Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meeting God

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14).

God is in the habit of getting involved in our lives.  In the Garden of Eden, the Lord walked among the trees with our ancestors until their sinful rebellion got them ejected from His holy presence.  At Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the design for a place of worship, a tent of meeting where God would come to earth and spend time among His people.   This tent of meeting, this tabernacle, was eventually succeeded by the great temple in Jerusalem.  In these sacred places, hidden behind thick curtains, the God who made all things came to forgive His sinful followers and bestow on them His blessing.

The Garden of Eden is no more.  Neither do we have the tabernacle or the temple.  The places where God came to be with us are no longer available, even though we desperately crave His presence in our lives.  Thankfully, the Lord has provided us something even better to replace them.  God has given us His Son, the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Savior.

The Gospel of John says that in Christ, God made his dwelling among us.  Literally this verse says that He tabernacled among us.  Jesus told the people of His time, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"  But the temple he had spoken of was his body.  After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken (John 2:19-22)

In Christ, God tabernacles among us.  In Jesus, we find the holy place where God comes to forgive our sins and dispense His wonderful blessings. On one occasion the disciple Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'?  Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:8-11). This is what gives Christmas its magnificent splendor—in Christ, God makes His dwelling among us!  In Jesus, we have the privileged of meeting our Lord Almighty face to face. Through God’s eternal and beloved Son, we can experience the full extent of heavenly grace and love.

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