We shall now proceed to compare the sin-offering with the
burnt-offering, in doing which we shall find the two very different aspects of
Christ. But although the aspects are different, it is one and the same Christ; and hence
the sacrifice in each case was "without blemish." This is easily understood. It
matters not in what aspect we contemplate the Lord Jesus Christ, He must ever be seen as
the same pure, spotless, holy, perfect One. True, He did, in His abounding grace, stoop to
be the Sin-bearer of His people; but it was a perfect, spotless Christ who did so.
The intrinsic excellence, the unsullied purity, and the divine glory of our blessed Lord
appear in the sin-offering as fully as in the burnt-offering. It matters not in
what relationship He stands, what office He fills, what work He performs, what position He
occupies, His personal glories shine out in all their divine effulgence.
The truth of one and the same Christ, whether in the
burnt-offering or in the sin-offering, is seen not only in the fact that in each
case the offering was "without blemish," but also in "the law of the
sin-offering," where we read,
This is the law of the sin-offering: In the place where the
burnt-offering is killed shall the sin-offering be killed before the Lord: it is
most holy (Lev. 6:25).
Both types point to one and the same great Antitype, though they
present Him in such contrasted aspects of His work. In the burnt-offering, Christ is
seen meeting the divine affections; in the sin-offering, He is seen meeting the
depths of human need. One presents Him to us as the Accomplisher of the will of God; the
other, as the Bearer of the sin of man. In the former, we are taught the preciousness of
the Sacrifice; in the latter, the hatefulness of sin.
We shall now consider the typical act of "laying on of
hands." This act was common both to the burnt-offering and the
sin-offering; but in the case of the former, it identified the offerer with an
unblemished offering; in the case of the latter, it involved the transfer of the sin of
the offerer to the head of the offering.
What, then, is the doctrine set forth in the laying on of hands? It is
this: Christ was "made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). He took our position with all its consequences, in order that we
might get His position with all its consequences. He was treated as sin upon the cross,
that we might be treated as righteousness in the presence of Infinite Holiness. He had to
endure the hiding of God’s countenance, that we might bask in the light of that
countenance. He had to pass through three hours of darkness, that we might walk in
everlasting light. He was forsaken of God for a time, that we might enjoy His presence
forever. All that was due to us as ruined sinners was laid upon Him, in order that all
that was due to Him as the Accomplisher of redemption might be ours. There was every thing
against Him when He hung upon the cursed tree, in order that there might be nothing
against us. He drank the cup of wrath, that we might drink the cup of salvation—the
cup of infinite favor. He was treated according to our desserts, that we might be treated
according to His.
Such is the wondrous truth illustrated by the ceremonial act of
imposition of hands. When the worshiper had laid his hand upon the head of the
burnt-offering, it ceased to be a question as to what he was or what He deserved, and
became entirely a question of what the offering was in the judgment of Jehovah. If the
offering was without blemish, so was the offerer; if the offering was accepted, so was the
offerer. They were perfectly identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them
one in God’s view. He looked at the offerer through the medium of the offering.
But in the sin offering, when the offerer had laid his hand upon the
head of the offering, it became a question of what the offerer was, and what he deserved.
The offering was treated according to the desserts of the offerer. They were perfectly
identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them one in the judgment of God. The
sin of the offerer was dealt with in the sin-offering; the person of the offerer was
accepted in the burnt-offering. This made a vast difference. Hence, though the act of
laying on of hands was common to both types, and was expressive of identification, yet
were the consequences as different as possible. The just treated as the unjust; the unjust
accepted in the just.