It is my heart to believe that according to the writings of the prophets that the kingdoms of Judah and Israel have been one since their return from Babylonian captivity. For one I cannot think of a single time they are referred to as a divided people in the Gospels or all the New Testament.
It is certain that the ark of the covenant has not been in the temple, or in Jerusalem; as far as is truly known; since the Babylonian invasion. The ark of the covenant represented the presence of God. It was also a type of the Christ. Jesus Christ is the antitype, the fulfillment of the picture it portrayed so there is no more need of it.
The following verses give us a clue as to its importance in latter Jewish/Hebrew life and worship; and in Christianity…
“And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? And I said, Thou shalt call Me, My father; and shalt not turn away from Me.” Jeremiah 3:16-19 (KJB)
Some of this can be seen at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion. When the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom the ark is not present because Jesus is the true Ark of God (Matthew 27:51). In the final verse of Matthew 23, following Jesus’s cry over Jerusalem Jesus left the temple for the final time (Matthew 24:1) before His death on the cross.
It will be because of the Glory, Grace, Mercy, Love, Forgiveness, Power, and of the Cross of Christ that the world will come to Jerusalem to see the King of all kings.
There are many who are searching for the old ark of the covenant. It is not important any longer. Jesus Christ the Son of God crucified, buried and raised to life again is the Ark of God. He is God in flesh. He will dwell among His people.
Believe Jesus today. Believe and live.