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Ancient Words: Faces of the Cross, Face of Mercy

When the Ark of the Covenant was designed by God, the Lord gave specific instruction for what would become the lid of the Ark and he called it the mercy seat: “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof (Exo 25:17-19).”

The golden Ark became the “storage chest” for the 2 granite tablets upon which were written (…by God’s own finger!) the 10 Commandments. For approximately 1,000 years this holy chest would be transported through a desert, stolen by Israel’s enemies, located permanently in Jerusalem’s temple, only to disappear during King Zedeciah’s reign, the last king of Judah. The golden lid or Mercy Seat of the Ark, served to satisfy and cancel the sin of the people as the High Priest would routinely sprinkle the blood of bulls and goats on top of the Mercy Seat. The sin of course was the transgression against what was underneath or inside the chest—-the 10 Commandment stone blocks. The sacrifice of animals and the subsequent blood of the sacrifice satisfied the need for cleansing and atonement through dripping the blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

After nearly 500 years without the Ark, a new “Ark” appeared in the form of a baby boy born from a virgin. In 33 years, this boy grew in stature and in favor with God and became the sacrificial lamb whose blood of sacrifice fully satisfied and atoned for the sin of the human race. His blood fell on the Mercy Seat and completely saturated the “lid” once for all—-canceling the transgression against His moral code for man! Mercy flowed red and crimson almost 2000 years ago washing sin that has stained the 10 Commandment stones since the day they were etched by God’s hand

All of the world’s confusion, fighting, and foolishness exists because man has ignored God’s civil code. He murders God’s creation of life, he adulterates the union of a man and a woman, he honors other “gods” which have no Son, he gives no thought to a sabbath rest of worship. Let us all fix our eyes on the Face of Mercy—The One who has fully atoned for our transgression of God’s 10 part moral code.

“Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth (Mercy), no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God (Mercy) underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them (Mercy), and who has insulted the Spirit of grace (Mercy), (Heb 10:25-29)?”

Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to brgbible@gmail.com.

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No I In Team

I am a huge college basketball fan, and this is my favorite time of year! March Madness is in the air and conference tournaments are winding down. My favorite team, the University of Virginia, has done very well the past few seasons (although we will not talk about last year’s tournament, EVER!) One of the reasons that UVA does so well is because they have a humble and gracious coach who inspires his team on and off the court. Coach Bennett loves his players and it is obvious that they have the utmost respect and admiration for him. He has brought an atmosphere of excellence in winning by inspiring a family brotherhood between the players that foster’s a true sense of team work. Just like any team there are several standouts, but there is not one superstar on the team. In pre-game and post-game interviews you will never hear Coach Bennett or any player take credit. They always credit their teammates. I have heard him say that in order to be a better team, make your team mate better! Paul gives us a like minded message in Philippians chapter 2: 1-5 “1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4: Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5: In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. As the body of Christ, let’s heed Coach Paul’s pep talk! Peace and Blessings,

Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.

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