If one willingly walks into the lion den, knowing the risk, and the lion kills him, is it murder? No, because the lion is an animal and is doing what he does. But what if that "lion" was an out of control priesthood and kingship and the Only True God sent His firstborn, the heir, to inspect? Does this absolve the murderers of their crime because he willingly walked into their den? And if not, who is responsible for his death?
I guess I am seeing it more in the light of the parable of the vineyard and the many servants sent who also risked/sacrificed their lives, and then sending his son, his son also knew the danger and risked/sacrificed his life (Matt 21:33-43). This is also related to the subject:
Mat 23:34 Therefore, lo! I am dispatching to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Of them, some you will be killing and crucifying, and of them, some you will be scourging in your synagogues and persecuting from city to city,
Mat 23:35 so that on you should be coming all the just blood shed on the earth, from the blood of just Abel until the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murder between the temple and the altar."
Mat 23:36 Verily, I am saying to you: All these things will be arriving on this generation."
How much more so the blood of the heir?
You also mentioned this:
<<<"When the priest eats the 'sin' or 'sin offering' [Hosea 4:8-9] I strongly suspect that this is 're-enacting' the events in the Garden of Eden. When Adam ate the fruit, this would take on a cultic [i.e. priestly] context. Although I as yet know of no historical sources to support such a reading of the text.
However it can be shown that in second Temple period times the Garden of Eden was considered the Holy of Holies, and as such, each act would logically take on a cultic context;>>>
Interesting thought, although I think one would have to expand the Garden to the whole mishkan and not just the Holy of Holies due to nothing being consumed therein. I have to admit, I have yet to take the concept of consuming sin back to the Garden. My focus over the years has been the various ceremonial offerings and their linkage to the patriarchal accounts. Seems i have forgotten to include Adam, duh. Thank you, something to dwell upon