Antitype
A person, thing, or event represented by an earlier type or symbol.
Type
A person, thing, or event that foreshadows a later, often more important, antitype or fulfillment.
The Ark of the Covenant
Summary: The Ark was the central figure of the entire sanctuary.
 
 

The broken law contained in the Ark was the only reason for all the sacrificial services, both typical and antitypical. When the Lord gave directions for making the sanctuary, His first instruction was, "They shall make an Ark of shittim (acacia) wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof" (Exodus 25:10). It was overlaid within and without with pure gold, with a crown of gold around the top.

The Most Holy Place held the Ark of the Covenant. The high priest only entered...

The cover of the Ark was called the mercy seat, and was of pure gold. On either end of the mercy seat were cherubim of beaten gold, with their wings stretched forth covering the Ark, and their faces looking reverently toward the law of God contained therein.

There is great consolation in the fact that the Lord Himself covered the broken law with a mercy seat; and then He, the merciful God, took His position upon that seat, so that every sinner who comes confessing his sins, may receive mercy and pardon. That mercy seat, with the cloud of glory, the visible representation of God's presence, and its covering cherubim, is a figure, or "shadow," of the throne of the great God, who proclaims His name as "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:5-7).

Within the Ark was the Lord's own copy of that holy law given to mankind in the beginning. "Where no law is, there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15). "Sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Romans 5:13); therefore the Lord could never have driven our first parents from the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23) on account of their sin, if they had been ignorant of His holy law.

How God proclaimed His law to our first parents He never revealed in His Holy Book; but when it was necessary again to make His law known to His people, after their long servitude in Egypt, He had the account of that awe-inspiring event recorded, so that the generations to come might know that God came from heaven and spoke the Ten Commandments with an audible voice in the hearing of all Israel (Deuteronomy 4:10-14).

After God had declared the Ten Commandments from the top of Mount Sinai, He wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them to Moses, with the instruction, "Thou shalt put them in the ark"(Exodus 31:18). The Ark was placed in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary, where no mortal eye, except that of the high priest, could gaze upon it, and he on only one day in the year, when he went in to sprinkle the blood of the Lord's goat before and upon the mercy seat to atone for the broken law within the Ark.

"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), and the broken law demands the death of every sinner. In the typical service the blood was sprinkled above the law (Leviticus 16:15) to show faith in the blood of Christ, which would free the righteous from the demands, or curse, of the law (Galatians 3:13).

God communed with His people from the cloud of glory which rested above the mercy seat, between the cherubim (Exodus 25:21-22). These golden cherubim with outstretched wings were a representation of the covering cherubim that surround the throne of God in heaven (Ezekiel 28:14).

There can be no government without law. The very suggestion of a kingdom is always connected with law. There could be no judgment without a law as a standard of judgment. God declares that "as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law" (Romans 2:12). All God's commandments are righteousness (Psalm 119:172). The establishment, or foundation, of His throne is righteousness and judgment.

"There was nothing in the Ark save the two tables of stone" (1 Kings 8:9), according to the divine record. The pot of manna was laid up "before the Lord" (Exodus 16:33), and Aaron's rod that budded was laid up "before the testimony" (Numbers 17:10).

Paul, enumerating all the contents of the Most Holy Place in the order that he has, leads some to suppose that at some time the pot of manna and Aaron's rod were placed in the Ark; but the Ark was made for the one purpose of containing God's holy law (Deuteronomy 10:1-2).

That holy law is the standard by which all will be judged. That law will condemn the guilty; for "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). The same law that condemns the sinner will witness to the righteousness of those who, through faith in Christ, have tried to walk in harmony with its holy precepts, humbly seeking forgiveness for every transgression (Romans 3:21).

TYPE ANTITYPE
Exodus 26:33: The ark was placed in the most holy place. Revelation 11:19: The ark was seen in the heavenly sanctuary.
Exodus 25:21-22: God's visible presence was manifested above the mercy seat.Exodus 34:5-7. The Lord gives His name as Merciful and Gracious and Longsuffering.

 

In the Jewish ceremonial law, the Most Holy Place—where the Ark of the Covenant stood—was cleansed once a year. Read about this Day of Atonement

Read about the roles of Christ as understood in the sanctuary context

This article is from The Cross and Its Shadow by Adventist pioneer Stephen Haskell.

Disclaimer: This article is provided by a third-party source. Providing a third-party article on amazingdiscoveries.org indicates that we stand behind the content of that particular article, but it is not an endorsement by Amazing Discoveries of the author's opinion, lifestyle or work published elsewhere.
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