Summary: Capping off the Ark of the Covenant is a solid slab of gold with cherubim, of inestimable value. Even more beautiful than its artistry is what happens upon it. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Beyond the Veil: The Mercy Seat
[scroll thru pics]
Every box needs a lid...but this is no ordinary box...and atop it is much more than a ‘lid’. As a matter of fact, no furnishing in history has had a final, finishing touch as exquisite as this mercy seat.
Capping off the Ark of the Covenant is a solid slab of gold with cherubim, and we cannot begin to estimate its value, especially today. But even more beautiful than the artistry of it all is what happens upon it. In the ark we saw the person of Christ, but in the mercy seat we see the work of Christ.
The Bible says that God anointed men to build the tabernacle and its furnishings, and it’s obvious that they must have had much more than talent...they had the touch of God on them. And it never ceases to amaze me how God will give us an anointing for a special task. I’m doing things today I never thought possible, and only God can be credited with it. Our nation needs an anointed leader at this time, and only God can make that happen. The church needs anointed servants, and you should trust that God can use YOU!
And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat...
1. A place of enthronement.
In that day it was God’s throne on earth...the place where God chose to rest in His presence.
v. 22 ‘there I will meet with thee...’
The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
‘Reigneth’ = is on the throne
Ultimately it doesn’t matter who is president or how the economy is doing...God is still on the throne and the one we trust!
Psalms 97:1-2 [slide]
1 The LORD reigneth; ...righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
These are His characteristics. Righteousness is God’s laws, judgment is God’s punishments for violations of them. ‘Habitation’ = standards. In other words, if ever He were to not have these standards, His throne would topple.
So, how can God save us sinners and not drop His standards? That’s where the mercy seat comes in! This is the place where the integrity and the certainty of God’s standards are seated...that’s why there are cherubim there...they are always associated with God’s holiness. These are the angels w/ flaming swords who kept man out of the garden after the fall.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
If Adam and Eve had taken of that tree now that they were sinners they would have lived forever in their sinful condition, and never been redeemed, and thus, never someday glorified!
God’s holiness cannot have sin in its presence. And because He loves us He hates the sin that will destroy us.
2. A place of atonement.
The word atonement means ‘paid for.’ This is the place where payment was made for sin.
The cherubim face one another, but they don’t look at one another. They are looking down upon the mercy seat...at what?
Leviticus 16:12-13 [slide]
12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: 13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
Aaron is about to do something so profound that even he himself cannot look upon his own actions, and so the cloud conceals his vision...
Leviticus 16:14-15 [slide]
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. 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:
2,000 years ago something happened in the dark and man cannot begin to gaze upon what was truly happening as the wrath of God was poured out upon His own Son, dying there w/ our sins upon Him. And God’s righteousness and judgment were satisfied.
Ill.—sometimes I fear we have the idea that God is like an indulgent grandpa just overlooking our sin. That is not the case. We know the truth about ourselves, we see our grandchild hit their sister, and we say, oh, he didn’t mean to do that. [oh yes he did!]