The ark of the covenant was the only piece of furniture in the most holy place (Exodus 25:10-22). It was a box or chest of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Standing atop the chest were two angels made of solid gold. Between these angels was the mercy seat (Exodus 25:17-22), where the supernatural presence of God dwelt. This symbolized God’s throne in heaven, which is likewise located between two angels (Psalms 80:1).
Inside the ark laid the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 10:4, 5). God made a covenant (a conditional covenant) with the children of Israel “And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments” (Exodus 34:28). The Ten Commandments were the basis of the covenant. The agreement was made “concerning all these words of the law” (Exodus 24:8).
The Ten Commandments, which God wrote on tables of stone with His own finger, are His moral Law for us to obey (Revelation 14:12). But the mercy seat was above them, which signified that as long as God’s people confessed and forsook sin (Proverbs 28:13), mercy would be extended to them through the blood which was sprinkled on the mercy seat by the priest (Leviticus 16:15, 16). The blood of the animal represents Jesus’ blood that was shed for us to bring us forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22).
Some teach that the Ten Commandments were canceled in the NT. But Jesus answers, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law. … I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. … Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17, 18).
Jesus specifically asserted that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill (or keep) it. Instead of doing away with the law, Jesus magnified it (Isaiah 42:21) as the perfect guide for right living. For example, Jesus pointed out that “thou shalt not kill” condemns anger “without a cause” (Matthew 5:21, 22) and hatred (1 John 3:15), and that lust is adultery (Matthew 5:27, 28). He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
In His service,
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