Monday, February 18, 2013

Consider the Clouds...#8.

`The Cloud and the Mercy Seat

sunrise with clouds over Beauty Point

Teaching aids allows students to grasp what is being taught through something visual or tangible. The idea is symbolised and becomes more readily understood. This is a method God has used frequently in the Bible. A case in point is the Tabernacle and its furniture. Each aspect of this magnificent structure actually symbolises some aspect of Jesus Christ

For this closing devotional on ‘Consider he Clouds’ I’ve chosen the cloud which  covered the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle’s Holiest of Holies. Leviticus 16:2: Tell Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die; for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

The mercy seat was hammered gold sitting as a lid upon the box (ark). It contained the Ten Commandments and the rod of Aaron which budded. At either end were Cherubim. Between them and undoubtedly enveloping them was the cloud of God’s presence. Into this space behind a thick curtain the High Priest could only come on the Day of Atonement.

Remember that the Lord God led the people out of Egypt and through the wilderness by the awesome visual expression of His presence. What was that? The cloud by day and the cloud of fire by night! His presence protected the people. However there was not any intimacy in the relationship. The High Priest knew that special relationship but only on a yearly basis.

What was all this pointing too? God’s plan of redemption which Jesus Christ secured at Calvary! The Gospel tells us that when He died on the Cross the thick curtain in the Temple  was split from top to bottom. The implication is clear. Christ had made the way open for people to enter the presence of the Father. Jesus as our High Priest has invited us to enter into the Father’s presence not once a year but as regularly as possible. We don’t go there in our own virtue or authority. Jesus has made His disciples fellow priest of the Most High God. Therefore we enter the Father’s presence in the company of Christ and in the role of commissioned priests.

This means the Eternal God is no longer remote from us or unapproachable. Because of Christ Jesus' victory at Calvary we can have an intimate relationship with the Creator, Redeemer Everlasting God. We do this by faith. One day it will be with sight.  At this moment it is as though we talk with the Father in the cloud. We see Him not but know He is there. When we leave this intimate time we don’t realise what has happened, but others see it. The ‘cloud’ has made our face reflect the glow of our heart. Now that is mercy bestowed because of intimacy enjoyed.

Ray (the Cloud lover) Hawkins

References if required. Hebrews 1:1 – 2:18.  4:14-16. 
                 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.  Matthew 27:30-31.

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