The Ark of the Covenant Christ in the Old Testament Ceremonies Series: Lecture Four
Read Hebrews 9:1-10
When we speak of the ceremonial law, much of that ceremonial law is bound up with the tabernacle and later with what would transpire in the temple.
The Symbolism of the Tabernacle
Now, we know that the tabernacle is a picture of Christ. In John 1:14 the apostle John wrote this: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The Word was made flesh and dwelt. The word "dwelt" is the word "tabernacle," only it is in the verb form. We do not really have that form in English, but nonetheless you could translate this: “The Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us.” Tabernacle, then, was a picture of Christ in the midst of His people.
The tabernacle was to give order to the nation. You could not just live anywhere you wanted to. In the wilderness, if you were of such and such a tribe you had to live either north of the tabernacle or south or east or west of the tabernacle. You just could not choose the area you wanted to live in. Everything centred around the tabernacle. And so it is in the Christian life – everything centres around Christ. And if Christ does not have the central place in your life, then something is wrong. It would be like someone who was assigned to live in the south below the tabernacle trying to go and live in the north above the tabernacle – it would not work. God would not allow it. And when we do not have the tabernacle as that which is central in our hearts and souls (that is, Christ, whom the tabernacle represents), then we are out of kilter. Things are not right between us and God. Christ gives order to our life much like the tabernacle gave order to the nation.
The tabernacle also taught lessons of holiness. You could not approach God any way you wanted to. Most of the nation could never come into the Holy Place, and only the high priest could come into the Holy of Holies, and that once a year. In other words, coming to God was that which God allowed, but He allowed it only on His terms. The lessons of holiness were learned there at the tabernacle as the tabernacle was teaching them things about God. And so it is with us. We can approach God, but we must approach through Christ. You say, “I am going to approach through Buddha” – you won't make it. “I am going to approach based on my own works” – you won't make it.
God has taught us something about holiness, and especially when it comes to the work of Christ. When you study the tabernacle, you find that it also shows us salvation – that it is through the blood that sin is removed. On the Day of Atonement the blood was brought into the Holy of Holies and it was sprinkled before the ark and upon the ark. And that was symbolizing that indeed the only way of approaching God in salvation was through the blood.
And then the tabernacle also showed the way of communion once you were saved. Each piece of furniture in the tabernacle was another way of describing something that Christ did or was doing for His people. We spent time looking at the furniture and seeing that indeed these different pieces that are mentioned here at the beginning of Hebrews 9 all had import into the nation as to how you were to commune with God based on the work of Christ.
The tabernacle is all about Christ. We could spend a great deal of time just going through the different avenues of the tabernacle and seeing how this pictures Christ and that pictures Christ. But we have done that recently, so we are not going to go over the different pieces of the tabernacle today to see how they picture Christ.
The Ark of the Covenant
When we were looking at the different pieces of furniture in the tabernacle, we did mention the ark of the covenant. We noted that the ark of the covenant was covered by the mercy seat. The word in the Hebrew for "mercy seat" has the idea of covering, and obviously the mercy seat covered the law of God. It also took on the meaning of expiation, or the removal of our sins through atonement. And again, we noted that through the mercy seat God was able to meet with His people, because there was blood sprinkled on that mercy seat and it atoned for the sins – the sins that were being called for judgment by the law that was below in the mercy seat. The mercy seat truly was a picture of Christ.
But there was more than just the law in the ark of the covenant. As you read here, you find that the ark of the covenant is mentioned in Hebrews 9:4, and in the ark of the covenant was the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant – the two tables that had the law written upon them. We did not spend any time looking at that the last time we went through the tabernacle. Today, as representative of the tabernacle, I want us to focus on the ark of the covenant, and especially these three items that were in the ark. If you were going to approach God, you had to approach Him on His terms. And the ark itself was giving you a message concerning the only way that you could come near to God.
Now, there is some controversy when we say that the golden pot with manna and Aaron's rod that budded were actually in the ark. In the Old Testament it says that it was put “before the testimony.” You see that both in Exodus 16 as well as Numbers 17. It was put “before the testimony.” Some would say then that it was put near the ark. In Deuteronomy 31: there was a place near the ark where you could put the law of God – maybe a sleeve attached to the ark. That is not mentioned anywhere, but it says that this law was put there. We are not talking now about the law in the ark, but the law adjoining the ark in Deuteronomy 31. Some would think that the rod that budded and the pot of manna was actually then put near the ark, or somehow attached to the ark. In that regard, when they come to this passage they would translate Hebrews 9:4 (”wherein was the golden pot that had manna”) not "in" but "with" (“wherewith was the golden pot that had manna”).
