Published on
December 27, 2023

Leviticus 4

“Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord….'”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Leviticus 4
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.’” Leviticus 4:1-3 (NKJV)

There is a breakdown, a significant dilemma with which mankind is faced. Here is the dilemma: Everyone sins, yet we are called to be “holy” (set apart) by a Holy God whose standard is “perfection.” Furthermore, a sinful man has the job of atoning for the sin of a sinful nation; a sinful “high priest” has the unfortunate duty of interceding on behalf of that sinful nation before the presence of perfect holiness. Long before the Mosaic law, a man named Job articulated his personal need for an intercessor:  

“For He (God) is not a man like me, that I can answer Him, that we can take each other to court. There is no one to judge between us, to lay his hand on both of us. Let Him take His rod away from me so His terror will no longer frighten me. Then I would speak and not fear Him.  But that is not the case; I am on my own.” Job 9:32-35 (HCSB)

Isaiah also spoke of a need for a go-between between man & God:

“Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert: ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my claim is ignored by my God’”? Isaiah 40:27 (HCSB)

“He saw that there was no man – He was amazed that there was no one interceding; so His own arm brought salvation, and His own righteousness supported Him.” Isaiah 59:16 (HCSB)

What makes Jesus so much more superior (than any human high priest) is that, by His atoning work on the cross, He alone has satisfied God’s requirements for mankind. He has reckoned both God’s gracious mercy with His righteous judgment. Consider these verses:

“Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.” Hebrews 7:22 (HCSB)

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6 (NASB)

“For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do – first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.” Hebrews 7:26-28 (HCSB)

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