Wednesday, July 3, 2002


by Blake Cromwell

Most of us have seen the Steven Spielberg movie Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and remember the golden Ark of the Covenant that Indiana discovered. Near the end of the movie the Nazis attempt to unlock the power of the Ark and make a deadly mistake. They looked into the Ark in hopes of understanding it’s great power. But when they slid the Mercy Seat off the Ark (the Mercy Seat is the lid of the Ark of the Covenant), fire came from it and destroyed all who were looking on.

Believe it or not, the movie isn’t that far from what actually happened in the Old Testament when a group of men slid the Mercy Seat off the Ark to look inside. When they did, God became very angry and struck down over fifty thousand men. Why? Because judgment falls when the Mercy Seat is removed from the Ark. You see, God would look down upon the Ark of the Covenant constantly because it was the representation of His presence on the Earth. Inside the Ark were contained, among other items, the Ten Commandments (remember Moses’ stone tablets?). The Ten Commandments were the Law of God. The Law represents judgment. This is why the Mercy Seat covered the Ark, because God wanted His mercy to cover judgment. So when the Mercy Seat was removed, God looked down and saw only the Law, and we ALL stand guilty before God’s Law.

God’s plan is that mercy would cover judgment. That is why God sent Jesus, the ultimate expression of mercy, to the world. Christ is the Mercy Seat for everyone who has placed their confidence in Him as Savior and Lord.

When I was seven years old I learned my first lesson on mercy. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the scene in Indiana Jones or the story of the Ark of the Covenant in the Bible. Neither was it from a Sunday school teacher or a pastor. I learned mercy from the clerk at my local Soda Fountain. That lesson has stayed with me to this day and helps me understand God’s mercy.

My dad would give his three sons thirty-five cents every Saturday. With that huge allowance we would buy an ice cream for a dime and then go to the school matinee for a quarter.

One hot summer day my brothers and I ran to the local Thrifty’s store. I got my regular, one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of strawberry. As I left the store I bumped my arm and dropped both scoops on the hot sidewalk.

My heart melted as I watched my ice cream do the same. In the middle of my pain I heard a knock on the store window and the clerk beckoned me back in. There she mercifully gave me two scoops for free.

That’s mercy – two scoops for free. I realize that this definition of mercy may not be the most profound, but I must admit it has comforted me many times. When I have fallen and am feeling bad I try to remember that God has also given me two scoops for free. He’s covered me with His Mercy Seat, Christ.

If you are feeling beat up by failure or personal sin let me encourage you to learn more about the Mercy Seat of Christ. The pastors in the Kings County can guide you to the Mercy Seat.

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