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the mercy seat...

mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone when it is within one's power to punish or harm

As I study through Exodus, my soul is often in the wilderness, yet, my intrigue is always leading me to study more. As I was meticulously reading through Exodus 25:10-22 I saw our story, God's story, Jesus...and it pierced through my heart, and before I knew it, tears were once again streaming down my face (which has become a normal occurrence as I study through Exodus).

The ark wasn't just a gold box, it was the throne of God, the dwelling place of the most holy of holies. One of the first instructions was that man was forbidden to touch it or he would die...signaling the importance of the poles and rings that were to be attached...and further signifying the separation between man and God that occurred in the garden. How God's heart must have cried out...

Inside the ark were three items of great importance...the tablets, Aaron's staff, and the manna. The tablets (10 commandments) were given as law to the Israelites, which they rebelled from time and time again. Aaron's staff was a reminder that God would lead, yet the Israelites would rebel against His chosen leadership. The golden jar with manna was a reminder that no matter how much or how little His people needed He would provide, but this too would be a place of the people's God's heart must have cried out...

The golden cherub were placed on top of the ark, their wings spreading out above it, covering it....and God would be in the middle of the cherubim on top of the ark.

And between God and man's rebellion, the mercy seat would be built. This mercy seat was to be the place where the priests, on the Day of Atonement, would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice, covering it. It was a place of pure humility, of pure forgiveness, and of pure righteousness, creating a barrier between God looking down on the sin, and God choosing mercy over punishment.

Separation and punishment is what we deserved, yet God's heart overflowed with love for His own. His heart would cry out as He would one day soon, sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, to be the mercy seat - to be our mercy seat. He would be our mediator, the one who would stand between God and our rebellion, who would spill His own blood for our forgiveness of sin and redemption once and for all...who would be the ultimate sacrifice...pure mercy.

"Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in showing mercy." Micah 7:18

"God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed." Romans 3:25


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