“And there will I meet with you and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat. . .”
Truly, it is the meeting point between God and man where Righteousness meets wretchedness and Forgiveness is given to forsakenness.
The Mercy Seat.
When God instructed Moses to build “a Sanctuary so He could dwell among the people” (v.8), He gave him detailed instructions on how to build it and what to put within it. We know this place as the “Tabernacle or Tent in the wilderness,” which was the precursor to the Temple which would later be built by King Solomon.
Every part of the Tabernacle—from the design to the materials used in its construction to the items placed within the courtyard, Holy Place and Holy of Holies—was a picture of the coming Christ. Thus, we should not be surprised that the 45”x27”x27” Ark of the Covenant and its pure-gold lid (mercy seat) would also be a beautiful picture of Christ and His Atonement.
Look again at God’s description in vv.10-22:
First, the Ark itself should be made out of “shittim wood” (v.10a), which was likely acacia wood and quite thorny. Thus, it was a quite common wood, which would correspond with Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming Messiah’s “growing up as a root out of dry ground and having no physical beauty which would attract others to Him” (Is. 53:2). Yet, this wood would be “overlaid with pure gold with a crowned-edge at the top” (Ex. 25:11). And, isn’t this exactly what happened in the Incarnation when “the Word became flesh and dwelt (lit., ‘pitched a tent’) among us” (Jn. 1:14)—i.e., a joining together of “wood” (humanity) and “gold” (Divinity)”? And, didn’t He have a crown of thorns atop His Head? Glory!!
On top of this cubical box was laid a pure-gold lid to serve as the Mercy Seat, also called “The Dwelling or Resting Place of the Most High.” And, on top of this the blood of the sacrificial lamb was twice-sprinkled by the High Priest on the annual Day of Atonement as he made atonement for his sins and the sins of the people.
Oh, dear Pilgrim, do you now see the connection between this and what happened that day at Calvary? Do you see how the wooden Cross was covered by God’s Gold (His Son) and how His Blood was sprinkled on the Cross and ground below? Do you see how He—the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29, 36)—became the new Passover Lamb, while also being the “greater than High Priest” (Heb. 6:19-20), Who offers the sacrifice unto God?
And, do you see the connection between the two winged cherubim that stood on either end of the mercy seat. . .facing each other with outstretched wings. . .casting a shadow on the “Righteous Rendezvous” point between God and man (Ex. 25:18-20). . .and Calvary’s Cross and the darkness that covered the earth from 12:00 noon-3:00 p.m.?
This wasn’t God’s turning His back upon His Son because He could not look upon sin. A thousand times no! The darkness was caused by all the winged creatures in Heaven, bowing their faces and spreading their wings over the Cross, the new Mercy Seat (Meeting Place between God and man). Hallelujah!! Thank You, Lord, for your great Gift to us.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 20, 2010