Ark of the Covenant

Joshua 3:14: So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, (ESV).

perouges-349006_640While the ark of covenant in the Old Testament was a wooden golden sculpted structure, in the New Testament the ark is Jesus and after that it was you and me when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. The ark had cherubim, angelic beings, two of them fashioned on it. It is made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, and had to be carried by Levites (Exodus 37:1-14).

Wooden

The presence of God is what the ark typifies. The wooden component corresponds to what is of dust, showing the divine intention that the presence of God should be conveyed in human vessels. (Both the wood and the body of man when decayed become dust).

Paul said that we have “this treasure” in earthen vessels so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us (2Corinthians 4:7); that the glory for whatever we output will be to God.

Jesus came also in humanity and qualified to be the ark of God. Where the first Adam failed the second Adam succeeded. The second Adam is Jesus (1Corinthians 15:42-45). Adam was formed of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).

In Christ, God condescend to become man. Why wasn’t the whole ark made of gold? It is partly so that it will be light (not heavy). Jesus said that we should come and learn from him because his burden is small and his yoke light and we will find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-30).

Though we bear the presence of God, it is not a burdensome thing. The bible says that the commandments of God are not grievous (1John 5:3).

Golden

There is a gold element in the ark, which stands for the glory of God, the heavenly, the utmost, divinity. The bible says we have been given precious promises so that we might partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4).

Gold in the bible and even now is a metal of very high value, and it reflects light when purified. That symbolises the fact that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all (1John 1:5). John said that God is light and that he is also love (1John 4:8), therefore we can say that his light reveals his love. The purity of the light reveals the purity of the love. And the truth of God empowers us to live in the light of his love.

The golden part of the ark of God, which we are, shows our limitless part. It is the “Holy Spirit” part of us. When we become born again, something radical happens to us and in us. We become born of the Spirit, a new spirit came into us (John 3:1-8), which is the way Jesus defines being born again. It is a spiritual surgical operation in which the Holy Spirit gets introduced into us, and we begin to live the life of God on earth.

The golden component also stands for the glory of God. The purpose of redemption is for the glory of God to come back into man.

With sin the bible says that all fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but by faith we all have access to the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. And while we now have a body that is subject to decay, in Jesus we have access to resurrected bodies (of a gold standard), at the end of time (1Corinthians 15:52).

The golden part of the ark is about beauty, it is about God shining forth through us; it is about our being covered up by his glory. It is the plan of God to beautify our life, to make us a royal diadem (Isaiah 62:3).

The golden part is the evidence of our kingship, our divine right to rule, our crown of dominion. We have been made a royal priesthood a holy nation, to show forth the praise of God (1Peter 2:9).

Carving

To sculpt is to make of the right shape, for a specific purpose, for beauty. God reserves the right to shape us in whatever way he wants, and we as Christians have various “shapes,” corresponding to our different functions in the body of Christ.

We are different but we are one. Even each congregation of Christians in different cities are sculpted different. Our places of service, manner of service and gifts of service are different. The bible says that there are many members in one body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8).

Know yourself, your peculiar spiritual shape and function. The bible says that we are God’s workmanship, created (specially crafted) in Christ Jesus for good works in which we should walk in (Ephesians 2:10). Have you discovered the good work you should walk in?

Paul had a strong understanding of his call. He told the church in Corinth, if I am not an apostle to any other person, surely I am an apostle to you (1Corinthians 9:2, 2Corinthians 12:12), the signs of an apostle were done in your midst through me. He called himself a preacher a teacher of gentiles in truth (1Timothy 2:7) and pursued the fulfilment of his calling with all vigour.

God sent Jeremiah to the house of a potter to teach him a lesson (Jeremiah 18:1-6). God told him: I am the potter and I can shape the nation of Israel the way I want. If a particular shape that is being formed does not satisfy me, I can break it down to form another.

That is about the old covenant versus the new covenant, the natural Israel versus the spiritual Israel, which is the church.

The New Testament is founded on the old but has been made to supersede it. They do not stand on equal footing. The latter has been done away with, while the former is established forever.

There is no understanding the new without a background of the old, but the new is what is upheld, while the old is left behind. If you did not know anything, know that the old has been done away with (Hebrews 8:13), with its trappings and limitations.

If there is anything we need to devote our lives, our energy and time to study, it is what the scriptures have to say about the new covenant. It is relevant to us now and for eternity. The old is only as relevant as it helps us to understand the new.

Jesus told the Pharisees, you vigorously search the scriptures not knowing that they actually point to him. The only relevance of the old is how they point to Jesus, who founded the new covenant in his blood (Luke 22:20).

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