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Leviticus 4-5The Message (MSG)

The Absolution-Offering

1-12 God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, When a person sins unintentionally by straying from any of God’s commands, breaking what must not be broken, if it’s the anointed priest who sins and so brings guilt on the people, he is to bring a bull without defect to God as an Absolution-Offering for the sin he has committed. Have him bring the bull to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting in the presence of God, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter the bull before God. He is then to take some of the bull’s blood, bring it into the Tent of Meeting, dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of it seven times before God, before the curtain of the Sanctuary. He is to smear some of the blood on the horns of the Altar of Fragrant Incense before God which is in the Tent of Meeting. He is to pour the rest of the bull’s blood out at the base of the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. He is to remove all the fat from the bull of the Absolution-Offering, the fat which covers and is connected to the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is around them at the loins, and the lobe of the liver which he takes out along with the kidneys—the same procedure as when the fat is removed from the bull of the Peace-Offering. Finally, he is to burn all this on the Altar of Burnt Offering. Everything else—the bull’s hide, meat, head, legs, organs, and guts—he is to take outside the camp to a clean place where the ashes are dumped and is to burn it on a wood fire.

13-21 “If the whole congregation sins unintentionally by straying from one of the commandments of God that must not be broken, they become guilty even though no one is aware of it. When they do become aware of the sin they’ve committed, the congregation must bring a bull as an Absolution-Offering and present it at the Tent of Meeting. The elders of the congregation will lay their hands on the bull’s head in the presence of God and one of them will slaughter it before God. The anointed priest will then bring some of the blood into the Tent of Meeting, dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of it seven times before God in front of the curtain. He will smear some of the blood on the horns of the Altar which is before God in the Tent of Meeting and pour the rest of it at the base of the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. He will remove all the fat and burn it on the Altar. He will follow the same procedure with this bull as with the bull for the Absolution-Offering. The priest makes atonement for them and they are forgiven. They then will take the bull outside the camp and burn it just as they burned the first bull. It’s the Absolution-Offering for the congregation.

22-26 “When a ruler sins unintentionally by straying from one of the commands of his God which must not be broken, he is guilty. When he becomes aware of the sin he has committed, he must bring a goat for his offering, a male without any defect, lay his hand on the head of the goat, and slaughter it in the place where they slaughter the Whole-Burnt-Offering in the presence of God—it’s an Absolution-Offering. The priest will then take some of the blood of the Absolution-Offering with his finger, smear it on the horns of the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering, and pour the rest at the base of the Altar. He will burn all its fat on the Altar, the same as with the fat of the Peace-Offering.

“The priest makes atonement for him on account of his sin and he’s forgiven.

27-31 “When an ordinary member of the congregation sins unintentionally, straying from one of the commandments of God which must not be broken, he is guilty. When he is made aware of his sin, he shall bring a goat, a female without any defect, and offer it for his sin, lay his hand on the head of the Absolution-Offering, and slaughter it at the place of the Whole-Burnt-Offering. The priest will take some of its blood with his finger, smear it on the horns of the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering, and pour the rest at the base of the Altar. Finally, he’ll take out all the fat, the same as with the Peace-Offerings, and burn it on the Altar for a pleasing fragrance to God.

“In this way, the priest makes atonement for him and he’s forgiven.

32-35 “If he brings a lamb for an Absolution-Offering, he shall present a female without any defect, lay his hand on the head of the Absolution-Offering, and slaughter it at the same place they slaughter the Whole-Burnt-Offering. The priest will take some of the blood of the Absolution-Offering with his finger, smear it on the horns of the Altar of Burnt-Offering, and pour the rest at the base of the Altar. He shall remove all the fat, the same as for the lamb of the Peace-Offering. Finally, the priest will burn it on the Altar on top of the gifts to God.

“In this way, the priest makes atonement for him on account of his sin and he’s forgiven.”

“If you sin by not stepping up and offering yourself as a witness to something you’ve heard or seen in cases of wrongdoing, you’ll be held responsible.

“Or if you touch anything ritually unclean, like the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or a dead reptile, and you weren’t aware of it at the time, but you’re contaminated and you’re guilty;

“Or if you touch human uncleanness, any sort of ritually contaminating uncleanness, and you’re not aware of it at the time, but later you realize it and you’re guilty;

“Or if you impulsively swear to do something, whether good or bad—some rash oath that just pops out—and you aren’t aware of what you’ve done at the time, but later you come to realize it and you’re guilty in any of these cases;

5-6 “When you are guilty, immediately confess the sin that you’ve committed and bring as your penalty to God for the sin you have committed a female lamb or goat from the flock for an Absolution-Offering.

“In this way, the priest will make atonement for your sin.

7-10 “If you can’t afford a lamb, bring as your penalty to God for the sin you have committed two doves or two pigeons, one for the Absolution-Offering and the other for the Whole-Burnt-Offering. Bring them to the priest who will first offer the one for the Absolution-Offering: He’ll wring its neck but not sever it, splash some of the blood of the Absolution-Offering against the Altar, and squeeze the rest of it out at the base. It’s an Absolution-Offering. He’ll then take the second bird and offer it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, following the procedures step-by-step.

“In this way, the priest will make atonement for your sin and you’re forgiven.

11-12 “If you cannot afford the two doves or pigeons, bring two quarts of fine flour for your Absolution-Offering. Don’t put oil or incense on it—it’s an Absolution-Offering. Bring it to the priest; he’ll take a handful from it as a memorial and burn it on the Altar with the gifts for God. It’s an Absolution-Offering.

13 “The priest will make atonement for you and any of these sins you’ve committed and you’re forgiven. The rest of the offering belongs to the priest, the same as with the Grain-Offering.”

Compensation-Offering

14-16 God spoke to Moses: “When a person betrays his trust and unknowingly sins by straying against any of the holy things of God, he is to bring as his penalty to God a ram without any defect from the flock, the value of the ram assessed in shekels, according to the Sanctuary shekel for a Compensation-Offering. He is to make additional compensation for the sin he has committed against any holy thing by adding twenty percent to the ram and giving it to the priest.

“Thus the priest will make atonement for him with the ram of the Compensation-Offering and he’s forgiven.

17-18 “If anyone sins by breaking any of the commandments of God which must not be broken, but without being aware of it at the time, the moment he does realize his guilt he is held responsible. He is to bring to the priest a ram without any defect, assessed at the value of the Compensation-Offering.

18-19 “Thus the priest will make atonement for him for his error that he was unaware of and he’s forgiven. It is a Compensation-Offering; he was surely guilty before God.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Matthew 24:29-51The Message (MSG)

29 “Following those hard times,

Sun will fade out,
    moon cloud over,
Stars fall out of the sky,
    cosmic powers tremble.

30-31 “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.

32-35 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

36 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.

45-47 “Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.

48-51 “But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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