A Coffin for The Law
God had barely given “the Law” to Moses when He ordered that “the Law” be put in a coffin. That’s right — a coffin. The reason for this is that the Mosaic covenant clearly stipulated:
“Now therefore, IF YE WILL OBEY MY VOICE INDEED, and keep My covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine” (Ex. 19:5).
Israel, of course, did not obey God’s voice, but broke “the Law” before Moses even got down from Sinai with the first ten Commandments. It was because of man’s inherent failure to righteous living according to “the Law” that God, in grace, commanded: “And they shall make an ark…” (Ex. 25:10). This same Hebrew word for “ark” is rendered as “coffin” in the last verse of Genesis and that is its simple meaning.
But why did God order a coffin as the very first article of furniture for the tabernacle’s area of “The Holiest of All.”? The answer is “the Law” was placed there... because no man could be saved by his performance under “the Law.” Instead, God would extend His mercy and grace in place of “the Law.”
“And thou shalt put into the COFFIN the testimony [the Law] which I shall give thee… and thou shalt put the MERCY SEAT above upon the coffin…” (verses 16, 21).
If God had not put the covenant of “the Law” in a coffin and met His people from above the “mercy seat” or the lid of “the ark of the covenant” none of them could ever be saved. You see, annually the High Priest entered “The Holiest of All” area in the tabernacle, and ‘sprinkled the innocent blood of sacrificed animal’ on the “mercy seat” The sprinkling of innocent blood from the dipped finger tip of the High Priest ‘covered the sins’ of the Nation of Israel. This then is a type or metaphor for Jesus as our One High Priest who sacrificed Himself at the Cross for our sins by shedding His innocent blood for us to clear our sin-debt once and for all. The Bible is clear that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” of sins. (Heb. 9:22).
Jesus acquired His body from his mother, Mary, who was born in the human lineage of sinful Adam. So, He was acquainted with the pulls of “Sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) of humans, for He had a human body just like ours.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4)
“For we have not an high priest [Jesus] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities [weaknesses]; but [for He] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet Without Sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
This Old Testament typology (study of ‘types’) has a lesson for us today, for if God dealt with us according to our sinful works none of us would ever be saved, rather, “Christ died for our sins,” meeting the ‘just’ demands of the Law for us, so that we might be saved by His grace through faith in His Redemptive work of the Cross for us. There, He was;
He was “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [the written law] that was against us, which was contrary to us, and [He] took it [the Law] out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Colossians 2:14)
Our Lord, by His substitutionary in death for us, “took it [the Law] out of the way, nailing it to His cross” Therefore Paul wrote Rom. 7:6 explaining:
“But now we are DELIVERED FROM THE LAW, that being DEAD wherein we were held; [so] THAT WE SHOULD SERVE IN NEWNESS OF SPIRIT, and not in the oldness of the letter [of the law].”
Now believers “in Christ” are freely saved “by grace… through faith… not of works” and yet “unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).
It is clear then that we are not saved by our performance of any good works, but rather ‘good [righteous] works’ are the spontaneous fruit of our new life in Christ. Therefore, our New life of “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” is the root of any genuinely good works … as the fruit of Christ’s life working in and through us.
Most do not realize that “the Law” actually “excites Sin” (Rom. 5:20a) and Law empowers “Sin in the flesh.”
“… The Strength Of Sin Is The Law.” (1 Corinthians 15:56b (KJV)
Yet sadly, most of manmade religion is built upon the erroneous false notion that we need to ‘keep the Law. This is contrary to what our Apostle Paul wrote instructing us as grace-age believers.
“sin shall not have dominion over you: for [because] Ye Are NOT Under The Law, But Under Grace.” (Rom. 6:14)