Reflection Questions: Losing Sight of God’s Presence
by Pastor Gene
Left: William Blake, The Angels Hovering Over the Body of Christ in the Sepulchre, 1805
Right: Ark of the Covenant, Abrahamic Study Hall, (c) 2021, P. Maxwell
- Read John 20:11-18 together carefully with the image of the Ark of the Covenant in mind. Think of the body of Jesus laid out between the angels as the very Mercy Seat. Compare Blake’s painting with the image of the Ark. How does this change your understanding of this passage? How is John showing Jesus as the fulfilment of this OT imagery?
- With respect to the Mercy Seat/Body of Jesus connection, consider and discuss the following: (1) The Mercy Seat was the very place where God promised to meet Moses and give him instruction about His people (Exodus 25:22). How is this significant to our salvation and to our life ‘walking’ with Jesus? (2) Why is it significant that God has met us at a seat of mercy and not judgement (Romans 8:1)?
- The most important day in the Jewish year is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement’; it has been called “the Sabbath of Sabbaths.” On that day, ONLY the High Priest was to enter the Holy of Holies. He could NOT enter without the sacrificial blood, which he was to sprinkle upon [and in front of] the Mercy Seat with His finger (Leviticus 16:14). What do these things mean? Read Hebrews 9:1-5, 11-12, 24-26. Discuss how Jesus fulfilled so much of this imagery.
- When Israel heard the “disastrous word” that God’s Presence would not go with them, they were in deep distress (Exodus 33:3-6). Do you take God’s Presence with you that seriously? How important is the idea of ‘walking’ in fellowship with Jesus to you? Do you feel that the American Church as a whole has lost sight of the Presence of God? Why or why not? How? Do you agree that, of the many ‘losses’ believers might experience, this is the worst?
- Consider the promise of Isaiah 41:10 carefully. Ponder each part of each line. What can you learn from it for your walk?
- What can we learn from Moses’ request in Exodus 33:18? How might we better see and reflect God’s glory?
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