Jesus is Our Tabernacle 03: Jesus is Our Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat, throne of Grace, Exodus 25, ark of the covenant - free  PowerPoint Sermons by Pastor Jerry Shirley Message Bible Study Manuscripts  Notes Helps

17 “Then make the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—from pure gold. It must be 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. 18 Then make two cherubim from hammered gold, and place them on the two ends of the atonement cover. 19 Mold the cherubim on each end of the atonement cover, making it all of one piece of gold. 20 The cherubim will face each other and look down on the atonement cover. With their wings spread above it, they will protect it. 21 Place inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, which I will give to you. Then put the atonement cover on top of the Ark. 22 I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel. – Exodus 25.17-22

Last week we looked at the fact that Jesus is our Ark of the Covenant, Now, I want to show you that the Ark is not just a picture of Jesus, but the lid of the ark is another picture of Jesus. The lid of the ark is called the Mercy Seat, and Jesus is our Mercy Seat. The Greek word is hilasterion which is means the place where sin is covering. It was on this lid that every year the high priest would come into the Most Holy Place and pour the blood of an animal on the golden lid of the ark. This was the mercy of God covering the sins of the people.

The lid was built to perfectly fit the Ark, it was one piece of gold hammered into shape. On top of the lid, there are two cherubim facing each other, with their wings spread. The cherubim show that God is holy and pure, and that we need mercy!

So here in the solid gold lid we see a place where in the midst of God’s holiness, the blood of mercy is saying that we can still stand.

Where else do we find in the midst of judgment and holiness the mercy of God? It is the cross of Jesus. In between the angels, the blood of Jesus Christ Himself was poured out, Jesus took the punishment that brought us peace. Last week we pointed out that the ark contained the law – the life of Jesus contained a perfect life. He lived a perfect life. But the lid covers the law – it remove the demand of a perfect life, and then the blood is poured on the lid, calling for mercy.

The ark is the picture of the life of Jesus, but the lid, the top – the highest point of the life of Jesus is the act of providing mercy through blood. And Jesus did not go and get a bull or goat, He used His perfect blood to bring us mercy.

The Mercy Seat is the only seat in the entire Tabernacle, and God sat on it. God could take the place of judgement or wrath, but God sits on mercy. He takes the place of mercy. You could not see the Mercy Seat from the outside of the tabernacle – you had to trust by faith that the priest had gone inside and poured out the blood on the altar for you to cover your sin, and you cannot see the mercy of God in the flesh – you need faith, you need to accept the blood is inside and poured out on your behalf.

Jesus sits in heaven full of mercy. Now, God told the Israelites that He would meet with His people between the cherubim, on the seat of Mercy! God still speaks to us from the place of mercy, and still is with us by the Spirit of God. The work of Christ at the cross – means there is blood for you and mercy for you!

Next week we will look at the bread of heaven, and see Jesus in that.

Jesus is Our Tabernacle 02: Jesus is Our Ark

The Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies – Reasoned Cases for Christ
The Ark of the Covenant

Have them make a chest of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold both inside and out, and make a gold moulding around it (Exodus 25.10-11, KJV)

Now we are continuing our series to look at Moses’ Tabernacle and how it is one of the clearest images of Jesus Christ in the whole Bible. Today, I want to look at the Ark that was in the tabernacle. It was a box, four foot by two and a half foot by two and a half foot, so not particularly huge. It was the main item in the Most Holy Place.

God tells us about the Ark first because it was the central part of the Tabernacle, it was the place where God lived with His people. As we look at the Ark, we can see several reflections of the Lord.

  1. It had to be made from acacia wood. The acacia tree only grows in the midst of deserts and because of this, it is a very hard wood that simply will not decay. That wood formed the ark, and it is a beautiful image of the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. You all know Jesus was human? Did you know that he “grew up before the Lord like a tender shoot” (Isa. 53.2), did you know that Jesus never rotted or decayed either (Acts 2.27)?
  2. Then the wood had to be covered with gold inside and out. There was one Ark made with two materials – wood and gold. Just like Jesus is one person made of two materials – fully human and fully God! The gold is an image of the fact that Jesus was and is fully God. He was the Word from the beginning! The gold completely covered the wood, but the wood made the shape of it. Jesus looked like every other human, but was covered inside and out with gold – He was the Word made flesh, He was fully human. Did you know Jesus is still human today? A lot of people seem to not realize that, but He is. Jesus Christ, the place where we meet God is fully God and fully man, and the Ark is fully gold and fully wood! What a powerful image.
  3. Inside the ark we get three items: a jar of manna, the two tablets of the Ten Commandments and Aaron’s budded rod. The manna was in a golden jar, and is a picture that Jesus is the true bread from heaven. Jesus told us in one of his sermons that he is the “bread that came down from heaven”. So we see that Jesus is the manna for us in the New Covenant, feeding us and giving us life. The Ten Commandments represent the law, and we know that Jesus was righteous because He perfectly kept the Law. There were two sets of tablets with the Ten Commandments on. The first were broken and smashed – that is an image of Adam failing and breaking the law, but God then produced a new set of tablets – a picture of Jesus coming and not breaking the law. Jesus Christ kept the whole law His whole life. Finally, the rod of Aaron had budded – and blossomed and had almonds on it. It speaks of what? New life – resurrection life. It was a dead stick, but as it was in the hands of the High Priest, it came back to life and produced fruit after being dead. That is a powerful image of Jesus – He was a dead stick, who then flourished and produced fruit and is alive forevermore!

This ark is the only item from the tabernacle that made its way into Solomon’s Temple. It has a number of titles, but the main one is “the Ark of the Testimony”, because it is such a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ. I hope you can see Jesus in this Ark today. Next week, we will discuss the lid for this box – another powerful picture of Jesus.