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Sin Offerings in Ezekiel’s Temple

Chapters 40 through 48 in the book of Ezekiel describe what many pastors and scholars believe to be the future temple that Jesus will reign from during the Millennium. The common phrase for this period of time is the 1,000-year reign of Christ.

In chapters 43 through 45, there are several mentions of a sin offering. Here are a few:

You shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place belonging to the temple, outside the sacred area. And on the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering; and the altar shall be purified, as it was purified with the bull.

Ezekiel 43:21-22

To state the obvious, a sin offering as outlined in Leviticus is when a person has transgressed against God by sinning, and must make atonement by making an offering to God.

Those same pastors and scholars that believe Jesus will rule in a 1,000-year reign also believe that He will rule and reign with a rod of iron, and that sin will essentially be eliminated… it won’t be allowed. They go on to say that at the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be set free from his imprisonment to wreak havoc on the earth, before finally being thrown into the lake of fire for eternity. 

When these things are considered, there would seem to be a discontinuity between Jesus Second Coming and active offerings for sin. Why? Here’s what it says in the book of Hebrews:

…so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 9:28

Remember, Jesus lived with sin at His first coming and conquered it with His death on the cross and resurrection. In His Second Coming Jesus will not live with any sin, let alone for a thousand years. He will return to earth and immediately put an end to sin, once and for all. 

As the verse above states, Jesus comes back for salvation, that is, to complete salvation in those who have believed in Him… without the issue of sin.

The question isn’t whether or not sin would be completely eliminated in a 1,000-year reign, or if there would still be traces of sin with Jesus on a millennial throne. The question is, how could there be active sin offerings if Jesus’ Second Coming is apart from sin? If His coming is truly as the Bible says and is apart from sin, there would be no need for the sin offerings mentioned in Ezekiel chapters 43 through 45.

What of it then? What is the meaning of the sin offerings mentioned in these chapters? Ezekiel’s book, being apocalyptic in nature similar to the Book of Revelation, may also be similar at certain times in the need to be taken as allegory instead of literally. I suspect that chapters 40 through 48 are meant to be understood as a revelation of Jesus Christ. Remember that Ezekiel was a priest, and it’s possible that his interpretation of revelation from God of His Son may be that of chapters 40 through 48. It may seem odd to consider this until you read and understand what Jesus said in Luke 24:

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Luke 24:44

It’s plainly stated here in Luke that the prophets wrote about Jesus, which could include what Ezekiel wrote in the last chapters of his book.

As stated in Romans 8:3, Jesus became our sin offering, setting us free from the law of sin and death… and this at His first coming. Sin atonement will have been completed and fulfilled in the eyes of God for the Second Coming of Jesus, with no need for further atonement, sin offering or sacrifice. God will be satisfied with His Son’s work and will be beyond the need for atoning blood shed. Instead He will be focusing on a wedding feast, forever joining together the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the bride (believers)!