Exodus 37: The Ark Of The Covenant And Jesus – God’s Presence Amongst Humanity
Introduction: Exodus 37 and the Fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy
Exodus 37 holds significant importance in relation to the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy as it foreshadows Jesus and his role as the Messiah. Understanding the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament is crucial to grasp the fulfillment of prophecy. By examining Exodus 37 and its connection to Jesus, we can gain a deeper understanding of the Messianic prophecies and their fulfillment.
Exodus 37 is part of the book of Exodus, which chronicles the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. In this particular chapter, Moses is given detailed instructions by God on the construction of various items in the tabernacle, a portable sanctuary where God’s presence would dwell among the Israelites. These items include the Ark of the Covenant, the table, the candlestick, and the incense altar.
The Ark of the Covenant holds particular significance as it was placed in the innermost part of the tabernacle. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold inside and out. The dimensions of the Ark were two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. Four rings of gold were attached to its corners, and acacia wood poles overlaid with gold were used to carry it.
The table in the tabernacle was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. It was used to hold the showbread, which represented the provision of God. The candlestick, also known as the menorah, was made of pure gold and had seven branches with lamps. It symbolized the light of God’s presence. The incense altar was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold and was used for burning incense, representing the prayers of God’s people.
Overview of Exodus 37
Exodus 37 describes the construction of various items in the tabernacle, including the Ark of the Covenant, the table, the candlestick, and the incense altar. The Ark of the Covenant, as mentioned earlier, held particular significance as it represented the presence of God among his people. Its construction was meticulous, with specific dimensions and materials used. The Ark was made of acacia wood, a durable and long-lasting wood, and overlaid with pure gold, signifying its holiness. The gold-covered Ark symbolized the purity and glory of God’s presence.
The table in the tabernacle, made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold, held the showbread. This bread represented the provision and sustenance of God for his people. It was replaced every Sabbath day and was to be eaten by the priests in a holy place. The table and the showbread emphasized God’s faithfulness in providing for the physical needs of his people.
The candlestick, or menorah, was another important item in the tabernacle. It was made of pure gold and had seven branches with lamps. The candlestick represented the light of God’s presence, guiding and illuminating the way for the Israelites. The lamps were to be kept burning continuously, signifying the eternal presence of God among his people.
Lastly, the incense altar was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. It was used for burning incense, representing the prayers of God’s people. The incense offered a pleasing aroma to God and symbolized the communication and communion between God and his chosen ones.
Connection between Exodus 37 and Jesus
The Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 37 symbolizes the presence of God among his people. Similarly, Jesus represents the ultimate manifestation of God’s presence among humanity. Just as the Ark was central to atonement in the tabernacle, Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins. He entered the holy places once for all, not by the blood of animals, but by his own blood, securing eternal redemption. The blood of Christ purifies our conscience and enables us to serve the living God. The Ark and the tabernacle in Exodus 37 foreshadowed Jesus and his sacrifice, emphasizing his role as the Messiah.
Jesus is often referred to as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. The connection between Exodus 37 and Jesus lies in the symbolism and foreshadowing of the Ark of the Covenant. Just as the Ark held the tablets of the Ten Commandments, representing God’s law, Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly and became the mediator of a new covenant between God and humanity. Through his sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus atoned for the sins of mankind, providing forgiveness and reconciliation with God. His resurrection demonstrated his victory over sin and death, fulfilling the hope and promise of the Messianic prophecies.
The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God among the Israelites, but it was limited to a physical structure. Jesus, on the other hand, is the embodiment of God’s presence among humanity. In the New Testament, Jesus declares himself as the temple (John 2:19) and promises to be with his followers always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Through his death and resurrection, Jesus established a new covenant that allows believers to have a direct and personal relationship with God, without the need for a physical temple or intermediary.
The Ark of the Covenant, with its dimensions, materials, and specific instructions for construction, points to the perfect and holy nature of God. Similarly, Jesus, as the Messiah, is the perfect and holy Son of God. He lived a sinless life, fulfilling the requirements of the law, and offering himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Just as the Ark was covered in pure gold, representing its holiness, Jesus is the embodiment of divine holiness and righteousness.
Messianic Prophecies in the Torah
The Torah, which comprises the first five books of the Old Testament, contains numerous Messianic prophecies that point to the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. These prophecies, given by God to the prophets, serve as a roadmap for understanding Jesus’ identity and mission. For example, in Genesis 3:15, God foretells that the offspring of woman will crush the head of the serpent, foreshadowing Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
Another significant Messianic prophecy is found in Isaiah 53, which describes a suffering servant who would bear the iniquities of others. This prophecy finds its fulfillment in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. The suffering, rejection, and ultimate triumph of the Messiah are beautifully depicted in this passage.
The prophecies in the Torah establish Jesus’ identity as the long-awaited Messiah. They provide a framework for understanding his mission and the significance of his ministry, death, and resurrection. Through these prophecies, God reveals his plan of redemption and offers hope to humanity.
Fulfillment of Messianic Prophecies in the New Testament
The New Testament provides specific examples of how Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. His birth in Bethlehem, as prophesied in Micah 5:2, confirms his lineage as the descendant of King David. This fulfillment of prophecy demonstrates Jesus’ rightful claim to the Messianic title.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus’ teachings and actions aligned with the prophecies found in Isaiah 61:1-2, which speak of the anointed one bringing good news, healing, and freedom to the oppressed. Jesus proclaimed the arrival of the kingdom of God, performed miracles, and preached about love, forgiveness, and repentance.
