No one really knows where the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament is today. Sure there are theories that it is in Ethiopia and others as well. Yes, Indiana Jones found it and now it sits in a storage room in some US facility before someone thinks they are funny. But in reality no one really knows. But it also probably doesn't really matter since we are under a new covenant. It is neat to see how the Old Testament and the New Testament coincide with each other so much. The Old Testament though for the New Testament Christian is only symbolic. That is not to say that the Old Testament doesn't mean anything or nothing in it ever really happen. On the contrary it is literal historical events, but we are no longer bound to its rules and punishments for we are under grace and forgiveness. But after all of this has been said there is an ark for the New. Sure the easy answer is that Jesus is the New Ark. But there is a deeper connection between Old and New. There is an actual physical Ark that happened. And we can almost still see it today.
Before we go on let's look at the word Ark. There are a couple of words we have for this word. One is "tebah" and the other is "aron". Both are similar and mean chest, box, or coffin. In other words a place where you store something of value or of major importance that you want to remember. Noah's Ark is an example. God placed His most valuable possession in His tebah so that it would be remembered and saved. 364 days later the precious item was let out of the tebah. But the word coffin could also be used for Noah's Ark. Man died. He was placed in a coffin. But see what God did? He raised man out of the coffin. Man was resurrected. An Old Testament historical event that is now symbolic of what will happen to man if he believes in the Son of God! We will be resurrected.
The Ark of the Covenant is another example of this word. God placed His valuable possession, His promise, and other items of value in His aron. This chest or coffin was made of acacia wood, gold, and other items. It was topped with a lid and on the lid is called the Mercy Seat. On each side a cherub is sitting with its wings spread out. Blood for sacrifices was poured out onto the left side of the Mercy Seat (symbolic of where Jesus sits compared to God the Father). Blood is poured for the forgiveness of all our sins. It provides the mercy we need to keep our relation with God. Again, historic event but now symbolic for the Christian. For Jesus still sits on the mercy seat and our sins our forgiven because of His blood that He poured our for us.
**But there is another symbolic yet real event that makes this even more of a great connection. When Jesus was laid in the tomb of Joseph there had to be some blood that was left on the shroud that they covered him with. Then on the day of resurrection Mary was there and saw the place where the shroud was left, empty. But when she looked up she saw...two angels on both sides of the "coffin" or the ARK!**
The ark of the New Testament is surely Jesus but the symbol behind this is that the Ark of the New Covenant, or promise, is that because of Him we will be resurrected. His blood was poured on the Mercy Seat once for all and now He sits at God's right hand (on the left).
**Inspired by Joseph Prince Ministries.