God’s Temple – Immanuel, Maranatha

TT-Dec-2017We are overdue for introducing the December 2017 issue of Tabletalk, which this month focuses on God’s grand work involving “The Temple.”

When we hear that word, we probably think immediately of the Old Testament temple of Solomon, or perhaps of the rebuilt temple built during Herod’s reign at the end of the OT. But as this issue of “TT” shows, God’s work of making His temple is all-embracing, covering the original creation, the tent made during the time of Moses (tabernacle), that more permanent OT house of Solomon, but more importantly, Christ (Immanuel!), the church chosen as living stones in the Stone (a living temple!), and then at last the new creation, which will be God’s perfect abode with His people. As you can see, “the temple” is a rich biblical concept and reality.

And as such, God’s temple is a fitting truth to ponder in this Christmas season. Editor Burk Parsons demonstrates that in his introduction to the issue, titled “Immanuel.” In it, he writes in part:

We were made to be with God. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He led His people Israel through the wilderness and dwelt among them wherever they sojourned, and He dwelt with His people in the tabernacle and temple. The earthly tabernacle and temple of Israel and all of their furnishings served Israel by manifesting God’s presence through symbols, types, and shadows. They pointed to the day when God—who is a spirit, sovereign, triune, transcendent, infinite, eternal, immutable, self-existent, self-sufficient, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and full of mercy, love, and truth—would condescend to us to dwell with us, among us, and in us. This truth is encapsulated in the name Immanuel, one of the most beautiful and comforting names that God reveals to us about Himself. Isaiah prophesied to Israel that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). The eternal Word, the Son of God, became flesh and dwelt among us. God is with us, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Before this issue gives us separate articles on the various details of God’s OT temple (the altar of burnt offering, the curtain, the lampstand, etc.), Dr. Michael Morales presents a marvelous survey of the biblical teaching on the temple in his article “The House of God.” Here is a portion of his article, which also ties in nicely with the season:

The transition from creation to new creation and from temple as house to temple as household centers upon the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the prologue of John’s gospel, we read that the Son became flesh and “tabernacled” among us, manifesting His glory (1:14, author’s translation). Through the incarnation, the eternal Son becomes a temple, His humanity the dwelling place of God. As a temple, Jesus is also the way to God. His self-sacrifice on the cross of agony atoned for our sins, fulfilling the sacrificial system of ancient Israel. Quite fittingly, Christ’s crucifixion resulted in God’s rending the temple veil (Mark 15:38)—through the veil of Jesus’ flesh, the “new and living way” to God has been opened (Heb. 10:19–22).

So, as we celebrate Christmas this year, let’s consider God’s magnificent temple – the true Temple of Christ and His church, destined for life with God in His everlasting house in the new world – certain to be revealed when Jesus comes again. “Come, Lord Jesus.”

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://cjts3rs.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/gods-temple-immanuel/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: