Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jesus Revealed In The Revelation #16

Rev. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Here Jesus is described as the tabernacle of God. This is the ultimate purpose of God in all of his work on earth: to bring men to God (1 Pet. 3:18) and to dwell with us eternally (John 17:24). Jesus is portrayed in the Old Testament tabernacle wherein were vessels which gave symbolism to Christ himself (see Heb. 9:2-4). This tabernacle was a temporary edifice which was moved with Israel through the wilderness. A more permanent building was built in Solomon's day, and it, too, was in symbolism of the Messiah in all its parts.

Both the tabernacle and the temple are gone now, but the symbolism continues through the churches of the Lord in baptism and communion. In baptism the Gospel is symbolized by the immersion, submersion, and emersion of a believer. In communion he is symbolized by unleavened bread, whereby his perfect life in his body was portrayed, and in the fruit of the vine, which symbolizes the blood that was shed, the precious blood of the Lamb.

But Jesus remains in symbol as the tabernacle, because he will one day be with his people even as he was with men when he was incarnated, when he "dwelt (tabernacled)" among his people. Again he will "tabernacle" among us when he comes to take us to be with him. We shall dwell with him on earth eternally when he comes from Heaven to take us away from all evil and present us faultless before him in love (Eph. 1:4; Jude 1:24).

Notice that he dwelt among men, not trees or animals. Certainly he was here with trees and animals, but he is not spoken of as dwelling with them. This is significant in the sense that Jesus came to redeem human beings from their sins, not animals or trees. He is our Kinsman Redeemer, taking upon himself the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7), though he was in the form of God (Phil. 2:6).

Let us be thankful that we now live under his shadow, protecting us from any spiritual or eternal harm. He has sealed us with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), and he has become our buckler and shield. One day we shall live under his visible reign where we shall praise him eternally and live without evil or sin, for our sins have been plunged beneath his blood, and he has washed us from all our iniquities (Rev. 1:5).

No comments: