Advent: November 30
17 ‘Make an atonement cover of pure gold – two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.
19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upwards, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking towards the cover.
21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.
22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
God is giving instructions here for the most holy item in the Tent of Meeting, the place where he would come down to meet with Aaron, the High Priest. The ark was the box where the tablets of the Law were to be kept, and the atonement cover, also known as the mercy seat, was to be placed over it. Think of 2 cubits to a metre. God gives very precise details for this cover.
This artefact was to be the focal point of God’s presence on earth, and so it was to be made of the finest materials. God would touch earth above the ark of the covenant, a symbol of the relationship that God had established with his chosen people Israel through the commandments and ordinances of the Law.
For us, the symbol of the Mercy Seat is the place where we in Jesus find mercy, forgiveness and grace.
Where do you meet with God?
Is that space adapted to be a holy place?
How do you prepare yourself (read Exodus 28) for that meeting?
Father God, you met with selected people only, just once a year, before a trembling High Priest. I pray that I never treat your presence casually or that I come unprepared. Grow in me, Lord God, a sense of your mercy in Jesus. Amen