The Use of the Atonement Money

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 9
“And thou shalt make twenty boards on the south side south- ward. And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side twenty boards. And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt made six boards. And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. They shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board." -Ex. 26:28-25
“And he made hoards for the tabernacle; twenty boards for the south side southward. And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. And for the other side of the tabernacle, toward the north corner, he made twenty boards. And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And for the sides of the tabernacle westward he made six boards. And two boards made he for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. There were eight boards, and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets." -Ex. 36:23-3023And he made boards for the tabernacle; twenty boards for the south side southward: 24And forty sockets of silver he made under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 25And for the other side of the tabernacle, which is toward the north corner, he made twenty boards, 26And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 27And for the sides of the tabernacle westward he made six boards. 28And two boards made he for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. 29And they were coupled beneath, and coupled together at the head thereof, to one ring: thus he did to both of them in both the corners. 30And there were eight boards; and their sockets were sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets. (Exodus 36:23‑30)
“And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary. A bekah for every man, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their. fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel. Even all they that were numbered were six hundred and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.” -Num. 1:45,4645So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; 46Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. (Numbers 1:45‑46)
"And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.
"And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them."-Ex. 33: 25-28,
THE silver, derived from the atonement-money of the numbered Israelites, was chiefly appropriated to the sockets of the tabernacle. Each board stood upon two sockets; two tenons, at the extremity of each board, dropping into holes or mortises in the two sockets. As the number of the men that paid the ransom-money was 603,550, half of this (viz. 301,775) is the number of shekels, because each man paid half a shekel; and as there were 100 talents, and 1,775 shekels, the hundred talents forming the hundred sockets, must have been obtained from the 300,000 shekels. That is, 3,000 shekels would form a talent or socket; and each socket would contain the ransom-money of 6,000 men, 3,000 shekels: and each board, therefore, stood upon the ransom-money of 12,000 men; for each board stood in two sockets.
The whole massive framework of the tabernacle stood, as to its foundation, upon the atonement-money paid by the hosts of Israel. Each man could affirm, that the very dwelling-place of God rested on the ransom-money which he had paid for his soul. He could look upon the sockets, and say-my silver half-shekel has gone to make up the hundred talents, of which they are formed. May we not, in like manner, say that the new creation of God, His everlasting dwelling-place in glory, rests upon the redemption of the Church? If one ransomed sinner were to fail of reaching the heavenly city, a living stone would be wanting in the superstructure: and there would also be a defect in the very foundation of the city itself.
Redemption is the basis on which God builds the new heavens and the new earth The precious value of the blood of Christ will be made manifest in every part of the new creation. All will tell out the costliness of the price that has been paid: and the very dwelling-place of the Most High, heaven itself, owes its stability to the ransom-money that has been provided for the redemption of each individual saint The unspeakable value of the cross will be proclaimed throughout eternity, from every part, from every glorious feature of the new creation, as well as from every inhabitant of the heavenly city, The kingdom that cannot be moved, derives its stability and firmness from the foundation on which it rests.
The foundation of the temple has truths connecter with it, in striking analogy with those typified in the foundations of the tabernacle, of which we have been speaking. Mount Moriah was the spot where the Lord provided for himself a lamb. Two great truths of redemption were manifested; first, in Abraham the father, offering up his only-begotten son: next, in the substitution of the ram provided by God instead of the sentenced victim, Isaac. It was therefore a place whereon redemption was stamped in marked features: Moriah, the land of vision, where this great sight was to be seen: Jehovah-jireh also, the Lord will provide Himself a lamb.
Besides this, the same spot was afterward the threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite; a place from whence wheat was gathered into the barn. It was here also that the angel of the Lord sheathed his weapon of slaughter, by reason of the burnt sacrifice, and the word enough pronounced by God. Thus the foundation of the temple was laid on a rock, remarkable as having been a place where a substitute had been provided by God; where the sword of judgment and justice had been sheathed; and where a sufficient atonement had been made.
The silver sockets of the tabernacle proclaimed the same truths. And it will be found that God has laid the beams of His chambers of glory above, in the deep waters of death, which rolled over the soul of His blessed Son, the Lamb of God; the Rock laid as a foundation.
The corner-foundation-stone has been already alluded to, when considering the corner-boards. It may be well however, again to refer to the passages in Isaiah and the Epistle of Peter, as we are contemplating the sockets of the tabernacle, the foundations on which that building of God rested. The whole passage in Isa. 28 V. 14-19, should be read together.
" Hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves. Therefore, thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies; and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth, it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation, only to understand the report."
The spiritual rulers of Israel, like the Pharisees in the days of the Lord, had built up a refuge of their own, an elaborate structure of self-righteousness, resting on a foundation of pride and self-will, and constructed of religious observances, and conformity to the traditions and commandments of men-a refuge of lies, a hiding-place of falsehood, and having no other than a sandy foundation. (Matt. vu. 26.) The superstructure and the foundation were alike as to materials: vain, rotten, unstable; the work of man from beginning to end.
