The Ark of the Covenant Part 3
The Covering of the Ark
Intro: The Ark of the Covenant was a very specific piece of furniture. Its covering was also a very important part of the Ark. The lid of the Ark, called the Mercy Seat in Exodus 25:17 was a unique and essential to the role that the Ark of the Covenant played.
The Mercy Seat spoke volumes about the coming Messiah. We see Jesus Christ pictured in many ways. He is even called our “propitiation” in 3 New Testament passages. The word “propitiation” is the same word used for “mercy seat” in the Scripture.
In essence, the Bible tells us that Jesus was and is the Mercy Seat.
- Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
- 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
- 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
I. The Covering of His Purity (the pure gold lid)
- Exodus 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
Jesus Christ was perfect and pure. He was the sinless Son of God.
This fact was evident…
A. In the Results of His Temptations – Matthew 4
- Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
B. In the Remarks of His Trial
- John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
C. In the Recognition of the Thief
- Luke 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
Unlike the many religious leaders of His day and the wide variety of religious leaders of our day, Jesus was more than just a good man, a good teacher, a good example – He was GOD in the flesh!
- I Peter 22:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
II. The Covering of His Protection (the cherubims with outstretched wings)
First Mention Principle: Exodus 3:24 the Cherubims were put to guard the Garden of Eden from sinful man.
The cherubims on the Ark protect His holiness, but they are also worshipping His holiness.
And not only are the cherubins protecting His Holiness, but they are also protecting the Atonement for sin.
III. The Covering of His Pardon (the sprinkled blood)
- Leviticus 16:14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
- Leviticus 16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
That blood that was sprinkled on the altar was put there to atone for man’s sin.
The High Priest would take a basin of blood behind the veil once a year and sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat and before it.
This blood would then come between God and the broken laws of God within the Ark.
NOTE: The blood applied to the doorpost at the Passover saved those on the inside.
- Exodus 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
The Covering of His Pardon was the blood that was applied.
Today, God still demands blood to cover the disobedience of sinful man.
The blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat came from the burnt sacrifice that was offered up on the Brazen Altar.
When the blood was applied to the Mercy Seat, the throne of Judgment became a throne of Grace.
NOTE: The Old Testament blood sacrifice didn’t TAKE AWAY the sin of man – it just COVERED IT.
- Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
- 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
- 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
- 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
- 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
- 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
- 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
The death of Jesus Christ purchased our ETERNAL PARDON and FORGIVENESS for sin.
- John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
God was satisfied FOR EVER when Jesus entered into Heaven with His OWN blood and paid for our sin.
- Hebrews 9: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
- 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
- 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
IV. The Covering of His Presence (I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat)
It was above the Mercy Seat that God chose to meet with man, and commune with them.
- Exodus 25:21, 22 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. 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.
Why? What was so significant about the Mercy Seat that it would merit God’s presence?
God’s demand for sin was met at the Mercy Seat – the shed blood of the innocent sacrifice. Once that was applied, God could meet with man – then and only then could God commune with sinful man.
The perfect Sacrifice died on the cross, and in doing so made it possible for God to meet with us and commune with us.
It was between the two cherubims – the protectors of God’s Holiness.
Once the blood was applied, it provided protection from the wrath and judgment of God, and opened up peaceful discourse with God.
So…we are back to the first message in the series. Why did God want them to build a Tabernacle in the first place?
- Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
God’s original intention was to dwell and commune with man. The blood made that possible.
Through the Cross of Calvary, man may experience an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Through the indwelling of the Spirit, we may live in a constant state of communion with God.
Conclusion: Has the blood been applied to the doorposts of your heart? Do you have a personal relationship with God?