Jesus is our mercy seat. Love starts here is really all about others. Love started here when Jesus stretched out over our hearts and became our mercy seat.
As kids we’ve all been caught doing something we were told not to do, such as playing baseball in the backyard and breaking a window. Tell of a time as a kid or adult when you disobeyed, but instead of having to pay the punishment you were shown mercy.
All have sinned and deserve death and eternity in hell. God offered us mercy by withholding the punishment we deserved and instead transferred the payment to His son Jesus Christ. We sin, Jesus didn’t, so He became our advocate by shedding His sinless blood in our place, thus covering our sin. God no longer sees us covered in our past sins, but He sees Jesus’ blood on the mercy seat covering us.
1. Jesus connected with the twelve disciples around meals. Fellowship and bonding took place reclining at the table. How do you feel the Lord’s Supper connects us to God and to one another?
Read Hebrews 9:1-9.
2. We have a description of old covenant ministry that describes how a tabernacle was set up in the Old Testament. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. What three items were placed inside the ark?
3. The chest, or Ark of the Covenant was covered in gold and guarded by cherubim also hammered out of gold above it. What were they guarding besides the items within?
4. The three items inside represented their current state of rebellion, sin, and failure. What area of rebellion did each of the three items represent?
Read Exodus 25:17.
5. God basically said “put a lid on all these things.” He called the lid on the chest (ark) the mercy seat. Grace is God doing for us what we do not deserve. Mercy is God witholding from us that which we do deserve. What did God withhold?
6. Annually the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and place a drop of blood on the mercy seat. Through His death and resurrection Jesus became our mercy seat, He is our blood covering. What did the blood cover that the high priest dropped? What did Jesus’ blood cover?
7. What does the price God was willing to pay for you say about the value of your life? What lies have you believed about your value or worth?
8. Why do you think we take for granted the things God provides for us daily?
9. It seems whatever God does for us we never truly appreciate. Do you think this is due to the pace or influence of our current culture? Is it political correctness or something else? Discuss.
10. Silently reflect on what God would find if He lifted the lid off your heart. Pause now and either thank Him for His mercy seat or invite Jesus to stretch out over your heart and become your mercy seat.