02 Mar Christ as the Ark (Part 1)
Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW) By Tunde Olugboji Vol 20:06
As believers, many of us have heard about the Ark of the Covenant, while some of us may be asking, what’s this thing called the Ark? Yet others may be wondering does this Ark hold any significance for New Testament believers? This week, we’ll begin a series that seek to answer these and related questions.
Also known as the Ark of the Testimony, and the Ark of God, it is a gold covered wooden chest first described in Exo 25:21-22. As the children of Israel were set free from the clutches of Pharaoh, God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle as they traveled through the wilderness. The tabernacle would be the place where the glory of God would dwell among them.
The words ‘testimony’ and ‘covenant’ refer to the “conditional agreement” between God and Israelites, with the Ark being placed in the tabernacle. Conditional agreement in the sense that God promised to be good to the Israelites and their children for generations if they obeyed him and his laws, but warned of punishment, and dispersion if they were to disobey. So, the Ark could be described as a “box of the agreement.”
Inside the box were the two stone tablets of the 10 Commandments. Heb 9:4 says “The ark of the covenant [was] covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” Thus, this box, the symbol of the conditional agreement was made according to God’s specific design instruction and was to be housed in the inner sanctum of the tabernacle, or the Holy of Holies, in the desert and transferred to the Temple when it would eventually be built in Jerusalem.
The main significance of the Ark was its lid, known as the “Mercy Seat,” a Hebrew term which means “to cover, placate, appease, cleanse, cancel or make atonement for.” Once a year, the high priest, would enter the Holy of Holies where the Ark was kept and would sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed animal onto the Mercy Seat to atone for his sins and the sins of the Israelites.
The Mercy Seat was a symbolic foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice for all sin—the blood of Christ shed on the cross for the remission of sins. Paul wrote about Christ being our covering for sin (Rom 3:24-25).”…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
Just as the Mercy Seat was only one place for atonement of sins in the OT, the cross of Jesus is now the only one place for atonement. As today’s believers, we no longer look to the Ark but to the Lord Jesus himself for the forgiveness of our sins.
Can you say this prayer this week: Jesus, as the only way through which my sins could be forgiven, help me to keep on looking unto you as the author and finisher of my faith. I acknowledge that as a result of the joy that was set before you, you endured the cross, despising the shame associated with your sufferings. I am grateful that you are interceding for me with God, as you seat at his right hand.” (Heb 12:2)
Have a great week.