Are you like me? I’m still learning how the Tabernacle of the Israelites represents or illustrates Christ Jesus. It’s fascinating and beautiful! Today, I learned something about the foundational sockets of the Tabernacle that amazed me.
My chronological, daily Bible reading plan has me in Exodus. Today’s reading included Exodus 38 which describes the making of the altar, the Tabernacle court, and materials used in building the Tent. (To read more about the Tabernacle, or the portable tent-llike worship center and dwelling place of God used before the building of the Temple, see Exodus chapters 25 through 30.)
Here’s what I found today that touched my heart:
25The silver from those of the congregation who were recorded was a hundred talents and 1,775 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary: 26a beka a head (that is, half a shekel, by the shekel of the sanctuary), for everyone who was listed in the records, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men. 27The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the veil; a hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent a base. (Ex 38:25-27)
I remembered that the last of the ten plagues against the Egyptians was the death of their firstborn. The Lord didn’t take the firstborn of the Israelites — He “passed over” them, if they sacrificed a lamb or goat and smeared the blood on their door posts. (Later, the Israelites were commanded to keep a yearly festival of remembrance of this event, called the Passover.)
After the Israelites were freed from Egypt and were wandering in the desert and heading toward the Promised Land, God announced that the Israelites should take a census and that each male 20 years old and upward must pay a ransom price.
12“When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them. 13Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the LORD. (Ex 30:12-13)
What was the point of the ransom price? According to John Gill in his Exposition of the Entire Bible, the ransom…
- which was to be offered to him for the ransom of souls, whose lives were forfeited by sin; and of the redemption of which this was an acknowledgment [Emphasis, mine.]
The ransom price was a symbol of the Israelite’s soul being spared when it should have been forfeited due to sinfulness. During the plagues of Egypt, the Lord made a clear distinction between those who were His people and those who weren’t. Here, He is reiterating that those who’ve paid a price will be treated differently from those who haven’t– their life will be ransomed and they won’t experience the plague or treatment of those who aren’t His.
Look again at verse 27:
27The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the veil; a hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent a base. (Ex 38:27)
What I’d never noticed before was that the money paid was melted down for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases for the veil. The ransom price laid the foundation for the Tabernacle.
And it hit me… Jesus’ life was the ransom price that laid the foundation for the Church. Christ gave His life; He bled and died on the cross as a final and ultimate sacrifice to pay for our sins. He has ransomed our souls and our lives by hanging on a tree. The Savior and King of Heaven and Earth came in lowly form to pay ransom… and to lay an indestructible foundation that cannot be shaken… all for His Church.
For you. For me.
Again, John Gill says that this:
- was typical of [meaning it typified] the ransom price of souls by Christ, which is not silver or gold, but his precious blood, his life, himself, which is given as an offering and sacrifice to God, in the room and stead of his people; [Clarification and emphasis, mine.]
I am humbled beyond words by the sacrificial love of my Savior and amazed at the foreshadowing and typology that was right in front of me but I never realized before. I’ve read about the building of the Tabernacle many times and I’m so thankful for what God showed me today.
And I’m especially thankful that Christ paid the ransom price for my soul! With His life, He laid the foundation for His body (called the Church)– the very dwelling place of His Spirit.
Isn’t God’s work amazing? What has He shown you lately? I’d love to hear in the comments!