I find it difficult, because it does say at the end of the verse: “and the tables of the covenant,” and we know that the tables of the covenant definitely were in the ark of the covenant. So you cannot translate it “wherewith” at the first part and then change it to “wherein” at the latter part of the verse. Another way of dealing with this problem is to think of the ark as having the testimony within it, and they put these items “before the testimony” – not necessarily outside of the ark, but in the ark. It does not say that these items were put before the ark; it says that they were put “before the testimony.” The ark was a box about four feet by two and a half feet, and it was about two and a half feet high – there was plenty of room to put the testimony, and the rod that budded and the pot of manna before the testimony. And that would coincide with what we have here in verse four.
I want us to look today at what it is that God has put within the ark that is supposed to have a message to us. Obviously it is telling us something about God. It is also telling us something about Christ, because Christ is, as it were, the ark of the covenant, and what is going on here is speaking concerning His ministry and our ability to approach God through that ministry. You and I have to embrace Christ as He is offered to us in the gospel. Not as you want to embrace Him, but as He is offered to you in the gospel. And in the ceremonial law we have this picture here before us of Christ as our Mediator. That is what is being set before us in these three items that are mentioned in the ark of the covenant – that Christ is indeed our Mediator. And we will see that in just a few minutes.
The Tables of the Covenant
First of all, let's focus on the tables of the covenant that are placed within the ark of covenant. The tables dealing with the covenant, which is called the "testimony," were placed within the ark. This certainly deals with the perfection of Christ's life. Now, the only way that you can commune with God is through the perfection that God demands out of you. God communes with us not based upon our character, but based upon His. And our God is holy. Because He is holy, He has revealed to us what He requires out of us.
The Ten Commandments were not merely a testimony coming from God to man; it was a testimony against man. It was testifying against the nation and the breaking of His law. How does God commune with men who are sinful? He cannot! He does not! He punishes sin. He brings the punishment of death upon those who have broken His law. He brings the punishment of wrath upon those who have broken His law. And so you have then in the ark the very thing that would prohibit us coming to God, to communing with God, to fellowshipping with God. The very thing that would actually cry out for our judgment!
And yet, when you look at Christ, within Him was a desire to keep the Word of God. He had no sin; He did no sin; there was no sin in Him. That is the language of the New Testament in describing Christ. He could come before the ark, before the Ten Commandments, and the Ten Commandments would find no fault in Him! The Ten Commandments could be like a light inspecting Him from the top of his head to the sole of His foot, externally and internally, and find no blemish! Find no flaw!
You and I do not know what that is like. We sin in the inner man; we sin in the outer man. We know that we are condemned based upon our sins. We know that we have broken God's law. And yet for Christ there was no breaking of law! From the very inner man there was only conformity to that law! When you want to see perfect conformity to the Ten Commandments worked out in life, open the Gospel and read. There you have it in the Lord Jesus Christ. You do not find it anywhere else. You find disciples who are trying to imitate Him, but it is only Christ who lived according to the law perfectly. And yet, God put that law there at the ark of the covenant as that which would testify against this people’s sins. The glory of salvation is that God provides that perfection for you and I in Christ!
God does not set aside the law of God. There are those who would think that God has done so. When they sing Free from the law they have this imagination that the law has been put aside, it has no bearing in the life anymore, it does not speak to us concerning our sin. That is foolishness! God is holy, and the Ten Commandments still show forth His holiness and our requirement before Him.
Turn to Romans 3. When Paul wants to describe salvation, he describes the gospel as a “gospel of righteousness.” Now, truly God's love is shown when it comes to the gospel, and certainly the result of God's love is the peace that we have with God, but when you want to understand the heart of the gospel, it is about righteousness. Look at verse 21. Having said that we are condemned by the law, he now says in verse 21: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” Righteousness of God is not the attribute of God's righteousness, it is the righteousness that God provides in Christ. It is the righteousness He gives to you and to me. And he says that without our keeping of the law, without the law, this righteousness of God is manifested, and the law and the prophets witness to that righteousness. They see it and they bear record that this is righteousness!
Look at verse 31. Having explained that God justifies us in Christ, he now says, “Do we then make void the law [of God] through faith? God forbid.” May it never be! “Yea, we establish the law.” God does not come and take the law, as it were, out of the ark of the covenant and throw it aside, and then says, “Now you can come and fellowship with me”! God keeps the law there! It is established by the work of Christ. So the law of God does speak to us concerning our sin and the law of God does call for judgment upon us because of our sin. And God does not ignore that law! Instead, through that law He makes a way whereby we can approach Him. He establishes the law; He does not lay it aside.
