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Beyond the Veil:  The Ark

Exodus 25:10-11



We are ready to go inside the veil into the Holy of Holies.  But wait, for the Bible indicates we face certain death unless we are the High Priest, and it is that one day of the year.


Fast forward to the cross, and Jesus’ 7th and final saying, crying with a loud voice, It is finished.  He yielded up His spirit at that moment and died.  Several monumental things happened simultaneously.

  • An earthquake, rocks brake
  • Graves burst open and OT saints arose
  • The veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.


Historians tell us that the temple veil was 4” thick, much taller and heavier than the one in the Tabernacle.  Man could not have torn it, only the hand of God could do this.


Now we are in the Holy of Holies, a perfect cube of 15 X 15 X 15’...a picture of the 3 fold holiness of God.

Isaiah 6:1-3
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Revelation 4:2-8
And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

We serve a thrice holy God who loves sinners...but hates sin!


We are now in that most holy place, and we can see the Ark of the Covenant, the holy ark, the ark of God, or, the Ark of the Testimony.


Description: [roll 13 slides of possible appearance]

We don’t know exactly what it would look like, but it would resemble a cedar chest, except covered with pure gold.  We have something in our minds from an Indiana Jones movie, and it’s not too far off.  It was 4’ long X 2’ high.  The lid was a solid slab of gold, the value of this mercy seat would be astronomical.  Out of that same piece of gold were the cherubim atop the lid.  A crown of gold is around the top, reminding us that we are approaching unto the KING of Kings, and gold rings on each corner thru which golden staves run thru for transporting it.


1.     The Person of the Ark


When we look at the ark itself we see the person of Jesus Christ.  Tonite we’ll look at the mercy seat and see the work of Jesus.  By the way, there were 3 different arks in the Bible:  Noah’s, Moses’, and this one, and each one represented safety for God’s people.  The first 2 were made with pitch, which represents the blood, and the 3rd has blood applied to it as well for our safety...we’ll get to that tonite.  We must examine His person first, for that is what gave His work such value.  Not just anyone could die for our sins.  It had to be a man ‘made under the law’ and yet perfect, w/out sin.


Again, it is made of the incorruptible acacia wood, speaking of His humanity, overlaid w/ gold for His deity.  It’s the 2 fold nature of Jesus!  Incorruptible humanity and indisputable deity.


So, we examine His person, and then His work.  Like John the Baptist said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  His person and His work!  John the Revelator said I saw the Lamb...slain from the foundation of the world.  Paul said, I’m determined not to know anything but Jesus Christ...and Him crucified!  [person/work]


2.     The Position of the Ark


It was always first and it was always foremost. 

As we have studied the Tabernacle we have gone in reverse order of how it is revealed in scripture.  We started outside the gate, and looked at the altar, the laver, the holy place, and now the Holy of Holies.  That’s how it is accurately approached and viewed from man’s perspective.  But it’s not revealed that way in scripture, from God’s perspective.  The ark is mentioned first.


The ark went first when they journeyed.  Those who bore it stepped into Jordan first and the waters parted.  When they marched around Jericho it was ark first, then the people, and then the walls fell flat.


The one time they presumed to go to war w/out the ark they were utterly defeated [Num. 14].  Why?  They weren’t putting God first!  Jesus first, others second, yourself last.  That is how you spell JOY!


You see, in every Christian Jesus is present. [takes up residence in your heart]  In some Christians Jesus is prominent. [very important]  But what Jesus wants is to be preeminent.  He wants to be #1 in your life, coming before everything!


3.     The Provision in the Ark.


We remove the lid and find The Ten Commandments [tablets] in the Ark remind us that Jesus has provided for our failures. 

We all have sinned...and come short. [sin is falling short] “God forgive us for our falling shorts!”  We are all guilty of breaking the commandments.  But Jesus provided for our failures by doing what we could not do...He kept the law to perfection!  This qualified Him to die for our sins...He paid for sins He never committed.


The pot of manna reminds us that Jesus has provided our food. [spiritual]  The manna was small...Jesus’ humility.  It was white...His purity.  It came at night...He came into a dark world. It came as a free gift from heaven, not based on their works or worthiness.  It came when they obeyed and when they rebelled.


If your spirit is hungry let me recommend a good place to eat:  Go to Jesus, who will satisfy you completely.


The rod of Aaron that budded reminds us that Jesus provided for our future.

Aaron’s authority as High Priest was questioned so God instructed Israel to take a dead stick from each of the 12 tribes of Israel and to put the name of the head of each tribe on their stick.  God said, bring them to the tabernacle and by this I’ll show you something.  In the morning 11 of the rods were still just dead sticks and Aaron’s was budded w/ blossoms and the fruit of almonds upon it.


This was a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus was the first fruits of our resurrection!  Because He rose someday we will as well!  Oh death where is thy sting?  Oh grave where is thy victory?


Every box needs a lid, but this is no ordinary box, and I assure you, the mercy seat is not just any lid!


For now, is Jesus first in your life?  He has provided for your failures.  Have you admitted yourself as a sinner before God?  He wants to provide for your present, and give you a spiritual abundance now, and He has already provided for your future if you’ll trust Him for it and be saved.

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