"Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you- a land flowing with milk and honey." Deuteronomy 6:3
Text: Exodus 30 : 16
THE EXTENSIVE IDEA OF THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT
The doctrine of the Atonement was very deep and obviously of great significance. Even the taking of a census was related to the doctrine of Atonement.
“And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel,
and shall appoint it for the service of the Tabernacle of meeting,
that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before
the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves.”
1. “Atonement money”
The symbolic ransom money of a half shekel was also called “atonement money”.
2. Reviewing features of the doctrine of Atonement
The following features may be highlighted to give us an understanding of how this doctrine was taught to the children of Israel.
a) It was to be observed with “A Day of Atonement”
On this one day, Israel was to enter into a fast. Originally, this was the only day of fasting appointed by the Lord. On this day, all were asked to “afflict their souls”. The nation was to remember its many sins and to repent from them with great conviction in the heart.
b) Sacrifices must be made
Appropriate sacrifices were to be made. The Book of Leviticus describes the offering of a bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering on the Day of Atonement (Cf. Leviticus 16:3).
c) Special Intercession by the High Priest at the Altar of Incense
On the Day of Atonement the high priest must offer special prayers and make atonement for the whole nation at the altar of incense (Exodus 30:1-10).
d) Atonement money- an added feature
The idea of “atonement money” was added to this doctrine.
3. A Memorial for the Children of Israel
The doctrine of Atonement was well and truly emphasized! Among other lessons that were meant to be learned, two stand out particularly:-