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We plan in this and subsequent sections to present evidence that substantiates Jesus as the Ark of the New Covenant, replacing the old Ark and old covenant in a far superior way.
Over the course of several presentations we will demonstrate that Jesus had a very close relationship with the Father and that angels frequently ministered to Him. These things of course are the fulfillment of Tabernacle prophesy in that they reflect the relationship established with God before the Mercy Seat (directly above the Ark of the Covenant) in the presence of the Golden Cherubim (Angels).
We will also present information that supports the notion that all of the items found inside the Ark of the Covenant are displayed more perfectly in the life of Jesus. This means that in Him we find a perfected law, one that is based on the changing of one’s own heart rather than simply following the letter of the law. It means the in Jesus we find a perfected provision and favor in the sacrifice of His body and blood for us. In Him we find a perfected priest hood in the order of Melchizedek. This priesthood eliminates the need for continual sacrifices at the Tabernacle by providing a single but perfect sacrifice of His life on the cross.
A very important point in all of this is that Jesus brought perfection to the Tabernacle that was otherwise imperfect in that it was made by man. He accomplished this by demonstrating His attributes and character with His actions and words. The Tabernacle was built as place for God to dwell among His people. It was however, built based upon the design specifications provided by God and therefore represents a model of the perfect Tabernacle that was to come, Christ Jesus.
So, in support of the proposition that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tabernacle built by man we offer the following examples:
1. The Covenant Stones containing the commandments of God that are housed in the Ark of the Covenant are simply laws carved in stone. Jesus on the other hand is the perfected law that is written on the hearts of men. What this means is that the practice of blindly following rules is greatly inferior to a change in heart that eliminates the desire to do evil.
2. A second point of support for this proposition is that Jesus provides us with a more perfect priesthood. Jesus eliminated the need for continual animal sacrifices by replacing them with the single, but perfect sacrifice of His own body and blood on the cross.
3. We also find a more perfect Ark of the Covenant in that the Promised Land of Canaan is replaced with the more perfect New Jerusalem that came down from heaven. Therefore, Jesus is the Ark of the new covenant which is far superior to the old.
We know that Jesus is the Ark of the new covenant for two reasons. First, because He, Himself said that He was, and second, the actions of God support His claims directly. Let us start with a scripture that documents Jesus’ statement about being the new covenant:
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
These words He spoke before His suffering and death on the cross. His body and His blood were the price that God paid for the forgiveness of our sins which enable the reestablishment of our relationship with Him. His shed blood replaces the blood sacrifices that had previously covered the sins of the people in a far superior way, in that they are not just covered, they are forgiven. Therefore, the blood of Jesus became the new covenant and Jesus is the Ark of it:
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.’ Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:1 – 22)
In our next posting we will discuss Jesus as the Fulfillment of the law. Until then, may God bless you and yours!