The Sanctuary and the Mercy Seat
"Have them construct a sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8
After the Lord instructed the children of Israel to follow Him, as well as to not make a covenant with the Hivites, the Canaanites, or the Hittites, the Israelites confirmed their allegiance to Lord by promising to do all that the Lord commanded. The Lord then requested contributions from those whose hearts desired to do so, so that the Ark of the Covenant would be built as a sanctuary for Himself.
The Lord gave detailed instructions for how the ark was to be constructed, which included the materials, the height, width, and the contents. Each instruction was purposeful and intentional. Specifically, the mercy seat was to be positioned on the top of the ark and the tablets containing the Ten Commandments were to be placed in the ark. The mercy seat was for the atonement of sins for the Israelites and the blood of a sacrificed animal was to be sprinkled by the priest to satisfy the wrath of God for the sins that were previously committed.
The great and significant details involved in constructing the Ark of the Covenant and its purpose and intent should remind us of how our Heavenly Father cares greatly for the things that we may consider as small or insignificant. He also desires to show us His holiness, His great displeasure with sin, and His mercy as He provided a way to reconcile man to Himself.
When you read this passage in its entirety, think of how we as believers in Christ, can run to the throne of grace to find the mercy that we need because of what Christ has done (Hebrews 4:16). The mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant should make us overwhelmingly grateful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for what He did for us. He became the ultimate Sacrifice that satisfied the wrath of God against sin. For whosoever will come to obtain mercy, Christ is THE Mercy Seat.
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