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John 20:12

November 15, 2006

Here is the ESV: "And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet." In Greek, it runs like this: κα? θεωρε? δ?ο ?γγ?λους λευκο?ς καθεζομ?νους, ?να πρ?ς τ? κεφαλ? κα? ?να πρ?ς το?ς ποσ?ν, ?που ?κειτο τ? σ?μα το? ?ησο?.

Have you ever wondered why this detail is there about one at the head and one at the foot of where the body of Jesus had been? I wondered for a long time. Then I learned from one of my professors (don't remember which!) this amazing truth: the angels are cherubim imitating (in the grave of Jesus) the ark of the covenant. Here is Exodus 25:10-22: 

10"They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Two cubits[a] and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 11You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it. 12You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 13You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. 15The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. 16And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give you. 

17"You shall make a mercy seat[b] of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.

Look especially at verses 18-20. The angels in Jesus' tomb are in a new Most Holy Place, and they are forming a new Ark of the Covenant. Do you remember what was stored in that ark? A copy of the Ten Commandments! Jesus is the archetypal Word of the Covenant, but He lives!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gomarus permalink
    November 16, 2006 8:04 am

    Great commentary and comparison with the ark. Thanks.

    Unfortunately my screen shows blocks interspersed in the Greek text for some letters.

  2. kymanika permalink
    November 16, 2006 8:54 pm

    I never thought of that. Thanks Lane. Some commentary I think is stretched beyond its true significance. I do not see that at all with this illustration. I think its a perfect fit.

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