The Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat

There were seven pieces of furniture in the Tabernacle- but only one seat.  The Mercy Seat.   The Most Holy Place is a picture of heaven.  It was patterned after the Most Holy Place in heaven – the Throne Room of Grace.  It was literally, physically and spiritually the only place to rest- to sit. There was no chairs for the priests in the tabernacle. Their work was never done. They had to offer sacrifices day after day, which would never take away sins. The only place of rest was in the mercy and grace found in the shed blood of Christ.

The High Priest who entered once per year on the Day of Atonement with the blood sacrifice to be sprinkled on the mercy seat foreshadowed our Great High Priest.

What did the high priest see in the Most Holy Place?  White curtains on gold frames. Above were cherubim embroidered in blue, purple, and scarlet upon fine twisted linen.  The Mercy seat which was between two cherubim of gold made of one solid piece. The cherubim looked down at the seat where the blood would be sprinkled.  The gold was pure, which speaks of God’s holiness. And His mercy cannot be separated from His Holiness.  Listen to these wonderful verses from Psalm 85:10, 11. KJV “Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”


There are ranks and orders of angels, referred to by Paul as ‘principalities and powers.’ They fall into two broad categories unfallen and fallen.  The fallen angels are also referred to as demons. They may inhabit an unsaved person, as in the Gadarene demoniac. Good angels may appear as humans, as in visiting Sodom and Gomorrah.  Two angels are given names: Michael and Gabriel. Michael is the chief or archangel.  Gabriel is one of the principal messengers used by God. His name mean, “hero of God.” Seraphim are angels mentioned who have 3 sets of wings and have the main function of worshipping the Lord, or priestly duties.   Another order of angels is cherubim- who have two wings. The Shekinah Glory of the Lord is associated with the cherubim.  Cherubim defend God’s holiness from the defilement of sin.   The fallen angels and unfallen angels engage in battle.  This is why they are woven into the curtains that covered the Sanctuary and the inner veil.  And of course there are two cherubim who looked down upon the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place where the blood was sprinkled by the high priest on the Day of Atonement. It was also two cherubim who guarded the way to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden with flashing swords. (Genesis 3:24)  It was both mercy and judgment which kept Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life. If they had eaten from the Tree of Life while in their fallen state, they would live forever and have no chance for forgiveness of their sins. Other duties of angels we are told are: guardian angels, ministering angels and avenging angels. The only two types of angels we are told who possess wings are the seraphim and the cherubim.


The Mercy Seat was the most important object in the Tabernacle. It represents the Throne of God in heaven.  It was a solid piece of pure gold with the two cherubim on either side beaten out of a solid piece of gold. It served as the covering for the ark, the container for these three items:  the two stone tablets with the 10 commandments; the manna; and Aaron’s staff which budded.  How does this symbolize the Lord Jesus:  Jesus kept the law, fulfilling every jot and tittle which enabled Him to be the only one who could establish the new covenant having fulfilled the old.  He is the True Bread come down from heaven. Aaron’s staff which budded, speaks of that which was dead and came to life again, just as Jesus did, the first fruits of the dead.

The cherubim guarded the way to the throne of God, just as they guarded the way to the Tree of Life. When Jesus gave up His Spirit and cried out: “It is finished!”  The veil in the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom, opening the way to God’s throne to all who would come in faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus the Son of God is alive in a glorified body seated at the right hand of God upon the Throne of Grace.  He is our Mercy Seat.  And Paul tells us in Ephesians 2- we are seated with Him in heaven.

We will study more about the entry of our Great High Priest into the Most Holy Place in heaven once for all with His own blood. Having obtained for us – eternal redemption.

Today Christ is our Mercy Seat.  And He is enthroned at the right hand of God upon the Throne of Grace.

“Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed!”

What a love story- what a Savior!

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