In 1 John 1, in speaking of the incarnation, John writes: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,” (speaking now of what he saw and heard from Christ) “that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” John is saying there is a fellowship with God. Later he would explain that that fellowship is through the blood (as we are going to see in the other item that is in the ark of the covenant). But John says we do have fellowship with God. It is real! But it is through the Son.
It is because the Son came and kept the law that there can be an exchange where the Son can give to you His righteousness and your sins can be placed upon the Son. The law and the prophets take a look, as it were, what God has done in salvation, and they are happy. In other words, the law which is in the ark is screaming, “This is ok! This does not violate God's righteousness. This does not violate God's holiness.” You can come and commune with God based upon the law of God, because the law of God has been met on your behalf!
The Pot of Manna
Secondly, we come then to the pot of manna. In Exodus 16 (where you have that lengthy chapter dealing with the manna) at the end, it is said that they were to take an omer full of manna and put it before the testimony. An omer would be about the size of what a full meal might be for a man. Again, it was put before the testimony (I believe inside the ark, as what is stated here in Hebrews 9:4).
What was the manna? That was God's provision of sustenance for His people. They had rebelled, they had sinned, and because of that sin they were going to spend the next forty years in the wilderness. This was His provision while they were, as it were, under His chastening hand. While they had sinned, God made a provision for them to keep them alive through the manna. The manna would sustain them during that wandering. Once they went over the Jordan into Canaan (which was a picture of going over to heaven), the manna ceased. It was no longer necessary for them.
What was the manna? It was from heaven; it was called the “bread of heaven,” sometimes the “bread of angels.” It was miraculous in that it was produced miraculously – nothing like it before or after. Here was manna that obeyed the Sabbath day! And the day before the Sabbath twice as much manna was produced and given to the nation! On the Sabbath day no manna was produced and given to the nation. It was miraculously produced. It was produced directly by God Himself. It was a continual feasting. It lasted while they were in the wilderness until they crossed over Jordan over into Canaan, the Promised Land. It ended up being their life; without it they would have died. God sustained them by giving them daily manna, except for the Sabbath day.
And now we find it was something that from the very first was to be set apart and to be remembered by putting it in some kind of a pot or jar, or in this case a golden pot (as it is stated here), and put in the ark. It is interesting that it was said to be put before the testimony, before the testimony was even given. The testimony was given later in the book of Exodus, and the ark was described later in the book of Exodus. But God, knowing what He would do, told them, “I want you to take an omer full of this and I want you to put it before the testimony to be remembered.”
When you come to the New Testament, it is our Lord Himself who gives a great description of His work on the cross and how that that work must be applied to our hearts if we are going to be saved. It is found in John 6. The God who provided sustenance for His people in the wilderness, in our wilderness provides a satisfaction for our sins, in order to sustain us spiritually. John 6:32: “Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.'” Moses did not give them the bread; he called upon God and God gave them the bread. Jesus here is saying, “My Father gave you the bread, but He gives you something more than that,” because He changes the imagery a little bit and He says, “He gives you that true bread from heaven.”
And then He describes that true bread in verse 33: “For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” You and I are in our wilderness wandering. Wilderness wandering takes place from now until the time we cross Jordan and go to the Promised Land. And there is a manna that God has provided for us, and that manna is the bread of heaven. That manna is given to us by God. It is the Lord Jesus Christ calling Himself the “bread of God” who gives life to the world! Look at verse 51: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” His flesh – His atoning work that took place in His flesh – is that which gives you and gives me life.
And so you had in the ark of the covenant not only a picture of the law that God demanded holiness if you were ever going to approach Him, but you also had there a picture of atonement! A picture of satisfaction! How God would be satisfied by the work of another, and how you ought to be satisfied by your nourishment on that work. It becomes yours when you lay hold of the work of Christ. In John 6:53 you have our Lord saying this very thing to us:
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:53-55, KJV.
This is not talking about the Lord's Table; the Lord's Table has not yet been instituted. Obviously these disciples had believed on Christ. They had trusted Him. They did have eternal life. The Lord's Table would not be instituted till chapter thirteen of John's Gospel. So He is not talking about the Lord's Table; He is talking here about what the Lord's Table pictures – that is, the death and the sufferings of Christ, the shedding of Christ's blood. He speaks here that you and I have to come and lay hold of that suffering of Christ. We must make it ours! Just as you would come to a meal and eat and drink and it becomes yours and it becomes a part of you, so you must come and lay hold of Christ and His atoning work! Everyone who lays hold of this atoning work has eternal life, and Christ says, “I will raise them up at the last day.”
