Monday, March 12, 2012

The Ark of the Covenant pictures the God Man

Revelation 11:19   And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

The Ark of the Covenant was to picture the very presence of God
The passage above is the last time we read of the Ark of the Covenant in the Bible.  In Exodus 25:10 we first read of the Ark of the Covenant as so described by the New Living Translation - "Have the people make an Ark of acacia wood--a sacred chest 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high."  Passages such as John 3:11 portray the Ark as picturing God Himself going before the people.  Thus in the revelation of the tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant is a picture of God Himself dwelling in the midst of the people. 

The Box made of wood and gold
As you read down through passages such as Exodus 25, you will find a particular wood being used in its construction - Acacia wood.  This type of wood was highly resilient to decay and rot.  Furthermore, the Ark was overlayed with gold, both inside and out.  The wood and the gold were not mixed, rather the gold "overlayed" the wood.  Thus the box, representing the very presence of God, pictured a dual truth that would become more apparent in redemptive history.

Christ is fully God and fully man
That wooden box, incapable of rot and decay, pictures for us the incorruptible humanity of Christ.  He was without sin, without fault. (Hebrews 7:25-26)  When He was in the grave following the crucifixion, the Bible says that God did not allow His Holy One to see decay. (Acts 2:27)  Truly the humanity of Jesus Christ was real and without sin.

The Gold overlaying that box points to Deity.  Jesus Christ, before he became man, had always been God.  He shared in the fullness of Deity from Eternity with God the Father. (John 17:4-5; Colossians 2:9)  Once He came into this world, He veiled Himself, tabernacled Himself, in Human flesh. (John 1:14)  Once He was raised from the dead, He ascended in a glorified human body from whence shined forth the glory of His Deity that He never ceased being.  In others words, the full Deity and Humanity of Jesus Christ is pictured in the Ark of the Covenant. 

Is it no wonder in Revelation 11 that John uses the Ark of the Covenant to portray Christ?  it is because in the Revelation about Jesus Christ, he uses an Old Testament image that sheds much light on the beloved God Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.