God's Mercy Seat
And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. ~Hebrews 9:5
The centerpiece of the worship of God was the tabernacle. Inside the tabernacle, behind a great veil, was the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest was allowed to enter there. Inside this sacred place was the Ark of the Covenant. Within the Ark were the two tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written, a golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. Overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant was a golden covering known as the mercy seat.
We see the presence.
The mercy seat was where the presence of God descended by way of a cloud. Two cherubims, on opposite ends of each other, overlooked the mercy seat. The symbol of these cherubims spoke of the holiness of this scared place. No wonder it was called the Holy of Holies. God’s presence is sacred and holy. We must never enter into His presence flippantly or presumptuously. There must be a constant sense of awe and reverence as we approach the presence of the Lord.
We see the practice.
The high priest entered into the Holy of Holies with a basin filled with blood and hyssop. He would take the hyssop and dip it in the blood. Then, he would sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat. The shed blood of the innocent victim atoned for the sins of the nation of Israel. The judgment of God for sin was appeased and His just demands were satisfied. The Passover was an annual event every April that commemorated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. It vividly reminded them of when God saw the blood and passed over them.
We see the propitiation.
The Greek word for mercy seat is hilasterion. It also means that which makes expiation or propitiation. Sin had