The Old Testament is a shadow, and a shadow is not the substance, the substance is going to follow. Let me give you an illustration: if you could see me right now you could see my shadow from the light behind me; it casts a shadow. I am not the shadow; the substance is me. When you see the shadow, you know I follow the shadow, or the shadow goes before me. The Old Testament is a shadow of what was to come and that which was to come was Christ. So, everything in the Old Testament should reveal Jesus Christ to us, because it was a shadow of Him.
Exodus 26:33-34 says, “And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the Ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat upon the Ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy.” He’s calling the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark of the Testimony; it’s one and the same. A covenant is a contract between two people and it’s about relationships. Inside the Covenant was the Testimony. The Covenant is about the relationship between the two people, the Testimony inside the Covenant is about the nature of the Covenant. My wife and I got married; we have a covenant that binds us together in marriage. I have a copy of that covenant at home, I could pull it out everyday and read it. I could tell my wife to sit down and read our covenant. It will not do a whole lot of good, that’s not what the covenant is about. The covenant is about a relationship and the nature of the relationship is what is important. The covenant is important, but the covenant doesn’t demand that I love her or take care of her; the covenant is about a relationship between two people. What the covenant here in Exodus is talking about is God’s relationship with man but on the inside of the Covenant is the testimony and the nature of the covenant.
The Covenant is a type of Jesus, in other words, the Ark of the Covenant was a shadow of what was to come. The Ark of the Covenant was kept in what was called the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies had a big veil (curtain) in front of it and behind the veil was the Ark of the Covenant. The lid on top of the Ark of the Covenant was called a mercy seat; above the angels on top of the mercy seat was where the presence of God dwelt. The only person that was allowed back into the Holy of Holies was the High Priest and that was only once a year on the Day of Atonement. At that time, the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed animal upon the mercy seat for the sins of the nation of Israel. The Bible says, the day Jesus died on the cross; that curtain was torn in half from the top to the bottom and the glory of God, the presence of God, and the Covenant of God was thrown open showing and signifying that the way into the presence of God has now been made available, not to just one person but to the entire world. In other words, Jesus made a way for us to come into the presence of the Father.