The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat were actually two separate articles, very closely related, therefore often referred to as one. The Ark was also named ‘the Ark of the Covenant’, ‘the Ark of the Testimony”, and ‘the Holy Ark’. It was a chest made of acacia wood and covered inside and out with pure gold. The ark, itself, was approximately 46 inches long, 27 inches wide and 27 inches high (Exodus 25:10-11), and contained different articles which we can consider as shadows of Jesus.
The Ark contained the 2 tablets of stone which Moses received on Mt Sinai (the law), which in Christ is fulfilled. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17:-18, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled”. He fulfilled the law by His sacrifice of himself on the cross, declaring all Righteous! Romans 7:4 (HCB), “Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, so that you may belong to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—that we may bear fruit for God”.
A golden pot with manna (‘to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ -Ex. 16:32). Jesus is called 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 (see John 6:22-51). We are partakers of the bread of life, his life in us. When we celebrate the Holy Communion we are remembering that we are partakers of his body.
Aaron’s staff/rod which budded (the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”-Numbers 17:8). The almond tree is the first to blossom after the winter, a resurrection after the winter/death, as we are partakers in the resurrection of Christ. Christ being the firstborn from the dead, and of the dead, resurrected. We are co-raised with Christ in the Resurrection from the dead, yet still await our physical resurrection as part of the general resurrection of the dead.