Feb 7 (Daily reading: Exodus 25-27, NKJV) God instructions for the building of the tabernacle, and later the temple, included a mercy seat. “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold” (25:17). The mercy seat was the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. It was where God’s glory appeared when He wanted to communicate with Israel. God said, “There I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat” (25:22). Further instructions were later given for the high priest: “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil…and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat” (Lev. 16:15). The high priest entered the Holy of Holies only once a year, where he would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat as an atonement for the sins of the people of Israel. We can have communication with Almighty God because the barrier of sin has been removed!
The mercy seat is mentioned in Hebrews 9:5. The Greek word for mercy seat is “hilasterion.” The word is used one other time in the New Testament, where it is translated propitiation. “God set forth (Christ Jesus) as a propitiation by His blood, through faith” (Rom. 3:25). Christ is our propitiation, our mercy seat! The symbolism of the Old Testament was fulfilled when Jesus became an offering for sin: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The author of Hebrews wrote about the Old Testament animal sacrifice, and then asked, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
“You once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY” (1 Pet. 2:10, NASB).