So when we think of the pot of manna, what was it speaking to the nation? It was reminding them of God's sustenance in the wilderness, but it was also a prophetic message about the One who would come and would give Himself as the bread of life, so that you and I would live forever. In that regard, it was a message to them that there was One coming who indeed would be their Saviour. And today we know who that One is, according to the words of the Lord Himself.
God continually produces satisfaction, as it were, for us in our wilderness. The wilderness wandering corresponds to the present age in which you live; you can see that stated in 1 Corinthians 10. Right now we are this side of glory, and this side of glory you need an atonement! This side of glory you need this bread of life, and you need it daily. You need to come and feast upon Christ. You need to come and have your daily sins cleansed by His shed blood. There is no way of coming into the presence of God – the God who sees the law and demands that you must be morally perfect – apart from manna! You must have an atonement.
So He is very strong here. He says in verse 53: Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” No life! No eternal life unless you lay hold of Christ in His atoning work and it becomes yours – your believing upon Him, your resting upon Him, your trusting in Him to wash away your sins. Unless that is yours, you have no life in you, according to the words of our Lord. And so there is a manna, a bread come down from heaven, that if you eat that bread you will have eternal life. But if you ignore that bread, you not only do not have life, but the law of God that is in the ark of the covenant will scream for your judgment.
The Rod of Life
Thirdly, there was in the ark this rod of life. A rod that budded. Here is a rod that was dead, and yet it budded, showing it had life. This pictures for us the High Priestly work of Christ and its intercessory prayers. What do we mean by that? Well, there was need of a priest to intercede. There was need of a mediator to stand between God and the people. In Hebrews 5:4 the apostle says, “No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” “No man taketh this honour unto himself.” God appoints the priest (or in this case, the high priest).
When we come to the passage that we read at the beginning of our service (Numbers 17), we noted that here was a time when the people were chafing against Moses and against Aaron. They felt they were as good as Moses and they were as good as Aaron – and perhaps they were! They felt they could do the actual physical work that Moses was doing and Aaron was doing – and perhaps they could! But the Lord made it very clear that Aaron was the high priest, and not anyone else in the tribe of Levi. No one else in the tribe of Judah or any other tribe. It was Aaron that God chose to be the high priest. And they rebelled against that.
So what was the way in which God showed to the nation that He had chosen Aaron? In Numbers 17:5 it says, “It shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.” So it is very clear. They took a rod from every tribe. And the tribe of Levi actually had Aaron's name on it – not the tribe of Levi, but Aaron's name on it – so that God, whatever He did, would make it very clear He was either choosing Aaron or rejecting Aaron.
So we come to the next day. Verse 8: “And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” Now, this was something that could not be counterfeited. Never would you have on the same rod all three stages of growth. You might have buds, but you would not have blossoms and almonds. You might have almonds, but you would not have the buds. And yet here you have all three stages of growth on the same dead rod! Here God gives life to that which is dead! And in giving life to that which is dead, God is saying, “This is my servant. If you want to live, if you want to be accepted of me, you have to come through him. He is the one who represents me.” So God made choice of Aaron when he was challenged by the wicked, and God's choice revealed His own almighty power – the power of giving life to that which is dead.
I think you can see that in the work of Christ you have that same choice being made, in God singling out His own Son and showing us that it is through His Son, and His Son alone, that we are accepted. In Hebrews 5, after reading that passage about God choosing Aaron, says:
So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, “Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.” As He saith also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”Hebrews 5:5-6, KJV.
God did choose Christ. The resurrection was indeed a picture of what His work was all about. He was given life when He was dead, and it is that resurrection that sets Him apart. He said that as much when He was at the temple and they were challenging His authority. He said, “There is only going to be one sign given unto you.” We were reading about that this morning in Matthew 12. What was that sign? It would be the sign of His resurrection! In Acts 17, the apostle Paul, standing on Mars’ hill, tells them at Mars’ hill that God has set apart this Man. How do you know He has set apart the Lord Jesus Christ? Because He raised Him from the dead!
Paul says that when you come to Romans 1: It is by that resurrection that He has been declared to you to be the Son of God. This is the Man that God has chosen! This is the Man that God has accepted. How do you know? Because He raised Him from the dead on that third day!
He is not after the order of the Levites, yet the Levitical order is a picture of the work of Christ as you see all the way through the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews though makes it very clear that He is properly a high priest, because He is of the order of Melchizedek – an order that is greater than that of the Levitical priesthood. And he goes back to the scene in history where Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, showing that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham. And obviously the Levites had not yet been born, so according to the rationale of the prophetic author, he says that the Levitical priesthood is lesser than that of the Melchizedek priesthood. So while the Levitical priesthood pictured the work of Christ, He came from a higher order. And God said, “Thou art a priest after the order of Melchizedek.” God is the one who with an oath made Him a Priest.
