Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Mercy Seat

Exodus 37:7-9   7 He made two cherubim of gold; he made them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 one cherub at the one end and one cherub at the other end; he made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at the two ends. 9 The cherubim had their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward each other; the faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.

I was reminded of the Mercy Seat this past weekend during the Lord's Supper. The Mercy Seat was where God was able to show both His justice and His mercy to the Israelite nation. The sacrifice would be offered and the blood would be sprinkled between the cherubim, where God would see it and His wrath would be abated for a time.

I was drawn to a parallel portion in Romans 3:23-26:  

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Christ is our Mercy Seat. He is the place where we find ourselves justified, namely in His blood. Consider this: the Septuagint (that is to say, the Hellenized Old Testament, which means translated into the Greek language) chose the word we translate into propitiation when describing the Hebrew word for Mercy Seat. These two words are the same. Hence, when Romans 3:25 says God displayed Jesus as a propitiation, He is declaring Christ as the New Mercy Seat. The new place where God's justice and mercy are satisfied. Hence, He is both just (His holy requirement is met) and the justifier (for He sent His Son to be the sacrifice).

Still not convinced that Jesus is the New Mercy Seat? The scriptures not only plainly tell us so, but they also deliver the message is picture form. Read John 20:11-13:

11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

What did Mary see? An empty set of grave-clothing, an angel sitting where Jesus' head would have been, and an angel sitting where Jesus' feet would have been. It is eerily similar to the description of that Old Testament Mercy Seat, wouldn't you say? The only difference is that blood from a dead cow is only of one-time-use, a risen Savior can still speak for us today.

All references from the NASB.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

Mailing List