It is possible that we sin unintentionally and we do it all the time. But what I noticed in this chapter is sobering. Do you see it?
It might be hard to see on whatever computer you are using, but if you download and zoom or chart this chapter yourself, you will see that the higher up in leadership, the higher the cost and responsibility of your sin.
We forget that in this culture not everyone was Abraham with massive flocks and herds. Some just had enough of a collection of animals to keep their family and farms alive. To offer the sacrifice of a anything was just that–a sacrifice.
For the common people who sinned unintentionally against the Lord, they were to offer a female goat. For a leader of the people a male goat. For the community of Israel it was to be a young bull. And if it was the anointed priest it had to be young, unblemished bull. A bull even in today’s standards is a costly creature.
Not only that by the anointed priests and the elders of the community, when they sinned, had to provide extra means of atonement. They had to sprinkle the blood 7x in front of the sanctuary.
So why this matters is clear. The greater you are in leadership, the greater your need of redemption and atonement before the Lord because of the influence you’ve had on others. Leaders can be as simply as parents of children, heads of family, leaders sin, community sins and more.
On a side note, we barely even think of going before the Lord to confess “community” sins. We think of our individual sins but when was the last time you’ve been to a repentance service for the sins of your community or nation? It does happen but not very often. And in today’s world, everyone would see differently what their actual “sin” was.
But back to this text. When we move into any type of leadership position at all, our fear of the Lord should increase. Our responsibility before God grows. Yes, Jesus takes away our sins equally. But there is a greater responsibility. We even see this in the New Testament in that it cautions people teaching as they will be held to a greater judgment (Jms 3:1).