It’s What’s On, Not In the Ark…That Matters

I’m thankful that I woke those morning feeling more rested than I have in the last few days. I enjoyed getting out and taking care of some routine commitments and getting the lawn mowed before we have another afternoon rain.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Then put in the Ark the Agreement which I will make with you. “Then make a lid of pure gold for the Ark; this is the mercy seat…. I will meet with you there, above the lid between the two winged creatures on the Ark of the Agreement. There I will give you all my commands for the Israelites.” Exodus 25:16-17,22 (NCV)

When the “Ark of the Covenant” is brought up as a topic of conversation in modern movies the mystery focuses on “what’s in the ark”? To me this can make the Ark into a lost chest of pirates gold waiting to be discovered. The Bible is clear about what is in the Ark. It contained the stone tablets of God’s commands. No gold or precious stones or secret powers, that can be manipulated by man.

What is important about the Ark of the Covenant is the lid. It has two angels with outstretched and raised wings and between the wings of the angels is what is called the “mercy seat.” It is hear that the blood of the sacrifice was poured for the atonement of sin.

The bottom line is when we look “inside” the Ark at the law of God, we are reminded of our sin and God’s judgement. When we observe the “mercy seat” we are reminded of God’s forgiveness.

We when we see the “mercy seat” we are also reminded of fellowship with God. The place of mercy, is the place where we meet the Lord. The Lord told Moses, I will meet with you there, above the lid between the two winged creatures on the Ark of the Agreement. This would be the place of the Lord’s ongoing instructions and commands for God’s people as they faced their day to day challenges.

The Psalmist described mercy when he declared, “…He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10) We also read in scripture, “mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13) The cross is the standard for God’s mercy that overcomes the judgment we deserve due to our sin.

This significance of the “mercy seat” and the work of Christ on the cross is stated well in the following…

The Mercy Seat on the Ark was a symbolic foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice for all sin—the blood of Christ shed on the cross for the remission of sins. The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee and one familiar with the Old Testament, knew this concept quite well when he wrote about Christ being our covering for sin in Romans 3:24-25: “…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Just as there was only one place for atonement of sins in the Old Testament—the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant—so there is also only one place for atonement in the New Testament and current times—the cross of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we no longer look to the Ark but to the Lord Jesus Himself as the propitiation and atonement for our sins. (

I’m thankful for the  cross as our “mercy seat.” An old hymn about the cross contains the words, “mercy there was great and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me…” Because of the cross we all have access to the “mercy seat” of the Lord. A place of forgiveness, a place of appointment with God, a place to receive direction for our lives.