Leviticus 4-6…Sin offerings and guilt offerings.
The idea that sin brings pollution is thoroughly biblical, and the reality of this pollution was dealt with under the old covenant through the sin offering described in these chapters. “Sin offering” is a perfectly acceptable translation of the Hebrew term in Leviticus 4, but what the sin offering actually accomplished is better seen in the words purification offering. The sin offering purified the sanctuary; it removed the defilement of sin that occurred when the people broke the covenant.
Our holy God cannot be in the presence of those people and things that are unclean, and each time people sinned under the old covenant, they dirtied themselves. The burnt offering solved the problem of the Lord’s wrath, but it did not purify the one offering the sacrifice. There still needed to be expiation, or the removal of sin’s pollution, from the worshipers and the instruments of worship. The blood of the sin offering accomplished this cleansing. The tabernacle that became defiled because it was located in the midst of a sinful people was cleansed by the blood of the sacrifice, and the sinner was made clean and able to stand before God again (4:1–5:13).
Reading the Old Testament in light of the New is so important for the Christian. Christ’s ultimate, blood sacrifice permanently removed our sins forever. Leviticus shows us how our sin separates us from God, and His character is no different today than when this book was written. Apart from Christ, God’s wrath is awful. However, the joy we have if we’re in Christ is derived from both what we’re saved from (His wrath & Hell), and our reward (eternal life in perfect fellowship with God).