The Ark of the Covenant
and its contents
The Ark, Cherubim and Mercy Seat
The Ark contained (originally) three items: Aaron's rod that budded, the tables of the law given to Moses on Sinai, and a pot of manna.
These three items speak of (a) Aaronís rod: - Godís authority and life coming out of death (Resurrection.) Sinful man rejects that authority and that life; (b) the pot of manna: Godís provision by giving the Bread of Life. Sinful man rejects that provision; and (c) the broken law. Sinful man rejects Godís law.
The High Priest on the annual Day of Atonement sprinkled blood on the mercy seat which sat on top of the Ark between the two Cherubim. This blood came from the substitutionary lamb sacrificed on the brazen altar. When God looked down from heaven upon the broken law, He viewed it through the Mercy Seat covered by the Blood. Thus the sins of Israel were atoned for, for one more year. This had to be repeated annually.
The High Priest had to go beyond the intact veil, and the priests in the Holy Place could not see what went on beyond the veil. But when our Eternal High Priest, Jesus, died on the Cross, the veil in the temple in Jerusalem was rent from top to bottom, signifying ďIt is Finished,Ē and the believer now goes through the rent veil with Christ to stand in the presence of God. (Read Matt. 27:51 and Hebrews 9:24; 4:16, and 10:19-21.)
Only entrance into the Holy of Holies provides access to resurrected life and God's continued provision, mercy and grace as signified by the Mercy Seat. That should be kept in mind by all that would come. The Veil has first to be rent, so that the believer may come in with the High Priest -- Jesus. In Old Testament times, the Aaronic High Priest could go in once a year to access atonement for sins committed for the Israelites -- but we are told in Hebrews 9:11-14 that this was only a temporary access for the people of God. Christ our Eternal High Priest provides eternal access to the throne for the people of God -- forever!
Jesus entered through the rent veil at His crucifixion and took His own Blood into the heavenly holy of holies to be sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. For every believer, when God looks down upon His law and other items in the Ark, He views them through the Mercy Seat on which is sprinkled the Blood of the Lamb. The one and same Hebrew word is used for both Mercy Seat and Atonement. So the broken law and manís rebellion against God is atoned for, or covered, by the Blood. The only way that a sinner can be redeemed and restored to relationship with a Holy God is by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Do not let anyone tell you our sins are atoned for by works of man, tradition, or any other method. We are redeemed and made right with God only by the Blood of His Son. In contrast to the Old Covenant, it is never to be repeated; but is a one-time Perfect and Eternal Sacrifice. Our access to all God has is by faith, and faith alone, not the traditions of man. (Heb. 10:1 and 10:14.)
Next: The High Priest and Day of Atonement
Index of Tabernacle Subjects