This post is in answer to a reader’s comment on Catholic verses? Part 10. The claims actually come from here: A Biblical Defense of Mary. The case is put forward that the Ark of the Covenant is a type, or foreshadowing, or symbol, of Mary.
This is not the case. The Ark of the Covenant is a type of Christ, not of Mary. This can be seen by examining what the ark was constructed of, and also what is in the ark.
Christ is both human and divine. The ark is made up of wood, which represents humanity, and it is also made up of gold, which represents the divine.
Many people do not realize what was contained within the ark; The unbroken stone tablets that the ten commandments were written on/into, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and a gold pot full of manna. Each of these, as well as the ark itself with it’s gold and wood, show forth Christ.
First, the unbroken tablets. Notice that there were another set of tablets; the originals which Moses broke after coming down the mountain, and the second set which were, and are, unbroken. The unbroken tablets represent Christ’s perfect keeping of the law; He never sinned and never broke a commandment. It also represents Christ being the Word of God and keeping the commandments “within” Him.
Second, Aaron’s staff is included. The budding of the staff represented God’s approval, or pick of Aaron as priest. Of course, Christ is the High Priest, and God showed Him approval. Also, the symbolism of the staff budding was something that was “dead” supernaturally coming back to life; a type of Christ’s resurrection.
Third, we have the golden pot full of manna. Who is the bread of life? Who is compared to manna? Christ.
When we look at the Ark as the Ark of the Covenant, that would be the old covenant, we can clearly see that there is a “better” ark representing, being the heart of, fulfilling, providing, the new covenant…and that is Jesus Christ.
Many preachers/teachers have taught on this; Doc Scott amongst them. This isn’t a new idea originating with me, and even more parallels can be drawn. Always take an overall look at symbols and types because the detail has to match in the analogy.