The True Tabernacle

The Gospel of John presents Jesus as the place where the glory of God is seen, the Greater and Final Tabernacle in which His presence resides. With the advent of Jesus, the worship of men desired by the Father no longer is limited to dedicated buildings or geographic locations. From now on, worship takes place “in the spirit and truth.” Men and women experience the majesty of God and behold His nature in the “face of Jesus Christ.”

The declaration in John that the Logos became flesh echoes the incident at Mount Sinai when God inscribed His ten “words” on the stone tablets that were housed later in the Tabernacle or “Tent of Witness.” The Word of God now “tabernacles among us” in Jesus of Nazareth. “We beheld his glory, the glory as of an only-born from a father, full of grace and truth” – (John 1:14-18).

Tent at Night - Photo by Valery Sysoev on Unsplash
[Photo by Valery Sysoev on Unsplash]

The Greek verb translated as “
tabernacled” in John is skénoō (Strong’s - #G4637), meaning, “tabernacle, to pitch a tent.” It is related to the noun skéné or “tent,” the same Greek noun used for “tabernacle” in the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus.

Thus, God “dwells” or “tabernacles” among His people in His Son, Jesus Christ. Yahweh commanded Israel to “construct a Sanctuary for me that I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM.” What the ancient Tabernacle foreshadowed has become real in Jesus, the “Word made flesh” - (Exodus 25:8-9, 33:7-11).

The presence of Yahweh was manifested before the ancient Tabernacle in the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. Just as God revealed His presence among the people of Israel, so He now makes His habitation among His New Covenant people in Jesus - (Exodus 40:34-35, Numbers 9:15-23).

This same Jesus is “FULL of grace and truth.” This statement continues the imagery from Exodus. Moses asked Yahweh to show him his “glory.” However, no man could “see His face and live.” Therefore, God placed him in the “cleft of a rock” as He passed by, permitting him only to see His “backside” as He descended in the cloud and passed before Moses, all while proclaiming:

  • Yahweh, Yahweh, a God of compassion and grace, slow to anger and ABUNDANT IN LOVING-KINDNESS AND FAITHFULNESS” - (Exodus 33:17-23, 34:1-6).

Today, the glory and nature of God are revealed in Jesus rather than momentarily glimpsed from a distance in passing clouds or flashes of fire. Unlike Moses, the disciples of Jesus behold His true glory and not just His “backside” in the Nazarene, the one who is “full of grace and truth.” God manifests His unfiltered glory, grace, and truth through His Son.

No longer is His presence restricted to man-made structures. Jesus is the fulfillment of everything that the original Tabernacle and later Temple foreshadowed. The glory of God reflected in Jesus is full, visible, and available for all men to behold, both now and forevermore.



RELATED POSTS:
  • The House of God - (Jesus is the true and only way of access to the Father, the Greater Bethel, and the House of God – John 1:47-50)
  • His Glory Revealed - (Ever since the Word became flesh, the glory of God is manifested in Jesus of Nazareth and beheld by everyone who believes in him – John 1:14)
  • Living Water, True Worship - (In Samaria, Jesus revealed that the presence of God no longer is limited to specific locations or man-made structures – John 4:20-24)

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