What is the Ark of the Covenant?

The Ark of the Covenant was used not only as a symbol of God’s presence in worship, but also for His presence in leadership as they traveled and fought battles along the way. As they were obedient, God’s presence allowed them to prevail in battle and gave provision for their needs. This type of presence, the provision, the Ark itself, and its contents were a portrait, a picture, of things to come involving Jesus as the Messiah. For instance, the way the Ark was built pointed to Jesus. Fashioned with acacia wood and overlaid with gold inside and out, the Ark pointed to His purity and royalty. Acacia wood was resistant to disease and insects, a pure wood. Gold was considered a possession of those in royalty. Jesus was sinlessly pure, and He is King of kings. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (emphasis added). Revelation 19:16 says, “And he has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (emphasis added). The lid of the Ark is called the mercy seat and is where God came and rested His presence. Jesus is God. In John 10:30 Jesus declared, “I and My Father are one.” There were three items that went into the Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews 9:4): The ten commandments, the golden pot of manna, and Arron’s rod that budded. Let’s take one at a time and see how each relates to Jesus. The ten commandments comprised the law. The law was perfect, and no one could live up to it perfectly, therefore we needed a Savior who was without sin. Jesus came as Savior. He did not abolish the law, He fulfilled it. Matthew 5:17 says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (emphasis added). Next is the golden pot of manna. This was a reminder to Israel of God’s miraculous provision as they wandered in the wilderness. Jesus is our miraculous provision for salvation. John 6:48-50 says, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die” (emphasis added). Lastly, there is Arron’s rod that budded. The rod was a shepherd's rod, and Arron and his sons were the first high priests who served in the tabernacle. Jesus is our final High Priest and our Good Shepherd. In Hebrews 4:14 we read, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (emphasis added). John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep” (emphasis added). Therefore, you can clearly see that the Ark of the Covenant was much more than a piece of furniture in a church. It was a beautiful portrait of the coming Savior, Jesus Christ.