Exodus 25:17a, 18a, & 21-22
“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. … And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them. … And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”
Little does Moses know that God is giving him the blueprint for what will become the most precious religious relic in world history. Treasure hunters, archeologists, and world leaders alike have craved the discovery of the ark ever since it disappeared from the biblical record. Theories abound on its whereabouts. Some believe the ark is hiding behind a wall at Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Others believe the ark is in a temple in Ethiopia, guarded day and night by an Ethiopian Orthodox priest. Others think the Romans took possession of it during the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Others theorize that Josiah hid the ark under the walls of Jerusalem, directly under the temple mount. Others believe the ark was destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanies, and some even suggest that medieval crusaders found the ark and hid it somewhere.
But the ongoing story of man’s search for the lost ark is tragically intertwined with man’s misunderstanding of it. From Hollywood portrayals like Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, to more sophisticated scientific documentaries, the ark has come to represent a mythical object with tremendous power, similar to Merlin’s sword or the fabled fountain of youth. But we know better, don’t we? As priceless as this ornate treasure is to us, it’s okay if it remains buried in the sands of time. It’s okay if it got destroyed or melted down or dismantled in ages past. Because that golden mercy seat doesn’t glimmer like our resurrected Lord does! And those winged cherubs don’t reach as far as His nail-pierced hands do! And that testimony doesn’t speak of God’s abiding presence like our Living Word speaks!
Oh what a treasure we have in Jesus!