In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the LORD, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.Jeremiah 3:16-17 NIV
The Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred object of ancient Israel. It represented God’s throne in his temple and was unapproachable except on the day of atonement. And then only by the high priest.
The idea that the ark would no longer be thought of or remembered would be hard to fathom by faithful Jews. But they would forget about it because God himself would be enthroned in Jerusalem, not just a symbol of his presence.
Jeremiah foretold the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the loss of the ark. But he often, including here, looked ahead to a renewal. A renewal that would include Israel as well as the nations.
What Jeremiah looked forward to, Jesus has fulfilled. Through Jesus, the people of Israel and the nations have been gathered together as one people (Eph. 2:11-18). We are a holy temple, and the Spirit of God dwells within us (Eph. 2:19-22). And we are the New Jerusalem that was prophesied (Rev. 21:9-10), where God has his throne (Rev. 22:1-5).
While we are now the temple of the Lord and the New Jerusalem, there is much that has not yet been revealed. But there is coming a day when what we see dimly now will be fully revealed (1 Cor. 13:12). And what a glorious day that will be. A day to look forward to.