To Moses, by God’s very word: “You shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it.” Exodus 25:10-11
The Lord has the Ark made of pure gold and spends a few chapters explaining how the Ark is to be made pure, flawless and blessed. Later in Exodus, the dwelling that Moses erects to house the Ark is often covered, or overshadowed, by the cloud of the Lord.
In the Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 1:35, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Like God overshadowed His Ark, God will overshadow His new Ark, Mary.
The Ark contained the word of God, and Mary now contains the Word of God in Jesus, becoming the new Ark.
Remember that God was very specific in the creation of the Ark, having it made pure. No less than 5 Chapters are dedicated to the making of the Ark. Knowing the pains God takes to purify His Ark to house the Ten Commandments, it only stands to reason that His new Ark, Mary, would also be pure prior to Her housing the Word of God, Jesus. This is a major reason Catholics believe in Mary’s purity and her Immaculate Conception, because the Ark is made pure and Mary is the new Ark.
The Ark continues to have significance as David takes great pains to secure it and it continues to bless him while in his possession.
David sets out to Judah to retrieve the Ark to bring it to Jerusalem but while transporting the Ark, it begins to tip and a man name Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark. Because Uzzah believes he can steady the Ark, rather than God protect it, God strikes Uzzah dead. David now fears the Ark and leaves it in the hill country of Judah with a man named Obededom.
“The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obededom and his whole house.” 2 Sam 6:11
Mary, after she is with child, in haste rushes to her cousin Elizabeth who lives in the hill country of Judah and remains with her for three months. The parallel with the Ark is gaining ground here, as the Ark was in the hill country of Judah and remained for three months, just like Mary travels to Judah for three months.
As David brings the Ark into Jerusalem, he dances before the Ark. “Then David, girt with linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon as he and all the Israelites were brining up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.” 2 Sam 6:14-15
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Luke 1:41-42 The child with Elizabeth is John the Baptist and John here, like David before, dances (or leaps) before the Ark with abandon.
Turning to John in the book of Revelations Chapter 11:19 to 12:1-2 we get to the final point of Mary as the Ark. “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.”
“She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.” Rev 12:5
Clearly, its Mary John speaks of, who is with child that is destined to rule all the nations. John notes he sees the Ark and directly after noting the Ark, he sees Mary. Mary is the new Ark – she is significant.