either immediately or when you became aware of it.  

2. If you happened to touch an unclean animal or the carcass of a clean dead animal, you were guilty of sin when you became aware of it.  

3. If you touched any human uncleanness, whether excrement or other bodily discharge, you were guilty of sin when you became aware of it.  

4. If a person spoke or swore or spoke an oath thoughtlessly, whether for a good or a bad purpose, when you became aware of it, you were guilty of sin.

Every single one of the above offenses were cause for you to bring your trespass offering to the priest.  They must have been pretty busy! 😮

I think the last one would probably catch most of us, speaking for myself.  Come to think of it, the first one would too. How many times a day are you an ear witness to bad language? While these things may seem insignificant to us, they obviously are not to God. Kinda puts sin in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Unintentional Sin.

Notice the words in bold type?  This offering covers sins of which you are unaware and are unintentional.  You have sinned but you either didn’t know it or you knew in part.  You are still guilty under the Law, even if you were not conscious of your sin, yet you are covered. 🙌🏻💖

Remember what Jesus said from the cross?  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He was putting the entire nation under the Trespass Offering. They remain so to this day!

Whether you brought a bullock, a goat, a sheep, two birds, or a handful of flour, your sins were identified with the sacrifice.  In the case of the animals and birds, you laid your hands on the animal, killed it with your own hands, and priest took it from there.

Degrees Of Sin.
Are there degrees of sin?  Are some greater than others?  Yes, as we learned in Part 8.  The different sizes of offerings speak to the different degrees of sin as well as different people’s views of God.  Some sins are more serious than others as evidenced, for instance, in the story of Joseph below.


Joseph And Potiphar’s Wife

Joseph was a slave in Egypt in the house of Potiphar, who was second in command under Pharoah.  His wife took a liking to Joseph and continually sought to seduce him.

Potiphar was a very wealthy man and could have had his pick of the most beautiful young women of Egypt.  I’m sure she was quite a “looker,” as they say.  Anyway, one day when he was alone in the house with her, she went after him again.  Let’s follow the story in Genesis 39:7-9

 And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 

Joseph lived more than 400 years BEFORE THE LAW, yet he called adultery, “GREAT WICKEDNESS.”  How did he know that without the law, meaning the Big Ten?  How did he know to call it “GREAT WICKEDNESS?”  So you see, there really are degrees of sin.

Divine Exchange.
If you have been following this series, you learned that when you laid your hands on the Burnt Offering, the representative righteousness of the innocent victim passed to you and your sins were transferred to the innocent animal.

Imagine how you would feel if you had to bring a live animal to the priest, lay your hands on it’s head, confess your sin or sins, and kill it with your own bare hands.  As you watched the animal suffer and die, you would no doubt have a much different understanding of the cost of your sin.

Once For All Time.

When you accept Christ as your Savior, both these things happen simultaneously.  Most importantly, all of these five sacrifices are an expanded view of what Jesus’ ONE SACRIFICE accomplished on the cross.  He paid that for every human being on the entire planet, from one end of history to the other, by offering Himself in our stead.  He was punished as if He were the worst human being of all time!

Please don’t misunderstand: This forgiveness is a free gift OFFERED to all.  “Gift” implies that you either accept it or reject it.  Only those who accept the gift can appropriate it.  Those who refuse it are not covered.  That refusal is called, “UNBELIEF.”  God is a great Respector of your free will.  He will not force you to believe that Jesus died for all your sins.  However, if you refuse to believe, that’s on you.  God did all the heavy lifting.  It’s up to you to recognize and accept His offer.  To refuse it means an eternity in a place apart from God in the place of torment from which there is no reprieve. 😔 Please listen to and heed His words.

Whereas the people of Israel offered these sacrifices daily, you and I don’t offer bulls and goats today.  Jesus offered His one PERFECT SACRIFICE ONCE…..FOR ALL TIME.  He is our Trespass Offering ETERNALLY.  We don’t need to confess our sins daily/weekly/annually, i.e. offer trespass offerings, as we go through life.  Jesus ONE PERFECT SACRIFICE takes care of them all.  Confess instead that Jesus is your Trespass Offering as you walk through life.

When you brought your offering to the priest, he did not examine you.  What would be the point?  He knew why you were there.  He examined your lamb.  You see, it’s not about you.  It never was.  IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT YOUR LAMB.

It’s Not About You.
Jesus paid for all of our sins and our sin nature IN FULL…..and then some!  Most Christians understand that part.  The problem arises in their inability to understand what they have have become because of The Burnt Offering:  They have been made The Righteousness of God in Christ!

We come to God, not in our own righteousness; we come into God’s presence bringing Jesus, our Perfect Lamb!  These offerings so beautifully showcase that we are not righteous because of what we do, but because of what Christ has done.

Sin (Singular) vs Sin(Plural).
The trespass offering paid for “sins (plural) committed,” i.e. your deeds; the sin offering paid for “sin (singular),” meaning the sin nature we inherited from Adam.  You see, we aren’t sinners because we commit sins; we are sinners because of Adam’s sin.  Sinners sin because it is their nature to sin.  Thank God, Jesus’ one perfect offering on the cross takes care of both.  He paid for your sin AND your sins!

Leviticus 5:114-16
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “If a person commits a trespass, and sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the Lord, then he shall bring to the Lord as his trespass offering a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, as a trespass offering. And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. So the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.”

If your trespass was against the LORD, such as touching the Holy things inadvertently, you were to bring a ram to the priest, which must be a male animal obviously as it is of benefit TO God.  If you remember, male animals typify that which is of benefit TO God, or “God-ward.”  Female depicted “man-ward.”
In the cases mentioned above, restitution was required.  Moses would make a valuation of the offense, you had to pay 100% of the value and add 1/5 more to it, which is a double tithe.  That equals 120%.

God Gained MUCH MORE Through The Cross.
Church, that’s exactly what Jesus did for the Father and for us.  You see, God made the whole world and everything in it.  He then turned around and gave it over into man’s hands.  In other words, He invested in us.  But what did Adam do?  He handed the keys, so to speak, over to the devil, resulting in God losing all of His investment.

Because of Adam’s fall, we owed God a HUGE debt of sin; a debt we could not pay.  But Jesus came and made Himself liable for that sin-debt in our place.  He, by His blood and sacrifice, not only paid back 100%, He made restitution to His Father on our behalf.  He added 1/5 more:  120%.  God gained back MUCH MORE through redemption than He ever lost through creation.  What the second Adam did was GREATER by far than what the first Adam did.

This same benefit is accorded to you and I.  When the devil attacks and steals from us, he has to make RESTITUTION.  We get back all that we lost plus the spoils:  120% restoration!

Acceptable Animals.
Leviticus 5:5-6
“And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing; and he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin.”

So, a person must bring either a lamb or a kid of the goats.  He must confess his sin or sins before the priest and then make his offering.  Further on God says that if the man could not afford either of those animals, he could bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons.  If he couldn’t afford birds, he could bring 1/10th of an ephah of flour.

Animal sacrifices for this offering were female, either a lamb, a goat, two turtle doves or pigeons. But if the man was very poor, even a handful of flour would be accepted.
The point is that God wants everyone to be forgiven for their trespasses and made allowance for men of all economic means.

How Big Is Your God?
As you learned in the portion about burnt offering of this series, the size of the offering was based on economic status.  In our dispensation, i.e., the New Covenant, this is a depiction of a person’s perception and appreciation of the blood of Jesus.  A bullock is a BIG revelation; sheep and goats depict a medium-sized revelation; birds smaller still; and a handful of flour the smallest of all.

Yet no matter how big or small you see or understand about Jesus, you are no less forgiven of your sins and acceptable to God.  It is the same Jesus; the same blood that cleanses you.  It does, however, affect your walk through life. If you have a big revelation of Jesus, you can receive big blessings.  If not, you cannot receive big from God.

Degrees Of Faith.
The size of the offering also speaks to the size of your faith.  As there are different degrees of sin, so there are different degrees of faith, though it only takes faith as small as a grain of mustard seed to receive your miracle.

Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 8, “Where is your faith?”  So, there is such a thing as “NO faith.”  On the Sea of Galilee, when there was a great storm, Jesus came walking to them on the sea.  Peter was allowed to get out of the boat and walk to Him, but soon began to sink when he looked at the wind and waves.  Jesus said to him, “Why did you doubt, oh you of LITTLE faith?”  So, there’s such a thing as little faith.  That’s better than NO faith, at least.

Finally, there was the centurion who’s servant was sick.  Jesus offered to come to his house and heal the man, but he declined the invitation.  He told Jesus that He only needed to speak the word and the servant wold be healed in Matthew 8:10

“Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

You see?   There is “no faith, little faith, and great faith!”

After your offering was killed, the entire animal was burned including it’s entrails, containing the animal’s excrement or dung, outside the camp.  That’s why Jesus was crucified OUTSIDE JERUSALEM. 

New Covenant Of Grace.
5, in case you didn’t know, is the number of “Grace.”  To learn more about the meaning of numbers in the Bible and why we say, “5 is the number of grace,” you may follow the link below to read all about it:

Grace is a person:  Our Lord Jesus.  It took 5 different offerings to describe that one, beautiful, multi-faceted sacrifice of our Lord Jesus!  Under the Old Covenant, sins could only be covered.  But you and I have a better covenant based on better blood:  Our sins ARE CLEANSED FOR OUR ENTIRE LIVES under the New Covenant.

A Clean Heart.
In Psalm 51:10-11, David earnestly prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

What he longed for, WE HAVE!  His dream is our reality.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t come and go as He did in the Old Testament.  Because their sins were only covered, He could only reside ON individuals.  Today He lives IN US because our spirit is CLEANSED by the blood of Jesus.  HALLELUJAH!!!!!

I hope that understanding these sacrifices and offerings give you a better idea of just how serious sin is to God and from what we have been redeemed.  Jesus paid such a huge price for us that we will never fully understand it, even in eternity.

Aren’t you glad that we have not only been delivered from all our sins but from the bondage that comes from the continual consciousness of sins?  That’s what those offerings did;  constantly reminded the people of their sins every time they brought an offering to the priest.

The War Is Over.
In Jesus, you and I have the Sin and Trespass offering:  Our sin nature is cleansed and our sinful deeds covered as we walk though life.  Because all our sins are cleansed, we have Jesus, our Peace Offering, Who made Peace with God possible.  The war is OVER!

We have Jesus, our Minchah/Grain offering.  Because of His perfect life, He qualified to die that death for us and become for us the Bread of Life.

Now we can understand that our sin nature and sinful deeds are taken care of; Now we know we have peace with God; Now we know that we are feeding on The Bread Of Life; we can come to a place of spiritual maturity where we clearly see that WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST because of Jesus our BURNT OFFERING!!!

All I can say is, “Wow!”  Jesus, we are forever grateful!  THANK YOU!  You OVERpaid ALL the debt that was against us.  Your one, selfless, beautiful sacrifice has fulfilled all of these:  The five offerings of Leviticus.

In Part 10, we’ll relate these five offerings to us today and who they are used under the New Covenant:

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