The pinnacle of Jesus’ fulfillment of Messianic prophecies is seen in his death and resurrection. Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm, vividly portrays the crucifixion of the Messiah, with details that align closely with the events of Jesus’ crucifixion. Isaiah 53, as previously mentioned, describes the suffering servant who would bear the sins of others and find victory through his sacrifice. The resurrection of Jesus, as prophesied in various Old Testament passages, including Isaiah 53:10-11, confirms his triumph over sin and death.
The fulfillment of these prophecies in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has profound theological implications for believers. It confirms Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and provides assurance of salvation through faith in him.
The Significance of the Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant played a vital role in the tabernacle, representing the presence of God among his people. It served as a focal point for worship and symbolized the covenant relationship between God and Israel. The Ark was a visible reminder of God’s faithfulness and his desire to dwell among his chosen people.
Similarly, Jesus represents the ultimate manifestation of God’s presence among humanity. Through his incarnation, Jesus became Immanuel, “God with us.” He dwelt among the people, teaching them about the kingdom of God and revealing the Father’s love and mercy.
Moreover, just as the Ark contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments, which represented God’s law, Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly. He embodied the righteous requirements of the law and offered himself as a sinless sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Through his sacrifice, Jesus established a new covenant between God and humanity, allowing all believers to have direct access to God’s presence.
The Ark of the Covenant served as a physical reminder of God’s presence and covenant with Israel. It was a symbol of his faithfulness and commitment to his people. In the same way, Jesus is the embodiment of God’s presence and his promise to be with us always. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus opened the way for believers to have a personal relationship with God, experiencing his presence and the fulfillment of his promises.
The High Priest and Atonement
In the tabernacle, the high priest had the responsibility of approaching the Ark of the Covenant to make atonement for the sins of the people. The high priest would enter the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement, sprinkling the blood of animal sacrifices on the mercy seat of the Ark. This act of atonement symbolized the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation between God and his people.
Jesus fulfills the role of the high priest by offering himself as the ultimate atonement for humanity. Through his sacrifice on the cross, he provided forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. The writer of Hebrews explains that Jesus, as the great high priest, entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, not with the blood of animals, but with his own blood. This act of atonement far surpasses the temporary forgiveness provided by animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, offering eternal redemption for all who believe in him.
The role of the high priest in the Old Testament was crucial for the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of the relationship between God and his people. However, the sacrifices performed by the high priest and the shedding of animal blood were only temporary solutions. They foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, who offered his own blood as the perfect and eternal atonement for sin. Through his sacrifice, Jesus became the ultimate high priest, mediating between God and humanity, and providing a way for complete forgiveness and reconciliation.
Hebrews 9 and the Ark of the Covenant
Hebrews 9 explores the significance of the Ark of the Covenant and the cherubim of glory. It emphasizes the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice over the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. The writer of Hebrews connects the Ark and Jesus as the mediator of a new covenant. Just as the blood of animal sacrifices was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the Ark, Jesus’ shed blood on the cross provides the ultimate atonement for sins. Hebrews highlights the fulfillment of the Old Testament in Jesus and the establishment of a new and better covenant.
The writer of Hebrews explains that the earthly tabernacle and its rituals were mere copies and shadows of the heavenly realities. The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God, and the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat symbolized atonement for sin. However, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross surpassed these earthly symbols and rituals. His shed blood provided permanent forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Through his sacrifice, Jesus opened the way for all believers to approach the throne of grace with confidence.
Hebrews 9 also draws attention to the cherubim of glory that overshadowed the mercy seat. These cherubim symbolized the holiness and glory of God’s presence. The writer of Hebrews highlights that Jesus, as the ultimate high priest, entered not into an earthly tabernacle, but into the heavenly Holy of Holies. In this way, Jesus surpassed the earthly tabernacle and its limitations, offering a perfect sacrifice that grants believers access to the very presence of God.
The Blood of Christ and Redemption
The shedding of Jesus’ blood holds great significance in our redemption. The writer of Hebrews emphasizes that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Just as the blood of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament symbolized the temporary forgiveness of sins, Jesus’ sacrifice secures eternal redemption for believers. His blood cleanses us from sin and grants us access to God’s presence.
The blood of Christ not only provides forgiveness, but it also purifies our conscience. In the Old Testament, the blood of animals could only provide ceremonial purification, but it did not cleanse the conscience of the worshipper. However, through Jesus’ sacrifice, our consciences are cleansed, and we are freed from guilt and condemnation. This enables us to serve the living God with a renewed heart and mind.
The blood of Christ is the central theme of the Christian faith. It is through his shed blood that we are redeemed, reconciled to God, and granted eternal life. The shedding of blood represents the sacrifice required for the forgiveness of sins. In the Old Testament, the blood of animal sacrifices was a temporary solution, pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Through his death on the cross, Jesus offered his own blood as the perfect and complete atonement for sin. His blood has the power to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and reconcile us to God.
In conclusion, Exodus 37 holds significant importance in understanding the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy through the construction of the tabernacle and its various items. The Ark of the Covenant, the table, the candlestick, and the incense altar all symbolize aspects of Jesus’ role as the Messiah. Jesus fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament, offering himself as the perfect sacrifice and the ultimate high priest. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus established a new covenant, granting believers access to God’s presence and eternal redemption. The significance of the Ark of the Covenant and the shedding of Jesus’ blood highlight the depth of God’s love and the hope we find in Jesus as the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.What if I told you that you can make a better world by going to see a movie? Sound Of Freedom Review