Archive for the ‘Portraits of Jesus’ Category

All throughout the New Testament you have multiple authors quoting the Old Testament, referencing stories from the Old Testament, and explaining key themes that might have been hidden or confusing from the Old Testament. Even whole books of the New Testament, as Pastor Doug Rehberg explains in his book Leadership Jesus Style, are written to highlight events in the Old Testament to help the reader better understand New Covenant realities. Rehberg questions, “Have you ever noticed how Paul’s letter to the Galatians in large measure is a commentary on the Book of Genesis? Have you ever noticed how the letter of Hebrews uses the Book of Exodus and its description of the person and work of Moses as a backdrop for showing Jesus’ superiority? Have you seen how Jesus begins His teaching ministry by expositing the the words of Isaiah 61? Have you understood that the Book of Revelation is a reiteration and recasting of the major themes of the first 65 books of the Bible?”

This is part two in an eleven part series, of which I pray has the same objective that the Apostles and Jesus our Savior Himself had; to create a deeper understanding of God, which stirs our hearts with deep affections toward Christ. Part two continues with examining another correlation between Jesus Christ and the tabernacle that was used in the wilderness after being led by Moses out of Egypt. These correlations are found in A.W. Pink’s Exposition of the Gospel of John. For part one, which also serves as an introduction, click HERE.

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us…”

“[Jesus] pitched His tent on earth for thirty-three years. There is here a latent reference to the tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness. That tabernacle had a typical significance: it foreshadowed God the Son incarnate. Almost everything about the tabernacle adumbrated the Word made flesh. Many and varied are the correspondences between the type (in this case the tabernacle) and the Anti-type (Jesus). We notice a few of the more conspicuous.

2. The “tabernacle” was for use in the wilderness. After Israel settled in Canaan, the tabernacle was superseded by the temple. But during the time of their pilgrimage from Egypt to the promise land, the tabernacle was God’s appointed provision for them. The wilderness strikingly foreshadowed the conditions amid which the eternal Word (Jesus) tabernacled among men at His first advent. The wilderness home of the tabernacle unmistakably foreshadowed the manger-cradle, the Nazerite-carpenter’s bench, the “nowhere” for the Son of man to lay His head, the borrowed tomb for His sepulcher. A careful study of the chronology of the Pentateuch seems to indicate that Israel used the tabernacle in the wilderness rather less than thirty-five years!”

Did you catch it? The last sentence floored me. “A careful study of the chronology of the Pentateuch seems to indicate that Israel used the tabernacle in the wilderness rather less than thirty-five years!” Jesus is clearly seen here. Jesus’ first advent (the first time Jesus appeared on earth in the flesh) lasted roughly 33 years. They used the tabernacle in the wilderness for less than 35 years! That’s amazing to see how God intricately planned for us to partake in God’s presence in such a “rough provision.” The tabernacle was just a rough provision of  God in order for his Holiness to dwell among such unholy people. This speaks of God’s love and His holiness. He loved the people of the Exodus generation enough to create such a place in which He is glorified and people are set free from the guilt of their sins, by way of a high priest making atonement for them through animal sacrifice. Look where the tabernacle was located; the wilderness. It wasn’t located anywhere beautiful or spectacular and notice who was there; angry, complaining sinners. Notice the correlation to Jesus. He comes to a place corroded and corrupted by sin. Creation was once such a beautiful place from God’s point of view, but because of the fall and man’s sin, it was all subjected to futility. As Romans 8:20-23 explains,

[20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. [23] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
(Romans 8:20-23 ESV)

Jesus came to a gross place (in comparison to the fellowship of the Trinity in heaven) where evil sinners like you and I dwell. The amazing thing is though that even the evil of mankind does not thwart the plans of the great God and King we serve. He came to seek and save us evil ones by becoming the meeting place between His Holiness and our depravity. Jesus came and purchased everything for His chosen people: our faith, our repentance, our new hearts, new eyes to see, new ears to hear, etc. He completed the work our Father gave Him to do; redeem the ones in which He has given to the Son of man.

