Contact us

Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

03 March 2020

Jesus, the True Tabernacle

SYNOPSIS:  The Prologue to the Gospel of John presents Jesus as the True Tabernacle in whom the glory of God is revealed and resides - John 1:14. 

Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash
Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash
The Prologue of the Gospel of John presents major themes explicated in the body of this gospel account (John 1:1-18). For example, in Jesus, the “Word made flesh,” Life and true Light were found. Moreover, John employs imagery from pivotal events in the history of Israel to illustrate what God has achieved in Jesus (John 1:9, 5:21-26, 9:5, 8:12, 12:35-40).

A key theme of this gospel is that Jesus is the place where the presence of God dwells, and His glory is manifested for all men and women to see. He is the means of access to God, the greater Tabernacle and Temple where true worship of the Father takes place, “in spirit,” and is no longer confined by physical walls or geographical boundaries (John 1:14, 1:47-51, 2:13-22, 4:20-24).

Verse 14 of the book’s Prologue declares, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us; we beheld his glory; glory as of an only-born from a father; full of grace and truth.” This alludes to the time at Mount Sinai when God inscribed His ten “words” on stone tablets (Exodus chapters 33-34). The word of God that has now “become flesh” in Jesus Christ.

This word or Logos “tabernacled among us,” a clause that uses a Greek verb skénoō (Strong’s #4637), meaning, “to tabernacle, pitch a tent.” It is related to the noun skéné or “tent.” With the Tabernacle that Israel built in the wilderness in view, John indicates that God now dwells or “tabernacles” among his people in the man, Jesus.

Yahweh had commanded Israel to “construct a sanctuary for me that I may dwell among them,” a portable structure fashioned “according to all that I am going to show you, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings.” The Septuagint version of the Old Testament uses the Greek noun skéné in this verse or “tabernacle” (Exodus 25:8-9 [Strong’s #4633]).

In the account recorded in Exodus 33:7-11, Moses—

Proceeded to take a tent and pitch it by itself outside the camp…and he called it, the Tent of Meeting…it came to pass that when Moses entered the tent the pillar of cloud came down and stood at the opening of the tent.”
In the Greek Septuagint version of this passage, the “Tent of Meeting” is skéné martyriou or “Tent of Witness.” The presence of Yahweh in the Tabernacle was represented by the pillar of cloud. Just as God revealed His presence among Israel in the Tabernacle, so, now, He now makes His habitation among His people in Jesus, “the Word become flesh” (Exodus 40:34-35Numbers 9:15-23).

The Gospel of John states further, “We beheld his glory…full of grace and truth.” This statement also employs imagery from the Book of Exodus. Moses asked Yahweh to show him his “glory.” God responded: Neither Moses nor any man “can see my face and live”; therefore, He placed Moses in the “cleft of a rock” when He passed by to permit him to see only His “backside.” Yahweh descended in the cloud and passed before him, proclaiming, “Yahweh, Yahweh, a God of compassion and grace, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and faithfulness” (Exodus 33:17-2334:1-6).
The glory of God is now been revealed in Jesus, a proposition expanded elsewhere in this gospel. Unlike Moses, the disciples beheld the full glory, not God’s “backside,” a glory like that of “an only-born from a father” (John 17:24).
The glory revealed in Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” This corresponds to the proclamation of Yahweh that He is “abundant in loving-kindness and faithfulness.” The glory seen by Moses alone is the same glory revealed in Jesus for all to see; he is the True and Greater Tabernacle in whom God dwells and through whom He manifests His unfiltered grace and truth to humanity.

With the coming of Jesus, the presence of Yahweh is no longer restricted to the Tabernacle or other manmade structures; no longer is it limited to specific geographic locations. The wilderness structure and its furnishings were made obsolete by what Yahweh did in His only-born Son, Jesus, who is the place where all Truth and Grace are unveiled. The glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:184:4-6).

The wilderness Tabernacle was certainly glorious and revealed much concerning the nature of God. Nevertheless, its glory was limited, whereas, the Divine glory found in the True and Greater “Tabernacle,” Jesus, is full, visible, and available to all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage free discussions on the commenting system provided by the Google Blogger platform, with the stipulation that conversations remain civil. Comments voicing dissenting views are encouraged.