Not only is the Bible resplendent with prophetic verses, it is also full of prophetic types. Prophecy in type is symbolic prophecy. Think of it as prophecy that has come alive, embodied in the life of a person, ceremony or thing.
Everything about the Ark of the Covenant was symbolic of the Messiah. It was made of wood, indicating the Messiah would be a human. It was overlaid with gold, signifying the Messiah would be divine.
The Ark contained three objects — the tablets of stone, a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. The tablets signified that the Messiah would have the Law of God in His heart. The manna meant the Messiah would be the Bread of Life. The rod with blossoms was a prophecy that the Messiah would arise from the dead.
The lid of the Ark was called the Mercy Seat. Once a year the High Priest sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat to atone for the sins of Israel. The Mercy Seat pointed to the fact that through the work of the Messiah the mercy of God would cover the Law. The blood foreshadowed the fact that the Messiah would have to shed His own blood to atone for our sins.
Jesus fulfilled every prophetic type of the Ark. He was God in the flesh (John 10:30). He had the Law in His heart (Matthew 5:17). He declared Himself to be the “Bread of Life” (John 6:35). And He shed His blood on the Cross, atoning for our sins and covering the Law with Grace (Romans 3:21-26).