Bible Reading – Exodus 25
Exodus 25:21-22 KJV
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Many believe the Ark of the Covenant is a picture of Christ as much of the tabernacle is. The Ark is made of wood, symbolic of the humanity of Christ, and it is overlaid entirely in pure gold, representing the Deity of Christ. The Ark is the first thing that God describes for Moses, and it was to be the central part of the tabernacle which would be located in the center of the camp of Israel. Likewise, Christ is to be the first priority and central in our lives. The fellowship between God and man was made possible by the Ark of the covenant and the mercy seat, and Christ makes restored fellowship possible for all who place their faith in His finished work. Within the Ark were the tables of stone, significant in that Christ was, as John describes Him, the Word. Jesus also fulfilled the Law as Matthew 5:17 alludes to. Interestingly God would also have the children of Israel place a pot of manna inside the ark. Known for spoiling very rapidly, the manna inside the Ark remained pure and never spoiled. In John 6:31-35 as He spoke of Moses and the manna from heaven, Christ revealed that He is the true bread, and whoever goes to God will never hunger (eternal security)! And one final item, Aaron’s rod that budded, was placed in the Ark. The significance of Aaron’s rod is that it represented the priesthood. As others challenged this God ordained fact, God set a proof in Numbers 17. Twelve rods, each with a name of a tribe, were set in the Tabernacle overnight, and the next day it was made unmistakable by his budding rod that Aaron was the chosen high priest. Christ, throughout Scripture and in Hebrews 4 and 9, is declared unmistakably to be our Great High Priest!
Throughout Scripture, we see God making covenants with man. God made a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17) in which if Abraham fulfilled the promise of obedience and faith, God would fulfill His promise of a home for Abraham for generations (similar to the covenant God made that if man obeyed without sin God would provide an eternal home in heaven). Without getting into the specifics or significance of that covenant, it is important to realize that in the Old Testament, covenants made between God and men would require man to fulfill a certain promise in order for God to be obligated to fulfill His end of the covenant. If the Old Testament teaches us anything, it is that man is entirely incapable of keeping his part of the promise. Galatians 3:24 tells us that the Law (Old Testament) was our schoolmaster, and it’s purpose was to bring us to Christ. God knew that man would not fulfill his promise, and He proved that to us so that we would recognize our need for Christ. As the tabernacle symbolically pictures Christ, we see a glimpse of a New Covenant in which Christ fulfills our part of the covenant for us. We could never live the perfect life required to spend eternity with God, but Christ did! He fulfilled the Law as man could not do! The transaction of the cross was a substitution. His death paid fully for my sins, and faith in His finished work allows me to have access to His righteousness. I may not be able to live a perfect life, but Christ did for me! The covenant is significant to help me understand that I cannot reach God on my own, and Christ is the only way to have restored fellowship. And because that fellowship is fundamentally based on the work of Christ and not the work of man, that covenant is eternal and secure in nature. It has always been and will always only ever be Christ Who fulfills the Law and upholds our portion of the covenant. Since He is pure, perfect, and as everlasting as the manna in the Ark symbolizes, the promise from God is also and eternally secure!
– Eli Faulds