by Barbara Latta
Have you ever made the connection between Old Testament shadows (Colossians 2:17) and New Testament fulfillment?
Jesus’ purpose was already being displayed when he was born (John 18:37). The baby would have been rubbed with salt and oil (Ezekiel 16:4), wrapped in cloth resembling a mummy, and then laid in a manger (Luke 2:7). (Mangers were carved stone troughs not the wooden box we usually think of). Angels were proclaiming his birth.
Thirty-three years later, Joseph of Arimathea was given the body of Jesus to bury. He anointed the body with about one hundred pounds of spices, wrapped a linen cloth around the bloody sacrifice, and laid the precious gift to man on a stone slab in a tomb (John 19:38-40).
On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and went to the tomb and discovered it was empty.
Looking inside she saw two angels, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain (John 20:12). which paints a perfect picture of the Mercy Seat—a slab on top of the Ark of the Covenant covered with two angels one on each end.
Each year, on the Day of Atonement, the priest would sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat, representing that the sins of the nation had been atoned for that year. After Mary discovered the risen Christ, Jesus told her not to touch Him because He had not ascended to the Father. He still had to place His blood on the Mercy Seat of Heaven to atone for our sins. But this time atonement was forever. No more would there be a sacrifice made because the perfect blood had been given (Hebrews 9:11-15).
The blood shed during birth showed us He was the Son of Man, the blood shed at His death was as the Son of God who entered heaven and sprinkled His blood on the altar to atone for our sins forever.
Christmas is the manger bringing to us the blood on the Mercy Seat—the greatest gift of all.
What does that gift mean to you? Share your thoughts.