Summary: Here is the last piece of furniture found in the Tabernacle, but the ark is the most important and valuable of all the items studied thus far.
THE ARK AND THE MERCY SEAT
Here is the last piece of furniture found in the Tabernacle, but the ark is the most important and valuable of all the items studied thus far.
3 Arks in the Bible
*Ark defined: from Latin- arcere, meaning to hold off, defend. Something that affords protection and safety.
The ark had a crown of gold around the top edge
The ark had 4 rings of gold with which 2 gold covered staves of shittim wood were used to carry the ark. The priests were to carry the ark with these staves.
The contents of the ark
The 2 tables of stone (the law)
A golden pot of manna
Aaron’s rod that budded.
The meaning of the contents
The law was placed in the ark which symbolizes Jesus Christ who was the only man who could keep the law without breaking it.
The golden pot of manna. Manna in Hebrew means: "what is it?". To the unsaved world looking at Christianity from without says: "what is it?", but to the believer we know Jesus as "the bread of life”
Aaron’s rod. Korah, Dathan & Abiram led a revolt with 250 men against Moses & Aaron saying that Moses had usurped authority in making Aaron (his brother) the High Priest. (Ex 16). After these died by God’s wrath, God instructed the princes to choose a rod for each of the 12 tribes and put them in the tabernacle and God would cause one to blossom whom He had chosen to be the High Priest.
The Mercy Seat. Exodus 25:17-22 A). Size and Materials:
1). It was solid gold with 2 cherubims facing toward each other looking down with their wings overspread touching in the center.
2). It was the same size as the top of the ark fitting like a cover.
3). The cherubims were faced together, but looking down on the mercy seat. Cherubims are guardians in the Bible (Gen 3:24). There is power in the blood and so God has it covered and protected by His cherubims.
Use of the Mercy Seat.
1). It was the place where the Priest placed the blood of the sacrifices for sin once a year on the day of Atonement. (Lev 16).
However, this blood was not good enough (Heb. 10:4) and was only a symbol of the blood shed at Calvary. Jesus after shedding His own blood acted as the High Priest and placed the blood on the mercy seat of God in heaven (Heb 9:11-15, Rev. 11:19).
For this reason, Jesus would not let Mary touch Him in the garden (Jn 20:16-17) as He had not yet placed the blood on the mercy seat.
Important Points concerning the Ark.
The ark was a holy and sacred thing and was not to be touched except as prescribed.