In contrast with this, God laid in Zion the mountain of holiness, for a foundation, a stone, the firmness and everlasting stability of which He had tried, like silver tried in the furnace: a precious corner, the costliness and value of which, God alone could estimate, according to His own weight and balance, the shekel of the sanctuary:-a sure foundation: no superficial sandy surface; but a foundation of rock, laid in the depths, firm, immovable, the Rock of Ages. All that is erected on this, partakes of the same lasting character. He that believeth shall not make haste, shall not be ashamed or confounded, shall not be shaken by the storm or tempest. Faith rests on this sure foundation, in contrast with works which rest on the sand. Directly God laid his foundation-stone, which is Jesus Christ, He takes the line and plummet into His own hands, and measures and tests the uprightness of every edifice of man. " Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet." He has one, and one only standard, THE RIGHTEOUS ONE. All that comes short of this height of perfection, all that deviates from this tested uprightness, will be tried in judgment. The floods of God's wrath will come: the torrents will descend from above: the hurricane of His fury will beat: and all that is not of Christ, and on Christ, will fall and perish in hopeless confusion. " The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies; and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." God has promised to shake all things that can be shaken, that we may be assured of the eternal stability of Him, on whom our souls rest-the eternal preciousness of His blood-the sufficient and everlasting righteousness of Him, in whom we are accepted-the solid foundation on which God's everlasting tabernacle rests.
An allusion having been made, (1 Peter 1:1919But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:19)) to the precious blood of Christ, as the true redemption-price, in contrast with silver and gold, as atonement-money; the Spirit of God in the apostle seems to have contemplated Isa. 28 in connection with the vain conversation, received by tradition from the fathers-the refuge of lies, and hiding-place of falsehood, of verse 15. Another allusion to the same chapter occurs also a little further on. " As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word." (1 Peter 2:22As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2).) " Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." (Isa, 28:9.) Again, it appears there is a reason for linking on Isa. 28 with Isa. 8:1414And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Isaiah 8:14), besides the fact of the stone being spoken of in both places. In chap. 28:13, the effect upon Israel generally, of the line upon line, and precept upon precept, concerning Christ, would be to cause them to go and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken: as in chap. 8:14, it had been declared, that Christ should be for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense, to both the houses of Israel; for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. " And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken."
It is deeply interesting thus to trace the wonderful connection of the Scriptures together, and the one pervading mind and spirit who indited the whole.
As in the case of the structure built upon sand, the same worthlessness and instability were stamped, as well on the building, as on the foundation: so the living stones, built upon the living Stone, partake of the value, preciousness, life, and durability of their foundation.
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was openly refused by the Jewish builders. ("His own received Him not." " We will not have this man to reign over us."
" Not this man, but Barabbas.") They esteemed Him not: but God raised up this disallowed Stone, and crowned Him with glory and honor; setting Him over theworks of His hands; putting all in subjection under His feet; and giving Him to be the head over all things to the Church.
Moreover: Christ crucified was, and is the stumbling-stone to the Jews. Rejected by them when on earth, and still more abhorred by them by reason of His death, He is at this day the rock of offense, the gin and snare, in which they have been snared and taken. They have fallen upon that stone, and been broken.
But not only is it so, as to that nation. Disobedience, or unbelief of the word, (which are synonymous terms,) characterizes the masses of Gentiles around us. Christendom occupies much the same place as to the stone, as did the Jewish nation of old. Christ is still disallowed as the sole foundation laid by God. He is not "the preciousness," and the only preciousness, to many that call themselves by His name. His death, the shame and obloquy of His cross, the shedding of His blood as a ransom, are still causes of offense to very many nominal Christians. And in high places in the land, among those who are the builders of the day, the atonement is disallowed; the word of God is impugned; and refuges of lies, and coverts of falsehood, are erected on all sides. But the storm is not far distant. Soon will the stone fall, and grind to powder those who have thus disallowed Him, God's precious chosen One. Soon will the Gentile image be crushed to atoms under the foot of the King of Kings; and like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, driven by the wind, not a vestige will remain of the proud scornful nations of Christendom. The day of visitation is coming, when God will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent: (" Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?")-a day of such an overflowing scourge, that it shall be a vexation, only to understand the report.
One concluding remark, respecting the silver sockets. The goats' hair curtains would exactly reach the silver foundations, in which the boards were fixed. Thus the whole tent of the congregation would proclaim one blessed testimony; viz. that atonement had been made; that a full price had been paid and accepted by God; that a sufficient sin-offering had been slain; and therefore a place of reconciliation, a meeting-place between God and the people had been established; in which He could abide in the midst of them, notwithstanding their waywardness, murmurings, and shortcomings; and to which they might with confidence draw nigh at any time.
The number 12 is remarkably connected with the boards and sockets. There were 48 boards, or four twelves; these stood in 96 sockets, or eight twelves: and each board rested on the atonement-money of 12,000 Israelites. The four pillars of the wail stood on the remaining four silver sockets; which with the 96, made up the 100.