During the Old Testament the holiest nation on the earth was Israel. The holiest city in Israel was Jerusalem. The holiest spot in Jerusalem was the temple mount, and the holiest part of the temple was the Holy of Holies. In this room the very center is where the Ark of the Covenant was.
This ark was a golden chest with a lid that is called the, “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17). Understanding the ark can help us to understand how amazing Christ is. What was inside the ark? The Scriptures tell that inside the ark was the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod (Hebrews 9:4). Why were these items covered inside the Mercy Seat? Because these items were tokens of man’s rebellion. The two tablets were a picture of the law. The manna symbolized man’s rejection of God’s provision, and Aaron’s rod represents man’s rejection of God’s appointed leadership.
Each year the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of an animal that was sacrificed. Instead of God looking at the people’s sin, God would see the blood. Today we are under a new covenant where Christ is our payment for sin. Instead of God seeing your sin, He sees the blood. This is why we are not supposed to lift up the lid of the ark. Because to go back to the law would mean to lift away grace. Christ is no longer counting our sins against us. Why? Because He is the propitiation of our sins (Romans 3:25). Now in the Greek text the word for, “propitiation” is the same word used for, “mercy seat.” This means that Christ is our mercy seat!
King David made sure to get the Ark of the Covenant back to where it belonged. We also should seek to have Christ back in the center of our lives. This was a shadow of what was to come. The true reality is Jesus.
Stop remembering all of your faults and failures. To do so is to lift up the mercy seat. The enemy wants you sin-conscious. God wants us to be Christ-conscious. See the blood. See how all of your sins where paid for on the Cross. In Old Testament times, God had the Ark of the Covenant in the holiest part of the temple. When it really comes down to it, mercy and grace is at the center of God’s heart.