The opening chapters of Genesis tell us that God created the world and everything in it—including the first man and woman—and declared His creation good. But the man and woman, Adam and Eve, were not content with God’s fellowship and provision, and they disobeyed His command not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As a result, sin and death now formed a barrier between God and humanity. A perfect, holy God could not allow disobedience and decay into His presence.
But even in Genesis 3, God reveals that one day sin and death will be crushed (Gen. 3:15). Until that final defeat, He would continue to provide a way for humanity to know Him and obtain forgiveness. Our passage today in Leviticus describes some of the offerings required to maintain the relationship between God and the people of Israel.
Interestingly, the offerings described in this chapter are to atone for unintentional transgression against the law of God. The Lord knows that His people are not capable of holiness and obedience on their own, and even with the best of intentions they will not always maintain purity. But when they realized their guilt, God provided a way for them to be forgiven. Their offering would restore the offender into relationship with the holy God.
Sin, whether intentional or not, creates a barrier between us and God. It cannot be overlooked by God, but it can be forgiven. Ultimately, Jesus fulfilled God’s promise in Genesis 3:15, and His life, death, resurrection, and ascension have conquered sin and death (see 1 Cor. 15:55–56). He is the perfect offering, and He makes it possible for us to find forgiveness from all our sin and be in fellowship with God.
You can never be good enough on your own to maintain fellowship with God. Every single one of us will fall short (see Rom. 3:23). Thank God it’s not up to our ability to be perfect! He offers forgiveness. Trust in Jesus Christ to be forgiven from your sins, and you can receive forgiveness and rejoice in fellowship with the God who loves you.