One of the most thrilling and comforting aspects of Scripture is its use of prophecy. Estimates vary but roughly 25% of the Holy Bible is of a prophetic nature, either fulfilled literally in the past, or yet to be fulfilled literally in the future.
God’s sovereign unfolding of history should come as great comfort to those of us who have been called by His Name according to His riches in mercy. Upon closer inspection we find that practically everything in the OT points toward Jesus Christ as revealed in the NT. He is the Truth of the Ages upon which history itself turns.
From Lamb & Lion Ministries:
Consider the Ark of the Covenant. Everything about it was symbolic of the Messiah. It was made of wood, indicating the Messiah would be human. It was overlaid with gold, signifying the Messiah would be divine. It contained three objects – the tablets of stone, a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. The tablets signified that the Messiah would have the law of God in His heart. The manna meant the Messiah would be the Bread of Life. The rod with blooms was a prophecy that the Messiah would arise from the dead.
The lid of the Ark was called the Mercy Seat. It had a golden angel at each end. The angels faced each other and their wings hovered over the lid. Once a year the High Priest sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat and communed with the Shekinah glory of God which hovered above the angels.
The Mercy Seat pointed to the fact that through the work of the Messiah the mercy of God would cover the Law. The blood foreshadowed the fact that the Messiah would have to shed His own blood to atone for our sins.
Jesus fulfilled every prophetic type of the Ark. He was God in the flesh (John 10:30). He had the Law in His heart (Matthew 5:17). He declared Himself to be the “Bread of Life” (John 6). He shed His blood on the Cross and was resurrected in power, atoning for our sins and covering the Law with Grace (Romans 3:21-26).
Mary saw the fulfillment of the Ark when she went to the tomb and discovered the body of Jesus missing. In John 20:11-12 its says she looked into the tomb and “beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.” Do you understand what she saw? She saw the “mercy seat” where the blood had been spilled, with an angel at each end exactly like the Mercy Seat that covered the Ark!
As you can see, prophetic types bring the Old Testament alive and give us deep insights into New Testament events.
Read “Types of Prophecy and Prophecy in Type” in its entirety here.