The early church understood Mary to represent the new Ark of the Covenant. Like the Ark, Mary is a created thing that was capable of containing our uncontainable God. The New Testament scriptures about Mary mirror the Old Testament scriptures about the Ark of the Covenant. This is no coincidence.
When the pregnant Mary meets her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth greets her by saying,
LUKE 1:43“And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
The phrase by Elizabeth is referring to the Old Testament scripture where King David asks,
2 SAMUEL 6:9“How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”
This would be understood by any Jew at the time and was understood by those in the early church.
As you look closer into both passages the similarities increase. When the Ark of the Covenant is brought before David, the scriptures declare,
2 SAMUEL 6:14And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.
And what happens when Mary is brought before Elizabeth?
LUKE 1:41-42And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
The baby in the womb of Elizabeth was John the Baptist and like the priestly ephod that David wears, John the Baptist is in the priestly line of Aaron. When bought before the Ark, David dances. When the new Ark is brought before John, he leaps for joy. The greek word for “spoke out” is a rare one, only used once in the New Testament and twice in the Old Testament(1 Chr 15:28, 1 Chr 16:4 ). Those two Old Testament scriptures center around the Ark of the Covenant.
Then according to scripture, the Ark remained for three months.
2 SAMUEL 6:11And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
We see that Mary also remained for three months.
LUKE 1:56And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
According to Luke, God would “overshadow” Mary. And the angel answered her,
LUKE 1:35“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.
This is the same language used to describe when God would “overshadow” the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:34).
It is clear when compiling all these scriptures, that Luke is describing Mary as the Ark of the Covenant. This has been the teaching of the Apostles and the early church since its beginning.