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. - Exodus 30:16 NKJV
Have you ever thought of what price in dollars God would have you pay to get into heaven? Another way to look at this would be that this payment would be ransom money to get us out of the hell we deserve because of our inherent sin nature. Since the beginning of God's relationship with man, that relationship has cost someone something. Please stay with me here.
It struck me in Exodus 30:12 that God spoke to Moses telling him that "every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD ... that there may be no plague among them when you number them." The "ransom" here was a mere half shekel, equating to 33 cents. Sounds like a small price to pay for security with God, huh? But what would that 33 cents equate to today? We all know about inflation, don't we? I do have somewhat of a financial background so I thought I'd look into this a little further. However, I couldn't find a calculator that would give me the future value of 33 cents invested 3500 years ago!
But I was able to calculate what 33 cents would equate to in 1000 years at a 3% inflation rate (this is a good historical average rate for the U.S.). Drumroll please.... the answer is a mere $2,268,499,276,285.98. Over two trillion dollars. The point here is to see that there is no way we could possibly give atonement to God with our own efforts. We can't afford our own ransom money.
However, Jesus bought us with the price of His sinless life. He paid our ransom when he gave his life for us through the death of a Roman crucifixion. Don't forget that He not only suffered that agonizing death, but he came from a throne in heaven to live on earth with us. And I don't even like staying in a cheap motel! I can't even fathom what he did for me. Because of Him, because I've believed on Him, my ransom has been paid. I owe Him my life. What about you?
For further thought:
1) Whose atonement money am I relying on to achieve a right standing with God, to gain entrance into heaven? My good works or Jesus' sacrifice?
2) How can I repay God for what He has done for me? How should knowing what I "cost" Him, change the way and quantity of my service to Him?
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.