The Scriptures are filled with examples of “sins of ignorance.” With 613 commandments in the Torah, as well as several thousand years of humankind before the Torah was recorded, it is understandable to imagine that many well-meaning people could violate God's law without knowing it.
In Leviticus 4, God gives a provision for individuals who commit sin in ignorance. He even goes so far as to provide a route to forgiveness should the entire community “sin unintentionally.” However, in order for the indicated sacrifices of Leviticus 4 to result in atonement a criteria must be met: The sin must have been committed in ignorance, the individual must realize their guilt, and a sacrifice must be made.
On the cross, Jesus prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Was this prayer answered? Is Israel forgiven for crucifying Jesus? We already heard of many repenting at Pentecost, but what of the rest?
According to Leviticus 4 a criteria must be met in order for atonement to be made: The sin must have been committed in ignorance, the individual must realize their guilt, and a sacrifice must be made. For Israel, the sin was certainly committed in ignorance. The sacrifice was made at the cross. We just await the day when Zechariah is fulfilled and all Israel will “look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child.”