Turn to Hebrews 2:14, where he says:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [Jesus] also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Hebrews 2:14, KJV.
In order to set you free from the devil, the Lord had to take a nature like yours – apart from sin, yes, but a nature like yours and mine.
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.Hebrews 2:15-16, KJV.
I believe in the Old Testament that when you saw the Angel of the Covenant, you were looking at a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. But He could not make an atonement in that fashion. He had to take a nature like yours, and He took that nature in the womb of the virgin Mary!
For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:16-17, KJV.
"Reconciliation" is literally "propitiation." We have sinned. You need a mediator. It is not just that you need a sacrifice. You do need that; you do need something that will atone for your sins. But you need someone who is going to present it to God for you. Who is that one? The one who presents it to God for you is the One that God has accepted, and given proof and evidence of that acceptance by raising Him from the dead. It was the giving of life to Christ that tells us that His work is accepted on our behalf as our High Priest.
Turn to Hebrews 7. We could actually go almost through chapter by chapter. While he does deal with Christ as the Prophet (that is how he begins his epistle) and he deals with Christ as King, yet throughout almost every chapter he is dealing with Christ as our Priest.
But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. Hebrews 7:24-28, KJV.
In this paragraph that I have read, you have the reality of the three pictures that are found in the ark of the covenant. Christ is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” He is that. He conforms completely to the law of God. There is nothing in the ark of the covenant that testifies against Christ! Secondly, He is the sacrifice. You see that in verse 27. He is that sacrifice that is offered up. And thirdly, He is the Priest making intercession – he lives for that purpose, and continuously lives for that purpose.
So that rod that budded set apart Aaron for the priesthood, indicating he was the high priest. He came in on the Day of Atonement. He did symbolically what Christ would do really. And when we think then, “How do I approach God?” you do not approach God by throwing out the law and saying, “God will now accept me.” He will not! You approach God by magnifying the law, by establishing the law, by saying the law is good. And then you come to the blood atonement. Your Manna comes from heaven. You come through that blood atonement, and you come through His High Priestly ministry as He represents you before God. And God will accept you.
Putting it very simply, our Lord said, “If any a man wants to come to the Father, he has to come by me.” He says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but by me." And we have then in the very ark itself this symbolic statement to us. Coming to God is according to the law. Coming to God is according to the manna sent from heaven. Coming to God is according to the rod that budded – the intercessory ministry of God's chosen Priest.
In a previous study we noted that the mercy seat was truly a picture of Christ. I believe in this study it is clear that between God and His people stands Christ. And it is in this ark that [He has] declared to us that it is only through Christ that you and I are accepted. Christ must as our representative do everything according to the law of God, or you and I will perish. Christ must as our sacrifice suffer for all the sins of His people, as the pot of manna represents, or you and I will perish. Christ must as a mediator, as our High Priest, intercede for the sins of His people, as the rod of Aaron gave Aaron the right to do so. Christ has that right, and He exercises that right to come into the presence of God and represent the people of God and to intercede on our behalf.
Salvation is all about Christ. Would you want it any other way? You and I cannot keep the law. We certainly cannot offer a perfect sacrifice. We certainly, if we had a perfect sacrifice, could not bring it to God in and of ourselves – we would fail there! It is all based upon Christ and what He has done. That is true when we get saved, and that is true in our communing with God every day. Remember, we said the tabernacle pictured salvation, but the tabernacle also pictured communing with God. God will fellowship with you. He will make Himself known. He will indeed show Himself to you in a spiritual fashion. But you must come according to the law! You must come with a sacrifice! You must come with a High Priest standing between you and God. And if you do so, He will accept you.
Paul uses the word "mediator" to describe our Lord in 1 Timothy 2, and then he talks about Him being the "ransom" – He gives that which is accepted by God. John talks about our Lord being the "advocate" in 1 John 2, but then he talks about Him being a "propitiation" – that which satisfies the anger of God. And we have here in Hebrews Paul speaking of Christ being our "High Priest," but Christ is also the "sacrifice." He is the mediator, the advocate, the High Priest. He is the ransom, He is the propitiation, He is the sacrifice! There is no other way of coming to God and communing with Him! John says, “These things we are writing unto you, that your joy may be full” – meaning there is a satisfaction, there is a joy by your communing with God based upon the work of Christ. We do not set aside the law. We have a Manna that gives us life spiritually, and we have a High Priest who intercedes on our behalf. You can come and commune with God on a daily basis because of the work of Christ.