[37] All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. [38] For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. [39] And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. [40] For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
(John 6:37-40 ESV)

And,

[14] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. [16] And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. [17] For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. [18] No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(John 10:14-18 ESV)

So as God dwelt with man in the wilderness by means of the tabernacle, God the Son dwelt with sinful man in the flesh as a man. He accomplished our Salvation. Are you experiencing this Eternal Life and Salvation? John 6:40 says that, “everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him [has] eternal life.” Look to Jesus as your savior! Trust in what He has accomplished, which you and I could never have accomplished. Believe that His work was done to redeem you, as an individual. You will stand before Him someday in judgment as an individual based on whether or not you believed on Him to be your substitution or not. You will be alone on that day just as you are probably alone right now as you read this. I pray He redeems you as I know in my heart that He has redeemed me.

Jesus came to a gross place. Here are two questions for you:

  1. In what manner did Jesus come?
  2. What kind of glory did the external tabernacle have?
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I wanted to start this blog series for a little while now. I recently received a suggestion to buy the book Exposition of the Gospel of John by Arthur W. Pink.

It is a phrase by phrase and sometimes word by word explanation of every verse in the Gospel of John. It is definitely one of my desert island picks. So far it has been very beneficial and I haven’t gotten past chapter one of John! God has started to open my eyes to see Jesus all over the Old Testament and it has been amazing. So I figured I would share this knowledge because it has made me fall in love with God all over again, through the Old Testament. My hope for this blog series is to spark a passion in people to pray like the psalmist in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” God I pray that you use me and this blog to do this very thing; open our eyes to see wondrous things from your Word! Amen.

In the Old Testament, there are people, places, things, and events that foreshadow things that will be fulfilled in the New Testament. These are referred to as types. Once God starts to point some of them out to you it is pretty amazing. This blog series is all about the connections between the tabernacle of Moses’ time period and Jesus Christ. This is the first post in a ten part series; then there will be one concluding blog post. In each post I will include A.W. Pink’s introductory paragraph to this section as well as the corresponding comparison that he makes.

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us…”

“[Jesus] pitched His tent on earth for thirty-three years. There is here a latent reference to the tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness. That tabernacle had a typical significance: it foreshadowed God the Son incarnate. Almost everything about the tabernacle adumbrated the Word made flesh. Many and varied are the correspondences between the type (in this case the tabernacle) and the Anti-type (Jesus). We notice a few of the more conspicuous.

1. The “tabernacle” was a temporary appointment. In this it differed from the temple of Solomon, which was a permanent structure. The tabernacle was merely a tent, a temporary convenience, something that was suited to be moved about from place to place during the journeyings of the children of Israel. So it was when our blessed Lord tabernacled here among men. His stay was but a brief one – less than forty years; and, like the type, He abode not long in any one place, but was constantly on the move – unwearied in the activity of His love.”

What an awesome connection here! I recently just read through Exodus and Leviticus. I am in no way well-read when it comes to the old testament so if you aren’t either, we have some common ground. I am slowly making my way through. It is hard sometimes, but by the power and grace of God and with resources like this book and study bibles, I am starting to understand it. The tabernacle was used as a temporary way for God’s chosen people, Israel, to meet with Him while making their way through the wilderness to get to their promised land, Canaan. There were even certain clans that were entrusted with the task of moving the tabernacle when they needed to continue on their journey.

Here is a picture of the tabernacle thanks to the online ESV Study Bible

When Christ came in human form, being near Him was the meeting place between evil sinners and God. God the Son came near to us to bridge the chasm between us and God. We are in the same kind of wilderness now. We are awaiting our promised land; eternity with God in heaven. Jesus is our meeting place with God. I don’t want to continue to expound too much because it might flow into A.W. Pink’s next connection that he draws. So to end each post, I will leave you with some questions and encouragements to lead you into the next post. Here they are for this post:

  1. Read through Exodus 25:1-31:17 and 35:1-40:38. This will take some discipline, but think of Christ and how you can see Him while reading this.
  2. Read Numbers 33:1-56 and see how many times Israel picked up everything, including the tabernacle,  and moved from one place to another. Now think about Jesus and how often you read about him suddenly leaving one place and going to another.
  3. Start to question, “What other ways does the tabernacle point to Jesus?” This one may seem obvious to you, but I promise some of these correlations will surprise you. They amazed me and challenged me to want to know the bible more.