“And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the LORD” (Leviticus 4:4).
This reference in Leviticus chapter 4 is to the sin offering. Note that the person offering the sin offering must personally kill the animal that is offered. The priest could not do that. The priest could perform the other rituals of the sacrifice, including burning the remains of the bullock outside the camp, but when offering a burnt offering (Leviticus 1:1–5) or a peace offering (Leviticus 3:1,2), the one making the offering had to kill the animal being offered. In each case, before the sacrifice was killed, the one making the offering had to lay his hands upon the head of the bullock, signifying the transfer of his own sin and guilt to the innocent creature being offered.
What does this have to do with the timing of Christ’s coming and His death on the cross? Christ came during a unique time in history. The nation of Israel was not a free country. It was ruled by Rome, a Gentile city-state. The Jews did not have the power to execute a prisoner. Only the Romans could do that. But Christ came not only to die for and redeem Jews; He came to redeem both Jews and Gentiles. Thus, following the pattern set forth for the sin offering described in Leviticus, where the one for whom the offering is made must be guilty of killing the sacrifice, both Jew and Gentile must be guilty of crucifying Christ. The Jewish authorities planned and demanded His death (Matthew 26:3,4) and the Gentile Pilate and his Roman soldiers consented and carried out His execution (Matthew 27:26,35). Thus, Christ’s death on the cross was efficacious for both Jew and Gentile following the pattern of the requirement set forth in Leviticus. DTG