Leviticus - The Trespass Offering
The trespass offering is the last offering we will look at when it comes to the five offerings of Leviticus.
My hope and prayers are that the studies have been an inspiration and have encouraged you to look deeper into these truths in light of Christ and his finished work.
We have discussed a lot of things, but I believe we have only scratched the surface of what can be discovered in these
Let’s look at some beautiful truths when it comes to the trespass offering.
The trespass offering is also known as the guilt offering in some translations.
For some, the trespass offering is also different from the sin offering because it is believed the sin offering is about who we were in Adam- our old nature.
But the trespass offering deals with the fruit of our old man – sinful behavior.
This separation is debated amongst scholars, and I will leave it up
to you to come to your own conclusion. The point of our studies is to see the finished work of Christ within these offerings.
Sin Against the Holy Things
14 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 15 “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the LORD, he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.
I want you to notice that the sin is committed against the Lord regarding “the holy things.”
It is not clear what sin is committed. Some believe it was them withholding tithes or first fruit offerings from the Lord.
Some commentators have even stated that it could be not honoring the Sabbath.
Whatever the case, the sin or trespass is against the Lord. They are to bring a ram without blemish.
If you have studied the previous offerings, you should know by now that this is a picture of Jesus Christ, who is the lamb without blemish (see 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Let’s continue reading so that we can gain more insight.
He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.
Notice the sinner must not only bring a ram without blemish, but they are to make restitution - a restoration of what he has done wrong.
On top of the restoration, they are to add a fifth. In other words, 20% on top of the restoration. This would equal 120% restoration. Let’s keep reading:
17 “If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the LORD’s
commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity. 18 He shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the mistake that he made unintentionally, and he shall be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he has indeed
incurred guilt before the LORD.”
Now, again, if the person sins against the Lord, he is to bring a ram without blemish – a picture of Jesus Christ.
I believe one reason for this repetitive statement is to always remember that Jesus Christ is the only one who can make things right when we make mistakes.
Trespasses Against Someone Else
1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “If anyone sins and commits a breach of faith against the LORD by deceiving his neighbor in a matter of deposit or security, or through robbery, or if he has oppressed his neighbor 3 or has found something lost and lied about it, swearing falsely—in any of all the things that people do and sin thereby— 4 if he has sinned and has realized his guilt and will restore what he took by robbery or what he got by oppression or the deposit that was committed to him or the lost thing that he found 5 or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt.
I want you to notice how the trespass offering takes on a different aspect.
Now we are dealing with committing a trespass against someone else.
But notice that whenever a trespass is committed against someone, it is also committed against the Lord.
This is very interesting because Paul picks up this language in the New Testament when he talks about making sure we don’t do things that offend other believers regarding their conscience.
When we abuse our freedoms, and it causes a brother or sister to fall, Paul makes it clear that we not only sin against our fellow brother or sister, but also against the Lord (1 Corinthians 8:12).
When the trespass against someone is committed, they are to restore it in full and add a fifth (120%).
6 And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering. 7 And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.”
It is repeated here that a ram without blemish is to be offered with respect to the trespass committed against another individual.
I don’t want to sound repetitive, but again, it is a picture of Christ Jesus!
So, the trespass can be committed against the Lord in regard to the holy things and against someone else.
When this is done, an offering must be offered and restoration with a fifth is to be restored.
This is the trespass offering in summary.
Understood in the Work of Christ
How is this understood in light of the finished work of Christ?
They were to make restitution back to God:
2 Corinthians 5:18–19
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to
himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message
You and I could never make reconciliation to God through our own works and performance.
Therefore, Jesus came as a man, as a mediator, to bring reconciliation to God and man through his sacrificial offering on the cross.
Jesus is the one who made restitution for us. He restored the relationship we lost because of our sin.
But remember, they also had to add a fifth 20% to their restoration:
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
The reconciling is done by God through Christ, and so is the fifth - 20% because Jesus did much more!
Jesus always does much more in restoration than what was stolen through sin and transgression.
Look how the apostle Paul uses the phrase “much more” when it comes to what Christ did through his work on the cross:
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Everything Jesus did was “much more” than anything you and I could ever come up with through our own efforts.
My friends, today you can rest in what Christ has done, knowing that he took care of every transgression that you will commit, and he did much more on top of that.
Back to the Transgression Against Another
What about the trespass committed against one another?
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
I believe this verse clarifies that Jesus is the one who makes everything right when we are done wrong.
Vengeance is never ours to take care of and should be left only in the hands of God.
You might feel like someone has transgressed against you and has caused a lot of turmoil in your life.
They may have taken your joy, happiness, and even your trust.
My friend, God can be the one to give you back everything that was stolen if you would only leave it in his hands.
Look at how the prophet Jeremiah lets us know that God is the one to bring restoration into our lives:
17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal,
declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’ 18 “Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have
compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. 19 Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those
who celebrate. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small.
In context, this passage speaks of God restoring Israel back to their land after exile.
But I also believe there is an application for us today to remind us that God can restore health, heal our wounds, and restore everything that has been taken from us.
What About the Fifth 20%?
There is a great story in the Bible about a woman named Esther who became queen and gained favor with the king to have her people, the Jews, saved from death.
The news that her people were going to be destroyed by a man named Haman was brought to her attention by her uncle
When the news reaches her ears, she petitions the king, and what Haman wanted for the Jews ended up falling back on his own head – he was killed.
So not only did Esther and her people have their lives spared, but a very interesting detail happens in the story:
1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2 And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
The king gives Esther the house of Haman!
I see this as God giving to his people the fifth 20%, because Esther never asked for the property of her enemy.
But the king, who I believe can be a picture of Jesus Christ, gave her favor and even more on top of that - property of her enemies.
The Great Truth of the Trespass Offering
The great truth of the trespass offering is that we have restoration with God and abundant blessings because of Jesus Christ and his work on the cross.
The reason I say this is because all the offerings pointed to the true offering that was given – Jesus Christ.
Therefore, if the offerings point to Jesus Christ, so must the other aspects of the offering as well - the restoration and the fifth 20%.
You and I are bankrupt and have nothing to offer God because
we are in sin and in need of salvation.
He comes to take care of those things through his sacrifice.
The weight is never to be on your shoulders because he carried it all.
He is your burnt, grain, peace, sin, and your trespass offering!
Praise him and worship him because the work is complete!
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LAST UPDATED: 11/28/23
About Pastor Larry
Larry is the co-pastor of New Covenant Church in El Campo, Texas. He has served in ministry for over 10 years, teaching and preaching the Gospel of grace. He continues to serve as a pastor and run newcovenantway.com.