‘And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ John 1:14
Suggested Further Reading: Exodus 25:1–9
Let me read the text again, giving another translation: ‘The Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’ Now, you remember that in the Jewish church its greatest glory was that God tabernacled in its midst: not the tent of Moses, not the various pavilions of the princes of the twelve tribes, but the humble tabernacle in which God dwelt, was the boast of Israel. They had the king himself in the midst of them, a present God in their midst. The tabernacle was a tent to which men went when they would commune with God, and it was the spot to which God came manifestly when he would commune with man. Here they met each other through the sacrifice of an animal, and there was reconciliation between them. Now, Christ’s human flesh was God’s tabernacle, and it is in Christ that God meets with man, and in Christ that man has dealings with God. The Jew of old went to God’s tent, in the centre of the camp, if he would worship: we come to Christ if we would pay our homage. If the Jew would be released from ceremonial uncleanness, after he had performed the rites, he went up to the sanctuary of his God, that he might feel again that there was peace between God and his soul; and we, having been washed in the precious blood of Christ, have access with boldness unto God, even the Father, through Christ, who is our tabernacle and the tabernacle of God among men.
For meditation: Some of the things in the tabernacle which point to Christ are the veil (Matthew 27:51; John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19–20), the manna and the shewbread (John 6:31,35,48), the mercy seat (see 29th March) and the lampstand (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). There is no need of tabernacle, temple or lamp in heaven where mere pictures are replaced by the actual presence of the Lord and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22–23).
Sermon no. 414
20 October (1861)