Understanding Torah Society - part 17, Obedience and the sacrifices of Torah
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 4:2-3 2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, 'If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which YHWH has commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them; 3 if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto YHWH for a sin-offering."
Even though a person truly loves YHWH, because he is a flawed human, he is bound from time to time to fall into sin. This should be the exception rather than the rule. In order to facilitate repairing the damage caused by such a sin, YHWH commanded a schedule of sacrifices and offerings a person must offer in exchange for his sin according to his transgression. In essence, these offerings and sacrifices are fines levied upon the one who has misbehaved. There are also offerings which a man may voluntarily give in addition to those so commanded as a means to say thank you to YHWH for the blessings He has given.
To live in a Torah society, the ability to repair the damages done by sin is paramount for the society to function properly. It is also necessary for these damages to be repaired in order for brothers to live together in harmony. Let us carefully examine the place of sacrifices in Torah society, as well as one's commanded obedience to all of Torah, including the sacrificial offerings.
One of the common arguments today concerning the death of Mashiach is that His death did away with the need to offer up the sacrifices and offerings commanded by YHWH in the Torah Moshe. But is this a valid or warranted conclusion? We shall see in the rest of this study that it is not a valid conclusion.
B'midbar (Numbers) 15:30
"But the soul that does aught with a high hand, whether he be home-born or a sojourner, the same blasphemes YHWH; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people."
One critical element about the sacrificial system is that there never was any sacrifice available for those who willfully transgressed the Torah. The sacrifices and offerings were only for those who unwittingly sinned and broke the commandments. Please note this wording in the opening passage. However, if one acts presumptuously, that is, a person intentionally sins, such a person has no sacrifice available to make things right according to Torah. Please note what happens to the person who acts with such willfulness-he is cut off from Israel. This writer is not convinced that this is a human judgment or action, but rather may be a statement of the action which YHWH takes against such a person as outlined in the following passage.
Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 26:14-15
14 "But if you will not hear and obey Me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 and if you shall reject My statutes, and if your soul abhor My ordinances, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break My covenant;
16 I also will do this unto you; I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall consume the eyes, and make the soul to pine away; and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it."
YHWH kindly gives each person the option to obey or not to obey His Voice, His statutes, His commandments, and His ordinances. If a person unwisely chooses not to obey His Voice, His statutes, His commandments, and His ordinances, then YHWH will come against that person and bring terror and plagues and all that He brought upon Egypt until that person either repents and obeys or is destroyed.
I have had many conversations in which the person with whom I was having a discussion was of such a mindset that the Law had been fulfilled and was no longer valid and therefore should not be obeyed today. Invariably this person will bring up the sacrifices as commanded by YHWH as a means to entrap me. Perhaps you have had such conversations as well. That part of the conversation might go something like this.
"So you believe that one should keep every single commandment of Torah?"
"And it is a sin if you do not keep every single commandment of Torah?"
"So do you offer sacrifices as Torah commands you to do? Because if you don't, then aren't you in sin?"
At this point they believe that they have me boxed in and completely trapped with no escape except to agree with them that Mashiach fulfilled the Torah and it is no longer to be obeyed by us. But this is where he and all like him are completely mistaken. Let us examine this closely to see the fallacy of this mindset as well as what the proper attitude one should have regarding the commandments of YHWH, including the sacrifices.