Purpose of the Ark of the Covenant.
Exodus 25:22 “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony…” This is where Israel would come to sacrifice and enquire of the Lord (Judges 20:27).
Leviticus 16 teaches that God set rules for the Atonement Day sacrifices and gave specific instructions as to how the high priest was to approach the ark (see verse 2) in order to bring the blood of the sacrifices in to be sprinkled on the ark (verse 14).
The Deeper Significance. In Hebrews, the Apostle Paul wrote that these sacrifices had a deeper significance. Hebrews 10:8-10 show that the original sacrifices are no longer needed because of Jesus’s sacrifice. In verse 9 he says "He takes away the first in order to establish the second."
When Jesus died, the vail in the temple was torn in two, so the sacrifices could no longer appropriately be offered in the temple (Matthew 27:51). Thirty seven years later, history records that the entire temple was destroyed by the (future) Roman emperor Titus. Antitypically, Jesus’s sacrifice replaced the animal sacrifices. He died once for all (Hebrews 10:10).
Why is this Relevant? As the sacrifices are no longer appropriate, the ark is not necessary. The Lord does not meet with anyone through the blood of animal sacrifices being sprinkled on the ark. Jesus, Himself, has opened up a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20).
Will the ark ever be found? No. In fact, God, through the prophet Jeremiah, states that the ark will even be forgotten because it will not be needed.
Jeremiah 3:16,17 “ ‘And it shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘they shall say no more, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” And it shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made again. At that time they shall call Jerusalem “The Throne of the LORD,” and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor shall they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart.’”