I find it interesting that the chapter on the peace (or thanksgiving) offering immediately precedes the unintentional sin (or guilt) offering. It almost seems like the priority is the peace offering, and as a counter to that, we have the guilt offering. I don’t know how much significance there is in this, but i’m sure someone can make it very significant.
The chapter is split up into four sections. The first talks about the offering that is required if the priest sins unintentionally. Secondly, is the offering that is required for when the congregation as a whole sins unintentionally. In that case the leaders are responsible and they are the ones that lay their hands on the head of the bull as it is sacrificed. The leaders are responsible for the actions of the people. The third sacrifice is the sacrifice when a leader sins unintentionally. He has a greater responsibility thus his sacrifice is separate from those of the common people. Then finally, the sacrifice for the common people. Each sacrifice is different in type or sex of the animal.
It’s very significant to me that the sacrifice for the leaders of the congregation is different and of greater value than the common people. It says so much about the expectations and demands placed on the leaders. Being a leader is a double edged sword. It means you have more authority and power, but it also means that you hold more responsibility, including responsibility for the actions of those you are leading. That is a common theme throughout the Bible. When the people go astray, the leaders are to blame. Do our leaders live up to those expectations? Do we?
Do we take sin seriously? God does! Do we even bring our intentional sins before YHWH in repentance, or do we just brush them aside? Even if we do that, do we bring our unintentional sins to Him as well? Even for those who are willing to say “yes” about the first (intentional sins), chances are we don’t say “yes” in response to the second (unintentional). I know i tend not to even bring my intentional sins to Him, let alone my unintentional. That is something that needs to change.