The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, the ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more” (ch. 3:16).
The ark of the covenant was the symbol of the abiding presence of God in the most holy place (Exodus 25:10-22). For this reason, it was an object of holy reverence. Over its mercy seat (Exodus 25:17-22) was revealed the glory of the Shekinah, the visible symbol of the presence of the most high God. It was the center of ancient Israel’s symbolic service in the temple.
The prophet Jeremiah didn’t undermine the ark of the covenant in chapter 3:16, but he only predicted the coming of a future time when God’s real presence through His incarnate Son – Jesus Christ- would make the physical symbol of His presence obsolete.
The Jews thought that the Temple was more sacred than any other object on earth; yet Christ declared to them: “I tell you that something greater than the temple is here” (Matthew 12:6). Jesus is greater than the temple the most sacred of religious institutions (Matt. 12:8). For He is the ultimate and final place of worship.
By the phrase “something greater,” Jesus referred to the spirit of true worship, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23, 24). Jesus invites all His children for a living relationship with their Creator instead of adhering to the dry forms of ritual services that they may practice (Micah 6:7,8).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,