Symbolization: Breaking Down the Tabernacle part 1- The Ark of the Testimony

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3/24/2021: Welcome to the first entry that I will be sharing with you in regards to the spiritual truths of God’s plan of redemption that can be found, hidden in the articulate design of His Dwelling place; The Tabernacle.

It’s a good idea to review the Intro Post I made the other day. In it is a list of the items needed for building the Tabernacle and the symbolic meaning of each. This is God’s design so you know there’s a deeper meaning. Here is the link to the intro: Click Here

I will refer back to the symbolic meanings as we take a deeper look at each piece of the Tabernacle that God details out. We will start with the Ark of the Testimony (or Ark of the Covenant).

Exodus 25:10-22 NKJV: 10 “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. 12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13 And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. 15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 16 And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.

17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. 20 And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. 21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

As I said in the Intro post, The Ark of the Testimony symbolizes Christ Jesus in many ways. Here is where God’s presence will be; in the innermost portion of God’s dwelling place, behind the veil in the Holy of Holies. This Holy place is a symbol of the inner man or inner heart, where Jesus lives within us.

Both the Ark of the Testimony and the poles for transporting it were made of Acacia Wood (symbol of mankind or humanity) and overlayed with gold(symbol of Divine Nature; purity). This signifies Jesus in the flesh, living amongst us, and at the same time, being covered in the Divine Nature of God.

In verse 16, God instructs Moses that the Testimony He was going to give him would be kept inside the Ark. This Testimony was the Ten Commandments! Here is ANOTHER detail that points to Christ!

As we know, Jesus, was the Fulfillment of the Law of Moses:

Matthew 5:17-20 NKJV: 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Since He is the Fullfillment of the Law, Jesus sums things up into two Commandments in Matthew and gives us a New Commandment to follow in John:

Mathew 22:35-40 NKJV: 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

John 13:32-35 NET: 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him right away. 33 Children, I am still with you for a little while. You will look for me, and just as I said to the Jewish religious leaders, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ now I tell you the same.34 “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”

Paul even acknowledged this in Galatians:

Galatians 5:14 NET: 14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”

Two other items are stated in Hebrews to have been inside the Ark:

Hebrews 9:3-4 NET: 3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.

Here is more that connects to Jesus as He is known as the Bread that came down from Heaven, just like the manna did. And Aaron’s rod that budded was proof that the tribe of Levi had the exclusive right to the priesthood; Jesus is our Eternal High Priest.

“The Mercy Seat” or what is better translated as the Atonement Lid, was made of solid gold (Divine Nature, purity). This is where Atonement was made for the people of Israel. The High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sin offerings onto “the Mercy Seat;” as a covering or atonement for their sins. This is exactly what the Blood of Christ does for us today but so much more; it transforms us into the VERY nature of Christ Jesus.

Final connection I am going to point out are the two Cherubim, made of solid gold (Divine Nature) on each end of “the Mercy Seat” or Atonement Lid; their wings spread forward, covering or guarding the Atonement Lid; interesting. This connects to the Cherubim God placed at the Tree of Life to “guard” it after Adam and Eve were removed from Eden.

Genesis 3:24 NKJV: 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The Tree of Life…Salvation…Jesus is our Salvation.

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