And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. (Exodus 25:17 KJV)
The mercy seat was the gold cover of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle in ancient Israel. What does that mean to the believer in Christ today?
God’s visible presence in the tabernacle—the Shekinah glory—rested on the mercy seat. And when Moses entered the Tabernacle to meet with God, he heard the voice of God speaking to him from above the mercy seat (Numbers 7:89, Exodus 25:22). Also, whenever the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he sprinkled the blood of the bull seven times in front of the mercy seat.
The mercy seat in the Tabernacle is only a shadow of the true mercy seat in the New Testament. In Romans 3:25, the Apostle Paul explicitly states that Jesus is the mercy seat, the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation:
“whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:25 ESV)
The word “propitiation” in this verse is the Greek hilasterion, the New Testament word for mercy seat. It refers to the means of forgiveness of sins or expiation. God’s wrath was appeased through Christ’s death, and His favor was lavished upon us. Furthermore, just as the mercy seat of the Tabernacle was God’s meeting place with Moses, Christ is the place where God communes with humanity on the platform of grace.
So the mercy seat covering the ark was simply a shadow of Christ in the New Testament.
What does it mean that the mercy seat was “only a shadow of the true mercy seat in the New Testament? (Colossians 2:17)
Apply the Word
You are enjoying the true meaning of the Tabernacle in Christ. Jesus’ blood has washed our sins and reconciled us fully to God. You are in good hands in Christ!
Thank the Father for the sacrifice of Christ.
- Where is the ark of the covenant today?
- What is the Shekinah Glory?
- His Mercies Are New Every Morning
- Mercy Rejoiceth Against Judgment
- What is a Devotional?
- View All Deshen Daily Devotionals
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