The Ark and the Other Ark
It is interesting to note that the Bible tells us of two arks in the Old Testament. One was built by Noah and his sons. The other was built by Moses’ craftsmen. How are they related? And what do they represent to us as New Testament believers?
The first ark is mentioned in Genesis chapters 6-9 and was the large boat, or vessel, used to save Noah, his family, and two of every species of animal during the worldwide flood. The second ark is noted in Exodus 25, and it was placed in the tabernacle of Moses within the Holy of Holies. It was also called the ark of the covenant, or the ark of the testimony, and it was a beautiful gold covered chest. It was covered by the mercy seat, and it served as a throne where the presence of God appeared to the high priest.
I will meet with you there, and I will meet with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony. I will speak with you all that I will command you for the children of Israel. Exodus 25:22 (Modern English Version, MEV)
Two different arks. Two different items- very different in size and appearance. Both had a specific purpose when constructed, and they each revealed a picture of Christ and the believer which would be fulfilled in the New Covenant. The ark of Noah was a type (or preview) of us in Christ, while the ark of Moses was a type of Christ in us. Let’s look at each one.
The Ark of Noah: Us in Christ
When we are saved, we enter into Christ and begin a new life, just as Noah and his family entered the ark. Once we are saved, baptism is a picture of our identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We are protected and secure in Jesus, just as Noah was in the ark.
Because of their disobedience of long ago. For during the time of Noah God patiently waited while the ark was being prepared, but only a few were brought safely through the floodwaters: a total of eight souls. This was a prophetic picture of the immersion that now saves you—not a bathing of the physical body but rather the response of a good conscience before God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I Peter 3:20-21 (The Passion Translation, TPT)
Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were co-buried and entombed with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life. Romans 6:4 (TPT)
The Ark of Moses: Christ in Us
At the new birth, the Spirit of Christ comes to live in our spirit, and He speaks to us directly, like He spoke directly to the high priest in the Holy of Holies. Now, we can all have direct access to Him because He is within us.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NIV)
Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it! Colossians 1:27 (The Passion Translation, TPT)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I find it really cool that God included this mystery in the Old Testament thousands of years before He fulfilled it in the New Testament. That is part of what makes the Bible so wonderful- there are so many hidden treasures buried within it, just waiting for us to dig them out. By the two arks of the Old Covenant, we see the relationship we now have with Jesus Christ under the New Covenant. What a wonderful book. What a wonderful God Who wrote it!