We have been covering the gate and the 6(7) pieces of furniture contained within the Tabernacle and how they all point to Yeshua. As one should be able to see by now that a person desiring to approach YHVH enters through the one gate and progresses westward. First, there was the outer court which consisted of the Bronze Altar and the Brass Laver. After this came the Inner Court which consisted of two parts, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
Remember that the Tabernacle was called Mishkan in Hebrew which comes from the root word meaning “to dwell”. It was here that YHVH dwelt amongst His people, and His presence or Shekinah, was manifested within The Most Holy Place.
The Holy Place consisted of the Menorah, The Table of Shewbread, and the Altar of Incense. The Holy Place could only be entered into by a priest who was to serve before YHVH.
Next, came the last veil. Behind this veil was the Most Holy Place where the presence of YHVH dwelt. No one but the High Priest could enter behind this veil and this was only once a year, on Yom Kippur. Inside this inner most court resided the last piece of furniture.
This piece of furniture was called in English, The Ark of the Covenant. Actually it consisted of two pieces of furniture: the Ark itself, and the covering for the Ark, or the lid. In English the lid is called the mercy seat. On the mercy seat were the two cherubim whose wings were outstretched and touching each other. The lid was first called The Mercy Seat by Martin Luther in his German translation.
In Hebrew the Ark was called, Aron Ha'brit. The lid was called kapporet.
Within the Ark was kept the stone tablets of the Ten Words, a pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded. The Ark was a storage box which contained the three things showing the manifest presence of YHVH with His people. They were placed within the storage box for safe keeping.
The Tablets of Stone represented the “testimony” of the covenant made with the people. That is why the Ark of the Covenant was also referred to as the Ark of the Testimony. The unbroken tablets also represented Yeshua who was the Torah made flesh and never broke one single commandment of His Father.
The pot of manna represented the provision of YHVH for His people during the wilderness journey. He gave them “bread from Heaven”. This represents Yeshua because He is our bread from heaven. He is our sustenance. The bread that brings life. He was also the unleavened bread, without sin, who was broken and bruised for our sins. He was the bread of heaven who came down bringing food, the Word of YHVH.
Aaron's rod that budded represented authority. Moses and Aaron used this rod many times to show forth the authority of YHVH. In ancient Jewish literature this rod is said to have been passed down to Joshua, then he passed it down, and on down the line it went to King David. They believe that Messiah will possess this same rod as His scepter upon His coming as King. The rod also stood as a memorial of YHVH's disapproval of rebellion against His anointed. The rod represents Yeshua as the staff of The Shepherd, The Scepter of the King, the One bearing the authority of YHVH. Anyone who rebels against His authority as King of kings and Lord of lords will receive punishment.
According to the Mishnah, the purpose of the kapporet was to protect man from the judgment of God. The sacrificial blood of an animal that was to be sprinkled upon the lid once a year on Yom Kippur represented the innocent taking the place of the guilty. Here we see a picture of Yeshua and His work on the cross. He was the innocent taking the place of us, the guilty. His blood was accepted forever by our Heavenly Father for the forgiveness, not just the covering, of our sins.
The Ark of The Covenant represented where YHVH's justice and judgment were satisfied with Yeshua.
We have now completed the process of going through the Tabernacle from the door (in the east) and progressing westward into the Most Holy Place. I hope that through these lessons a clearer picture of the atoning work of our Messiah Yeshua can be seen.