Daily Reading: Leviticus 4, 5; Matthew 26:26-46
‘So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.’ (Leviticus 5:5, NASB95)
The sacrificial system in the OT was designed by God to bring people back into right relationship with Him. The individual bringing the sacrifice had to fully participate in the act in order to receive the benefits. When bringing an offering to the Lord, God said that the sinner must lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering and kill the sacrifice himself (Lev. 1:3-5), identifying his personal sin with that of sacrifice. Confessing sins is another aspect that shows responsibility of guilt and need of God’s forgiveness and grace.
- On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was also to confess the sins of the whole nation over the goat sent into the wilderness (Lev. 16:21).
- Even after Israel apostatizes and is cast out of the land, God still promises to remember the covenant He made with them if they will confess their iniquity and humble their hearts (Lev. 26:40-41; 1 Kgs. 8:35-36).
- All who confess their sin and forsake their transgressions find forgiveness (Proverbs 28:13).
Sin is costly. The lamb or goat could never take away sin, but the atonement depended on God’s compassion. God looked forward to the death of His Son, which would truly take away sin, once and for all (2 Cor. 5:21).
Confession and turning away from sin remain an important part of forgiveness in the NT (see Acts 19:18). Before people accept Jesus, they must acknowledge their sin and recognize their need for His sacrifice (Rom. 3:23).
- Confession and request of forgiveness is part of the Lord’s prayer (Lk. 11:4).
- 1 Jn. 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (Jam. 5:16).
Have you confessed your sins to the Lord? Do you recognize your need for Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf/ Have you left your life of sin to follow Jesus?