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In our previous posting we present information pertaining to the objects found inside the Ark of the Covenant. Today we plan to present some additional information about the Ark that will be used latter to support our proclamation that Jesus is our Ark of the New Covenant.
The Portability of the Ark
Because the people often moved from place to place, the Ark was designed to be portable. For this reason it was created with rings attached to its sides that enabled it to be transported via golden poles. In fact it was also used to lead the troops into battle as they entered into the Promised Land.
The Placement of the Ark in the Holy Place
The Ark is positioned along the wall that is directly across from the entry way (the semi transparent veil called the Life) to the Most Holy place. In addition, this veil fills the doorway separating the Holy place from the Most Holy Place.
The result is that the Golden Altar of Incense and the smoke that rises from it (symbolizing the spiritual warfare of the people) are visible through the veil as it is positioned directly across the doorway from the Ark. Therefore, the spiritual warfare of the people (their prayers symbolized in the smoke going up from the altar) are visible to God as he sits on the Mercy Seat.
It should also be noted that it is from this Mercy Seat that God spoke to His people and bring either blessing or cursing in reaction to their obedience or disobedience to the covenant (law).
The Priesthood and the Ark
The Most Holy place was visited by the high priest just once each year. The high priest entered the chamber on this special occasion to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the altar (see picture above) for the forgiveness of the sins of the people:
And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD. (Exodus 30:10)
Other Names for the Ark
The Ark is called the Ark of the Covenant because it represented the Mosaic covenant between God and Israel. It was also referred to as the Ark of the Testimony as it was a continuous testimony to the covenant law housed in the Ark. It was sometimes referred to as the Ark of Thy Strength because it represented God as both powerful and a as blessing to Israel. In addition, it was often called the Holy Ark because of the sacredness and holiness it represented.
So, in summary, the Most Holy Place is the most precious of all the places found in the Tabernacle. It is so special that only the High Priest was allowed to enter into it, and then only once a year[ii]. The Most Holy Place is where God talked to Moses directly and therefore is the place where the closest of all relationships with God is established. This relationship is symbolized by covenant and the symbols of the covenant that are found inside the Ark of the Covenant (the Covenant Stones upon which the Ten Commandments are written, Aaron’s Rod and the Pot of Manna.)
The Ark is covered by the Cherubim and the presence of God Himself, who sits directly on the Mercy Seat which is between the angels (Cherubim). This symbolizes the importance and the sacredness of the Ark and its contents.
The Ark contained the stone tablets on which were engraved the Ten Commandments, which are the foundation of the law for the people. The law reminded the nation that God’s favor would be upon them if they remained in covenant. This included the conquest and inhabitation of the Promised Land. The Ark also contained the Pot of Manna, which symbolized God’s provision of their every need as they wandered in the desert and were transformed to become totally dependent on Him. Again, the Pot of Manna is symbolic of God’s provision. The Ark also contained the Rod of Aaron which miraculously budded when the authority of Aaron’s priesthood was challenged. This symbolized Gods favor on Aaron but also is prophetic of God’s choice of Jesus as the high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. We will investigate this further in future postings.
Our next posting will present the claims of Jesus that correlate to the objects found in the Most Holy place. In addition, we will look at the miraculous actions of God that support these statements of Jesus and support the notion that He is the manifestation of the Most Holy Place, a place that can be entered through the doorway called, “the Life.”
[i] Exodus 24:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
[ii] Exodus 30:10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.
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