Jesus and the Cherubim
We have just completed a series of postings that addressed the Ark of the Covenant, which is one of the objects found inside the Most Holy place of the Tabernacle.
- The Ark of the Covenant Covered by Cherbim
We have investigated this topic in a quest to understand the meaning of a statement made by Jesus claiming to be “the Life”. Since the entrance to the Most Holy Place is called “the Life, gaining a better understanding of it will help us to better comprehend His claim. Therefore we will expand our investigation by focusing on the Golden Cherubim, which are found inside the Most Holy Place.
Cherubim are angelic beings that surround God in the spiritual realm. These cherubim are represented in the Most Holy Place as the angels that cover the Ark of the Covenant (see the picture above). The Cherbs found in the Most Holy Place are made of pure gold that has been hammered into shape by artisans. They are positioned in such that they are facing each other just above the Ark of the Covenant. The two Cherubim are created as a single piece, connected together at their base by a flat strip of gold called the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat is the precise spot over which the divine presence of God dwells. Therefore there is a single Cherub on each side of the Mercy Seat and each is looking directly toward the place where God dwells. In addition, each Cherub has extended His wings in such a way that they completely hover over and protect the Mercy Seat and the space above it. This positioning represents the eternal watchfulness and ministry of these angels to God. The presence of the Golden Cherubim symbolizes the protection given the divine presence of God in the Most Holy Place.
Jesus is surrounded by Angels
- Violence in Heaven
So if the prophesy of the Tabernacle is true predictor of the coming Christ, then there must be some evidence of Angels watching over and ministering to Him found in scripture.
What we are about to uncover is that there were angels supporting Jesus before He came to earth, while He was an infant and throughout His entire ministry. We will also find that angels will be active even at the time of His second coming. The following scriptures are used as examples to demonstrate the activity of Angles through out the life of Jesus.
Jesus is Protected by Angels at Birth
We start with the angel who announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
We continue with another angelic scripture. In this one an angel announces the truth of Jesus and Mary to Joseph:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)
Then there is the story of the wise men that are lead to the newly born Son of God by a star that is really an angel. The gift of Gold is most likely used to fund the trip to Egypt to escape the king who sought to kill Jesus. Joseph was warned by an angel that this danger was present:
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 2:9-15)
Angels Minister to Jesus
Jesus was ministered to by angels several times during His ministry. One time occurred shortly after He had been tempted by the devil in the desert after fasting for 40 days:
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’“ Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’“ Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’“ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:5- 11)
Another angelic visitation occurred when He was strengthened in the garden as He prayed just prior to His crucifixion:
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-4
Jesus’ Resurrection is Announced by Angels
Even Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is supported as an angel nullifies the army guard that was in place to ensure that the body of Jesus was not removed from the grave. In addition, they announce his resurrection and whereabouts such that there is no doubt about what happened to Him in the mind of His believers:
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
- Jesus rises from the grave
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:1-7)
Jesus’ Angel Testifies of His Revelation to the Church
I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:16-17)
So, as we can see from the above scriptures that angels support Jesus’ ministry from beginning and forevermore. So it should be with us who uphold the ministry of Jesus Christ, the living tabernacle of God.
The Mercy Seat
We have introduced the Mercy Seat in our description of the Cherubim. The Mercy Seat resides in the Most Holy place in the Tabernacle. It is the flat gold strip of gold that connects the two Cherubs together at the base. Its significance is that the divine presence of God dwells directly over it, just below the wings of the Cherubim. It therefore, is the precise place from which God speaks with His people. It is also interesting to note that there is no figure or symbol for God in the Tabernacle and this is a testament of the invisible presence of God that requires no man made image or idol.