Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch…You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Genesis 6:14 + 16Noah’s Ark: An Illustration of Salvation in Christ
The similarities between Noah’s Ark and Jesus Christ are astonishing; so much so that we may affirm the ark to be a symbolic representation of what Jesus would later do for us on the cross of Calvary. It is not an accident that comparable observations could be made between the Ark of the Covenant (of Moses day) and Jesus Christ, but for now we will focus solely on Noah’s achievement.
Today we call ‘pitch’ tar. The Hebrew word for ‘pitch’ is ‘kaphar’ and it is used seventy times in the Bible to mean atonement as it relates to blood sacrifice. The one exception is here in Genesis where it refers to the substance which covers the ark inside-and-out. In order to better understand the definition, my pastor likes to break-down the word ‘atonement’ into its basic components: at-one-ment, as in ‘being one with God’. By Christ’s shed blood we are in such harmony with God.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans 5:8-9
I have heard a lot of sermons about the door on Noah’s Ark. The singular thing I want to draw attention to is the fact that there is only one door; just one way to board this ship of deliverance. I am grateful the Father has maintained this simplicity having provided only One way to salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. God could have provided several ways, but He opted for one. In so doing satan is restricted in his ability to manufacture counterfeit openings reducing the likelihood we will select the wrong door. Jesus said…
“I am the door, if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 10:9; 14:6
Jesus will later tell us of the rooms He has prepared for us in Heaven, but I found it interesting that the Hebrew word for ‘room’ actually means ‘nest’. For me it brings to mind the comfortability associated with being with one’s own family, culture, and as it relates here, Christian denomination. Sure, Noah could have housed the lion with the lamb, but why create an unnecessary headache—let them be separate in their contentment, but united in their deliverance.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling… Philippians 2:12
We do not know precisely how Noah organized the animals on the Ark, but common sense dictates that the heavier beasts would be kept low similar as ballast on a ship would be. In so doing, a foundation of sorts is established upon the rolling seas. I am intrigued that the Apostle John, concerning Christians, made a three-tier distinction regarding understanding and spiritual maturity.
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:12-14
Door and Window Control
Later on in the text we notice that Noah has no control over the door, just the window. That speaks two things to me. First, as it pertains to the door, once it has been shut by God, we are in the boat—nothing man can do will open it. That reminds me of these verses from John 10:28 and Romans 8:38-39…
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand…For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The window is on top of the Ark and faces the heavens. Noah has the capability to open it whenever and as often as he likes, allowing light to enter for illumination or seeking to purge the stench of life. We have the same control.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Romans 13:12 + Psalm 119:105
We know from Bible history that Noah finished building the Ark. If he had not, as his descendants, not one of us would be here today. Similarly, if Jesus had not finished His work on the cross, we would have no place worth going to. Let us finish the task set before us with the same love and passion as Christ.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God… Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” Acts 20:24 + John 4:34