Question: What is the sin offering?
Answer: The term “sin offering” means a sacrifice for sin. In the Old Testament, especially in the book of Leviticus, it refers to one of the kinds of animal sacrifices that the Lord instituted in Israel during their sojourn in the wilderness as a typical atonement for sin. Of particular interest to us as Bible students is the sacrifice of the bullock and the Lord’s goat on the Day of Atonement. The sacrifice of the bullock is recorded in Leviticus 16: 11: “And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself.” The sacrifice of the Lord’s goat is recorded in verse 15: “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.”
These sacrifices are typical of the “better sacrifices” of the Gospel Age for the sins of the world. The Apostle Paul in particular writes about these matters, mainly in the book of Hebrews. With the help of Tabernacle Shadows and other Truth writings, we understand that the sacrifice of the bullock types the sacrifice of the humanity of our Lord Jesus, and the sacrifice of the Lord’s goat types the sacrifice of the humanity of the Little Flock, the Church. The sacrifice of our Lord’s humanity took place from Jordan, at the age of 30, until His death on the cross 3 years later. His sacrifice entailed much suffering in the form of physical suffering, mental sorrow, and physical violence.
The sacrifice of the Church’s humanity was the second sin offering, at times spoken of as the second part of the sin offering. God gave the Church this privilege of suffering with Christ – from the same causes, in the same forms, in the same spirit, for the same purpose, and effecting the same results. God could have chosen to effect the reconciliation of the world through Jesus alone as the great Prophet, Priest, King, and Mediator. However, He chose instead to effect the world’s reconciliation through Jesus as the Head, and the Church as the Body of the great Prophet, Priest, King, and Mediator; and the only way that the consecrated of the Gospel Age could become a part of His Body was by sharing with Him in His sufferings as stated in 2 Timothy 2: 12: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.”