Leader of my small group bible study brought this up a while agoÖ
Ark contained:Hebrews 9:4
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.
Broken Commandment Tablets: Put in after Israel rejected Godís law
Omer of Manna: Put in after Israel rejected Godís provision of food for life
Budded Rod: Put in after Israel rejected Godís chosen leader
God seems to be collecting tokens that represent Israelís rejection of His Law, His Food for Life, His Chosen Leader. What more could Israel have done to reject God?
God also made sure Israel took these tokens everywhere they went. They were covered by gold/wood and were to be sprinkled with blood and under the Mercy Seat.
The angelic audience must have been amazed that in spite of Israelís proven rejection, the Lord still blessed them. This must have been especially so when He had Israel proudly bear the tokens of their rejection of Him into battle.
And if God's mercy towards Israel amazed the angels then, His mercy towards us must totally astonish them now.
From a world sense, the Ark represents the entire human history from God's perspective:
Commandments: The world rejected Godís Law during the time(s) of Israel.
Manna: The world is in the process of rejecting Godís Bread of Life, during the Christian era.
Budded Rod: The world will reject Godís chosen Leader at the end of the 1K year reign by raising up an army to attack Him.
What more could the World do to reject God? Rejecting His Law, His Provision, His Leader?
The cross is also a symbol of the World's rejection of His Bread of Life, the empty tomb is His response.
Yet there is a Fulfilled Ark/Mercy Seat, The Christ, thru whom we are able to fellowship with God.